The original release date for the new 2000-P Sacagawea was March 1, 2000, but was changed later to January 27. 100 million Sacagawea dollars were shipped to Wal-Mart stores throughout the nation, 100 million were sent to the Federal Reserve for distribution, and 600,000 sold in sealed bags over the Mint's website. Some coins were released by Wal-Mart as early as January 20, but official distribution began on January 27, when Wal-Mart began giving the coins as change (limited to 10 coins per customer). Production of the 2000-D Sacagawea dollar coin began later in the year.
Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Golden Dollars Flood Nation From Wal-Mart" by William T. Gibbs, COIN WORLD, February 14, 2000, pp. 1 & 30
"Mint To Ship 100s Of Millions Of Sacagawea Golden Dollars" by Paul Gilkes, COIN WORLD, February 14, 2000, pp. 1 & 8
This is the first year of issue for the Sacagawea Dollars. The Mint had the notion that the new gold colored dollars would be extremely popular within our monetary system. Consequently, it struck over 760 million coins just for this date and mint mark alone. Compare this mintage to the 2002-P, where the Mint struck less than 4 million Uncirculated coins.
After the first year of striking Sacagawea Dollars, the Mint realized that the coins were not very popular. Banks and institutions still had most of them in their inventory while a very small amount of the total mintage actually went into circulation. Due to the very high mintage of this issue, coins exist in very high grades including in MS69 condition.