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U.S. Mint Will Try Dollar Coins Again

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The U.S. Mint has unveiled the first designs for the new Presidential Dollar Coin program. The new coins will feel identitcal to the Sacagawea coins that begun production a few years ago.

For some reasons, the American public just doesn’t like dollar coins. Most vending machines won’t take them, and companies don’t want to retool their equipment to deal with them. Yet the Mint continues to come up with new programs to push the coins. They do last a lot longer in circulation than paper bills, so would save money in production if they were to catch on.

Presidental Dollar George WashingtonThere are some things that make this coin unique:

* Some text inscription will be on the edge rather than the face.
* Rather than the word “Liberty,” which is found on other coins, the new $1 pieces feature a design of the Statue of Liberty.

The Mint is hoping that people will take to the presidential dollar coins the same way the public enjoyed the state quarters series. It seems to me that people just won’t use the coins enough to make the program worthwhile. There has been no success yet, and I don’t think any marketing will make the coins more useful in everyday life.

Updated May 18, 2007 and originally published November 22, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar henry

Until they take the dollar bill out of circulation, the dollar coin will be doomed to failure.

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avatar brian

They should get rid of the penny first. I am always trying to get rid of my change because I have no good way to hold them other than to shove coins into my pocket and they are heavier than bills.

I think the first comment above nailed it though. Get rid of dollar bills if they want us to accept dollar coins. We won’t have a choice.

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avatar Robert Wayne

They get rid of the penny and everything will go up in price. You can bet nothing will be priced down a few pennies. Sure, it’s only a few cents, but when you consider every transaction made over months and then years, it adds up to quite a pile of money.

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avatar samerwriter

Around here, all the vending machines take the dollar coin and, more importantly for the vending companies, return it as change.

The dollar coin is a boon for the vending companies. Now if you don’t have a dollar bill, you can pay for your candy and soda at the vending machine with a $5, $10, or even a $20 with less risk of a pocketful of quarters as change.

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avatar Jeremy

I’m all for a dollar coin, but as others have mentioned I don’t think it will be very successful until the paper dollars are removed, or at least significantly reduced from circulation.

That was one thing I loved when traveling through Europe was the Euro currency. Even though they still use the equivalent of a 1 and 2 cent coin, the way the coins are broken up is fantastic. You have 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 1 and 2 euro coins. Even with so many different coins, it was extremely effective. For small purchases or using in machines.

I hate fumbling through my wallet just for a few singles for a small purchase, or worse yet having to break a larger bill just to buy something that costs a dollar or two.

After spending over 3 months using the Euro currency, coming back and getting accustomed to our money was interesting.

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avatar StingyFinance

Canada has been using a dollar coin for a while now and it has been a success! It’s really the natural way to go as inflation eats away at money value.

Joe
http://www.StingyFinance.com

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avatar Mrs L

Why don’t they invest in some sort of incentive to vending machine makers to get them to take dollar coins–some sort of government grant or tax credit to defray the costs of altering the machines? I can’t see the use of $1 coins becoming widespread until they can be used in soda machines.

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avatar adventures in money making

its yet another stupid idea.

dollar coins will not take on because they’re heavy. thats why we have paper notes in the first place.

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avatar Arthur Chaparyan

How about credit cards for everything? People spend more when they don’t have a concept of actual money, so that should help out the economy (until it all collapses and everyone declares bankruptcy)

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avatar Cujo

On the contrary, I think recent dollar coins have failed because they’re not heavy enough. The Susan B, and the backward-compatible Sacagawea, and now this one – all too similar to the quarter. Now the English pound – THAT’s a coin.

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avatar MD

I just spent a month in New Zealand, where all cash transactions are rounded to the nearest ten cents, they have $1 and $2 coins, and the bills are different colors and sizes. Oh, and taxes are always included in the posted prices. It was so much easier.

Let’s get rid of the penny and bring back the $2 bill (or coin!).

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avatar Prince of Thrift

I seen Henry had the same thought as me.

The only way to make the coin catch on, is to take the dollar bill out of circulation…I beleive thats the way the U. K., and Canada did it and probably any country that went to the dollar coin.

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avatar Rob Carlson

I actually have a page on my blog to try to create a list of vending machines that accept dollar coins. When I worked close to my bank, I would go get my weekly allowance out in rolls of dollar coins but now that I work further away and with miserable bankers hours I have them less often.

http://epistolary.org/6348.html

My non-scientific study concludes that half the people I pay with dollar coins get a real kick out of them, and half accept them grudgingly. That’s a 100% acceptance rate in my book. :-)

The newer vending machines never complain.

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avatar W.Ward

My friends in Canada HATE their $1 gold coin (appropriately called the Looney buck)
I would NEVER use them at a store. I’ve worked in retail where you have to account for the quantity of each currency at the end of the night. What a pain in the ass for the store accountant who had to separate them out and go to the bank to make a conversion to get the registers to balance with an equal amount of bills.
Any coins have become a hassle at the airport.
They’re heavy.
The artwork is ugly.
I wouldn’t want to carry Bill Clinton in my pocket. Or anywhere near me, thanks. The thought makes me cringe!

It would be better if the government could pay TEACHERS what they’re worth instead of sports celebrities. THAT would be a wiser use of money.

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avatar Eric

I think it is the banks that cause the failure of the dollar coins. Try to get some. You can’t unless you order them directly from the mint at a substantial markup. I believe the banks dont want or cant deal with them so they dont get them and it dies a quick death.

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avatar Robert Wayne

You’re absolutely right Eric. Everytime I cash a check, I always ask the teller at my local bank if they have any dollar or half dollar coins. Most of the time they don’t have any half dollar coins and sometimes they’ll have a few of the dollar coins, usually less than ten of them. How can the govt. expect the populace to use these coins if the banks refuse to put them into circulation?

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avatar TJLeeland

Teachers already get paid what they’re worth; more really since most of my K-12 teachers were completely worthless.

I really like $1 coins. I used to get $20 a week when I deposited my paycheck; they’re great for tolls and driving-releated expenses. The problem is that the only place I could ever get them was at the bank, and even that slowly dried up.

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avatar Jiri

Some thoughts:

If the Mint REALLY wants the dollar coint to be popular, stop wasting money on the dollar bill.

Also: For two thousand years the accepted standard for portraiture on coins has been the profile view. Why is the Mint is dead set on suddenly producing coins featuring full facial portraits? There’s a word for a coin like that: UGLY.

Finally: At least the Treasury has FINALLY, I realized that Americans like having portraits of PRESIDENTS and FOUNDING FATHERS on their coins, as opposed of women simply for the sake of having a woman on the coin. If heaven help us Hillary is the next President, I’ll bite the bullet and accept the fact taht eventually she’ll be featured on a coin. But let’s hope it’s a pretty one, featuring a classical profile portrayel.

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avatar Jiri

Edit:

“At least the Treasury has FINALLY realized that Americans…”

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avatar Funny Money

When will the U.S. Mint produce a coin that has a value of one dollar, instead of 6 cents? The 5 cent Jefferson nickel has more value then the new dollar.
Do you trust a coin that no longer has “In God We Trust” removed?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,480 (Platinum)

The “In God We Trust” inscription is on the edge of the new dollar coin… but I don’t see how that has any bearing on “trust” of the coin’s value itself.

The fact that it costs more for the Mint to produce coins than the face value of the coins is a cash flow problem that the Mint has to work out.

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avatar Lon Willis

I remember back in the late seventies when they designed the susan be anthony dollar it was the same controversy about the vending machines. They took the previous coin (large) ike dollar and they did extensive testing of vending machines and agreed the new coin would be a benefit.

However I remember the general public did not like the coin they reported the coin looked liek a quarter and it was ugly.

My point:

The susan b anthony dollar and sacagawea dollar and all the presidential dollars are the exact weight and will work in the previous machines and new machines.

I frequently go to machines to obtain change in dollar coins. I have found 30 or more machines that will give you change in dollar coins

Thank You

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avatar Lorenzo

I actually love the idea of dollar coins. I think the US should get rid of the paper dollar and have the dollar coin in circulation as replacement for the dollar bill. The dollar bills are made so they do not last long considering that they are the lowest denominations out there. The 50 and 100 dollar bills last up to 10 years because they are made to last that long. The dollar bill isn’t, so in a way the Federal Reserve is wasting their own money by making the dollar bill only last a few years. If they so much want the dollar to last longer and save money, then they should make it last longer or just totally drop the bill and move on to making the dollar coins. I think the coins are really cool anyhow.

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avatar Robert

I agree with Eric. As long as the banks refuse to carry the dollar coins, whether Anthonys, Sacawejas or Presidential, these coins will die a quick death. I try to use these coins as a matter of fact, but every time I cash my check the tellers where I bank at rarely have any dollar or half dollar coins for that matter. I’ve even tried going to other branches and other banks and it’s the same story. How can people use these coins if we can’t even get them?

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avatar James Anthony

I want Gold Dollar coin in to Bank

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avatar Bella

I’ve heard that, “In God we trust” has been removed. First of all if you have eyes then you know it hasn’t. And why would it be a big deal anyway? I am a Christian, and I like being a Christian alot, but putting in God we trust is sort of against why the US started. To start a country with FREE RELIGION. Putting that is like saying that everybody believes in God. And like saying that some people don’t believe in multiple Gods. I don’t think any sort of religious thing should be one coins or any money. Maybe if this was a one-religion country. But it’s the United States of America! Come on people!

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avatar Robert Wayne

You sound like another one of those atheists who is constantly bashing Christians and Christianity, but never says a word about muslims or Jews. This country is still predominantly Christian, although it has certainly lost its way in the last half century or so. Keep “In God We Trust” on currency and some coinage.

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