Do you shake your head in disbelief or give them kudos for continuing to try?

Since the Silver Dollar, last minted in 1935, the US Mint honored Eisenhower from 1971 to 1978, Susan B. Anthony from 1979 to 1999, and Sacagawea from 2000 onward with their likenesses on dollar coins.

The large Eisenhower dollar coins weighed between 22 and 32 grams depending on their metal composition with a diameter of more than 38 millimeters. In other words, just a few of the Eisenhower dollars became both bulky and heavy in pants’ pockets or in womens’ purses.

With the Susan B. Anthony coins, the size (more than 10 millimeters in diameter smaller) and weight (just over 8 grams) made the dollar coins easier to handle and better for pockets and purses. Except, the Susan B. Anthonys could be easily confused with quarters even though the dollar coins were slightly heavier and slightly larger than the quarter coins.

Next, the Sacagawea coins minted with a manganese brass outer coating in a golden color made them visually discernable from other coins.  

But, people still do not want to carry dollar coins. In fact, many people see the dollar coins so infrequently, they think the golden Sacagawea dollars are either fake or foreign.

But, lack of acceptance does not deter the US Mint.

In 2007, the US Mint began the Presidential Dollar coin programs with coins memorializing the first four presidents. They continue the program releasing four more presidential coins each year in the order they served in office.

In addition to the Presidential coins, the reverse of the Sacagawea dollar changed in 2009 to recognize Native American contributions. The Mint plans to release a new reverse for the Native American dollar coins at least until 2016.

But, how many times do you receive dollar coins in change? Probably rarely….and probably businesses just do not want to deal with them.

However, the US Mint began a purchase program for their Presidential dollar coins that included free shipping to disperse the coins and get them into circulation.

A minor problem occurred. People used their credit cards to buy the dollar coins to increase their purchase points or airline miles with their credit card. When they received the coins, they promptly deposited them into their banks.

Of course the US Mint was not happy.

Here’s an interesting blog commentary on the purchase of the dollar coins by Dave Harper of Numismatic News: Funny or Evidence of Complete Dollar Coin Failure?

For the Wall Street Journal article, take a look here:  Miles for Nothing: How the Government Helped Frequent Fliers Make a Mint

Do you see any correlation between the dollar coins and American car makers? Could it be that neither the US Mint nor the American car manufacturers are making products we want to use?

On the other hand, there’s an adage heard first from parents and grandparents, “If you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Should the US Mint receive boos and hisses or kudos for trying – again and again and again…

Just think about it.

2 thoughts on “Do you shake your head in disbelief or give them kudos for continuing to try?”

  1. The very best way to get Americans to use the dollar coins is to discontinue making the dollar bill. I use them whenever I can, but have never received one as change.

  2. True, but I for one hope they do not discontinue the dollar bill.

    For example, I recently made a purchase with a $20 bill. The cashier did not have any $5 or $10 bills for change, instead I received sixteen $1 bills in addition to pennies, nickels and quarters. All of those coins along with sixteen dollar coins would have been bulky to put into a pocket.

    On the other hand, for people who save their coinage as a pseudo-savings vehicle, dollar coins could make their “savings jar” increase in value quicker.

    Plus, dollar bills do not have the life span of a coin. Metal coinage holds up better to the handling in circulation than does the cotton/linen blend of our currency.

    But what about all of the vending machines set up for the dollar bill? How difficult would it be to retrofit them for dollar coins?

    Back to the bulk and weight of several dollar coins…maybe that could end the predilection for droopy pants. There’s a positive thought. Sixteen dollar coins could pull the pants off of these kids who like to wear them half off anyway.

    The pros and cons for dollar coins versus dollar bills can become a lengthy list.

    But, back to your point, I agree, the fastest way to circulate dollar coins is to remove the dollar bill.

Comments are closed.