2007 Presidential $1 Dollar Coins to Debut in Houston

It’s actually a lit bit embarrassing. It sounds like the new 2007 Presidential $1 Dollar Coins are going to debut in Houston … with a George Washington impersonator. Yes, you read that right.

They are really trying to play up the educational angle on these new coins, and the impersonator is part of that.

More coverage here in the Houston Chronicle.

Some quotes from the article:

Gloria Eskridge, the mint’s associate director for sales and marketing, said millions of the coins, which will be the same size and gold color of the Sacagawea dollars now in circulation, will be produced in mints in Philadelphia and Denver. Additional coins honoring presidents, in order of their incumbency, will be issued quarterly.

Added Eskridge, “This is about giving Americans a choice. There are times when a dollar coin is easier to use. Instead of carrying around a pocketful of quarters for public transportation, for instance, it’s more convenient to use the dollar coin.”

I wonder how you end up in an executive role at the US Mint… In any case, Eskridge is missing the point here. The dollar coin will not work in the United States until they get rid of the one dollar bill. Period. They did it in Canada when they replaced the $1 bill with $1 & $2 coins recently.

You need the two-dollar coin to minimize the number of coins you get paying for a cheap item (like a candy bar) with a larger bill.

The Washington dollar will be the first such coin introduced since the debut of the Sacagawea dollar in January 2000. That coin, honoring the Shoshone woman who served as guide to Lewis and Clark, featured a gold tint to help differentiate it from the similarly sized U.S. quarter. More than a billion of the coins have been issued, the mint reports.

They talk like having a new dollar coin program launch only seven years after the last one failed is a good thing. I think I am one of the extremely few people who likes the coins, although they tarnish way too easily. I still carry them in my car ashtray, for parking and tolls, on the rare occasions I need them.

Well, I hope the Presidential $1 Dollar Coin Program generates interest. They are cool coins, but I’m afraid if they don’t solve the basic problem of the one dollar bill, these are destined to be a trivia item in 10 years.

Maybe I’ll get lucky, and no one else will buy them. Then my sets will be that much more collectible.

Launch date is February 15th.

Previous articles on the program: