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:

7 thoughts on “2007 Presidential $1 Dollar Coins to Debut in Houston

  1. but the real question is WHY they would want to replace the $1 bill with a coin equivalent. The bill is lighter, easier to carry, and consistent with the majority of the rest of your money. Replacing it with a coin would be considerably less convenient than just giving up on the pipe dream of a mainstream $1 coin. Let production follow demand, not the other way around.

    Also, it would be interesting to analyze people’s spending habits if the bill were replaced with a coin. Currently, a lot of people just toss their coins in a jar every night and cash them out when it’s full. If we increase the coin value to include dollars, would this “savings of convenience” increase? Or would people start using two separate jars, one for the smaller coins that they save up for the long term, and one for $1 coins, which they trade in for bills every month?

    I’m all for $1 coins as collectibles. But I really don’t see how replacing a convenient currency with an inconvenient one could possibly be a good thing.

  2. The answer is simple – the $1 bill is very, very expensive.

    Bills actually only last 18 months before they are so tattered that they are removed from circulation. The operational costs of maintaining bills for small amounts are extremely high.

    Coins last for 30 years typically, and thus are far more efficient in terms of cost.

    The number of countries that have now replaced their $1 equivalents with coins (Europe, Canada, etc) is extremely large. As a guy, I carry a wallet, and so I have no love of coins. I probably would end up dumping my coins in my ashtray or piggy bank every day.

    But there is no evidence anywhere that moving from bills to coins affects spending rates, and the reason that they keep trying to introduce a dollar coin is because the savings are literally in the tens of millions per year.

    Just to show you how specious the “keep the one dollar bill” argument is, you can just replace “one dollar” with “25 cents”. Every argument to keep the one dollar bill should theoretically argue for a 25-cent bill, and yet no one seems to think that’s a good idea.

    People just get a little too locked into the status quo sometimes…

  3. I am thinking that the government is going to phase out the Dollar bill. At a cost of 500 Million dollars a year to maintain the dollar bill the new coins are much more economical. I really think a dollar coin would suck though.

  4. I used to think a dollar coin would suck, because obviously, like every man, I don’t have a good place for change, just bills.

    However, when I found out that Canada got rid of their $1 Bill by introducing a $1 AND a $2 coin, I realized it could work. Even in the worst case, you wouldn’t get many more coins than today. And if you phase out the penny, you could even end up with fewer coins.

    Seems inevitable, but then again, that likely means that politically it will take until 2040 to get it done.

  5. When I lived in England during the 1980’s the 1 pound note was replaced with a coin. The government made an announcement, some people grumbled for a while, and the switch was made. Personally, I preferred the coins as the pound notes were always so tattered from use. I guess I am one of the few Americans who make the trip to the bank and pick up $1 coins by the roll to use all the time. Let’s face facts, the paper dollars just don’t last long enough to justify the expense of continued printing and we are a progressive enough as a country to tell a $1 coin from a quarter.

  6. I think it’s a cool idea , they would work better in drink machines too . Sure they are heavier than paper money , but there’s a hell part to everything , even paper has a down side . I like it , let’s do it .

  7. Linda they are cool. I don’t have any reason for using them except I like to do so. They spend just like the paper dollar too. Constance, although I don’t make the trip every week I can say from what I’ve read online your not the only one doing the weekly bank trip.

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