Kiss $1 Coins Goodbye
US Mint will stop attempting to circulate unpopular coins
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2011 10:51 AM CST
In this Jan. 24, 2007 file photo provided by the US Mint, new Presidential $1 coins are displayed in Chicago.   (AP Photo/United States Mint, Brian Kersey, File)

(Newser) – The US government has caught on, once again, to the fact that nobody really likes $1 coins, and it will cut production of the latest version. The coins, bearing the likenesses of dead presidents, were mandated by Congress in 2005 and began production in 2007. But government vaults have built up 1.4 billion of the coins, a number that was set to reach 2 billion by the time the US Mint got to the last president in 2016. Instead, the Mint got through 20 presidents—and when the next one, Chester A. Arthur, is produced, the Mint will only make enough coins to satisfy the demands of collectors.

"Nobody wants them," Joe Biden said yesterday at a meeting about cutting government waste. "And as it will shock you all, the call for Chester A. Arthur coins is not there." Cutting production will save taxpayers $50 million per year. "These coins are a textbook case of wasteful spending—something Americans just don't want or need," said Sen. David Vitter. The Wall Street Journal notes that the Mint had similarly bad luck with the Susan B. Anthony dollar, the Sacagawea Golden Dollar, and the Native American $1 Coin.

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Yemeless_Urbanite
Dec 30, 2011 8:52 PM CST
Can someone explain to me the issue of coins bulking up your wallet? I'm a guy and I've never carried any coins in my wallet; they're simply worth too little. I've never known any other male who did this. By contrast, women tend to have larger wallets that do have coin compartments, and which they tend to carry in a handbag. Since you're not carrying that in a pocket, I wouldn't think a few more coins would be an issue. Men and women both, please explain how or why coins in your wallet is a problem.
Yemeless_Urbanite
Dec 30, 2011 7:55 PM CST
Since we won't be using the 1.4B dollar coins sitting the Fed's vaults, they'll have to issue notes for them and in the case of singles reprint them about every three years. Since we can't live without dollar bills, the press keeps telling us, assume that this means 1.4B $1 bills for those 1.4B coins. This is more than reasonable since in 2009 and 2010 the BEP printed in excess of 3.5B $1 bills. I ran the numbers with the following assumption. (1) each dollar bill costs five cents to replace. (2) each dollar bill needs to be replaced every three years. (3) 2% inflation over 30 years, reckoned at 6% every three years factored into ongoing production cost Using the geometric progression formula this works out to $.05 (1 - 1.06^11)/ (1 - 1.06), giving us .05(1.9)/.06=31.6 = $1.58--the cost over thirty years to maintain each $1 in circulation. Multiplying this result by 1.4B gives us a total of $2.2 billion in estimated printing costs over 30 years. Now tell me what stupid government program is wasting the people's tax dollars? Or we could just use the damn coins and incur none of that expense.
lindsay1988
Dec 26, 2011 11:33 AM CST
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