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

(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.

In this Jan. 24, 2007 file photo provided by the US Mint, new Presidential $1 coins are displayed in Chicago.
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)
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