Let's try this again: new $1 coin in 2007
by Tommy Jasmin

The U.S. Mint is taking its success with the Statehood Quarter program up a few notches, to the one-dollar level. Starting in 2007, the mint will begin releasing new one dollar coins, four per year, depicting U.S. Presidents in order. The design of the first coin is shown below.

Images © U.S. Mint

Dollar coins have not had much success in the past, at least as far as use in circulation goes. A lot of it is probably the same reason the two-dollar bill never caught on; people, and businesses in particular, don't like (pardon the pun) change.

Businesses complained there was no place in standard cash registers for two-dollar bills. Or half-dollars. Or dollar coins. If the government wants a dollar coin to succeed, they will have to make it the only option. That is, do away with the one-dollar bill entirely. Impossible to do, you say? Easier than you might think, actually. Consider this: the average life of a one-dollar bill in circulation is under a year and a half, while coins last 30 to 40 years. Also, many other countries have successfully gone this route, using coins for their single-denomination dollar equivalent. A bonus: it's estimated a switch would save the government around $500 million per year.

The idea of featuring every president will hit a snag eventually however, since only dead people can appear on U.S. coins. With George W. Bush slated to appear in 2017, this could be a problem.

Tommy Jasmin is subbing this month for David M. Albanese, CEO, Albanese Rare Coins, Inc.

David Albanese is a Nostomania coins advisor. Albanese Rare Coins can be reached at their outstanding web site.

Visit our Coin News Archive.