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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Random: New $1 Coin 
15th-Feb-2007 12:12 pm
Self-Portrait 2004
Huh. I didn't realize that there were plans for a new $1 coin. I've always supported the idea, after taking a shine to the ease of having a £1 coin in my pocket in Ireland and the U.K.. I had hopes for the Sacagawea dollar when it was issued in 2000, but everyone immediately began hoarding them, apparently, thinking the first ones would be valuable someday, or that they just looked really cool, and it wasn't until I was leaving South Bend in July or August 2002 that one finally came to me just through the process of circulation. (At the famed Erasmus Bookstore, in fact. I miss you, Erasmus Bookstore. But not as much as I miss the LaSalle Bookstore. Geek-sigh.)

I think the new "stunt" of switching designs every three months, like with the fun we've had with the "state" quarter-dollars, may help make this one work, provided we can get past the hoarding business again. Or will America be less interested in Millard Fillmore than it has been in North Dakota? Or is that like comparing two office parties that no one really wants to go to? (Oop! Sorry, North Dakota: I couldn't resist. I really love you. And maybe you, too, Millard.)

U.S. Mint Rolls Out New Dollar Coin
Feb 15, 9:44 AM (ET)


NEW YORK (AP) - The newest $1 coin, bearing the likeness of George Washington, was rolled out Thursday, with the U.S. Mint hoping Americans will want to buy George.

Commuters bustled past the unveiling at a Grand Central Terminal event replete with marching music and a George Washington re-enactor. Crowds of collectors and the curious lined up in the station's cavernous, chandelier-adorned Vanderbilt Hall to exchange their paper Georges for metallic ones.

"I think it's cool because we get to see a coin with the first president on it," said 7-year-old Jack Garbus, an avid coin collector and second-grader from Valhalla, N.Y., who was taking advantage of a school snow delay to be at the event.

The new coin is going into circulation around the country just in time for next week's celebration of the first president's birthday.

"This is quite interesting because currency was not standardized before the Constitution," said the white-pony-tailed re-enactor at Grand Central, who insisted on identifying himself only as George Washington and wore a black 18th-century business suit with long coat, short pants and black stockings.

"George" - or should that be "Mister President"? - wondered aloud whether he should be pictured on money at all, since that was a practice of the king of England.

The Mint is making sure the coins, which are golden in color and slightly larger and thicker than a quarter, will be widely available.

The Federal Reserve, the Mint's distribution agent, has placed orders for 300 million of the Washington coins. Many have already been delivered to commercial banks under orders not to begin circulating them until Thursday.

The design on the coin will change every three months, featuring a new president in the order in which they served. In that way, the Mint hopes to attract a following similar to the more than 125 million collectors who are participating in the 50-state quarter program.

Coin experts, however, questioned whether the rotating designs will be enough to allow the new presidential $1 coin to succeed where the Susan B. Anthony dollar, introduced in 1979, and the Sacagawea dollar, introduced in 2000, failed.

"I don't know of any country that has successfully introduced the equivalent of a dollar coin without getting rid of the corresponding paper unit," said Douglas Mudd, author of a new book on the history of money, "All the Money in the World."

Mint Director Edmund C. Moy said Congress made the decision to keep the dollar bill as part of new dollar coin legislation in 2005.

After Washington, the presidents honored this year will be John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The program is scheduled to run into 2016. A president must have been dead at least two years to appear on a coin.


AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed to this report.


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15th-Feb-2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
Personally, I miss Susan B. Anthony. I mean, I heart the Presidents, but...
15th-Feb-2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
But she was so easy to confuse with quarters...
15th-Feb-2007 06:56 pm (UTC)
Well, I meant the idea rather than the execution -- after all, we didn't toss out Jefferson when the nickel was redesigned...
15th-Feb-2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
I used to get stacks of the Sacajawea coins as tips. They always made me happy.
15th-Feb-2007 07:20 pm (UTC)
oh, also! I think most stamp machines give you back your change in sacawageae. So if you buy a few stamps with a twenty, you get many precious gold coins in return.
16th-Feb-2007 12:11 am (UTC)
The only way to do this is to do what the UK did. They stopped printing singles, and only minted coins. Period.

16th-Feb-2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
Not entirely true - Scottish banks continued printing pound notes for ages. There are still some around.
16th-Feb-2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
LOL yeah and I've noticed stores in England really love accepting Scottish notes. It may be illegal to turn them down, but I did have a couple of places turn them down anyway. I'm sure they'd just love it if you gave them a one pound note.

16th-Feb-2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
All those $1 notes certainly annoyed me in America - they're so impractical, and you have to bring out wads of notes and count through them all the time - I didn't like that.

Scottish banks still issue £1 notes, but there aren't many around these days. In fact, I haven't seen one for ages - maybe they stopped making them. £2 coins are very nice.
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