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New US Dollar Coins Hit the Market

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New US Dollar Coin

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.

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"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.

(AP) This is an undated image released by the United States Mint of the reverse side of the $1 dollar...

Full Image

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.

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I think it is great to honor George Washington and the rest of our country's Presidents, but I really do not understand why the mint is trying to get us to use a dollar coin again. Who wants to carry around a bunch of heavy dollar coins when lightweight paper can be used instead? Heck, I even trade in my singles and five dollar bills all the time so that I carry nothing less than a $10 bill. The dollar coin failed to catch on each time this was tried, so why would they think it might work now?

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I think it is great to honor George Washington and the rest of our country's Presidents, but I really do not understand why the mint is trying to get us to use a dollar coin again. Who wants to carry around a bunch of heavy dollar coins when lightweight paper can be used instead? Heck, I even trade in my singles and five dollar bills all the time so that I carry nothing less than a $10 bill. The dollar coin failed to catch on each time this was tried, so why would they think it might work now?

Beats me. Especially since they're keeping the paper dollar. No machine will take the coin, so what is the advantage?

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My understanding is that mass transit systems in the big cities take and dispense dollar coins--the Susan B. Anthonys, Sacajaweas, and presumably these as well. Also post office stamp machines give them out in change.

The SBA dollar was minted in 1979-81 then again in 1999 as existing stocks had finally run out and the legislation providing for the Sac dollar specificed it could not be minted until 2000.

The effort to push a dollar coin seems in part at least to be due to a misguided effort to have the US be like all those progressive countries in Europe where the smallest bills are for denominations roughly equivalent to 5 or 10 dollars. Since we didn't change and they did, we must somehow be "behind". Another way to be a second-hander!

Another aspect of it is that coins are more expensive to produce but last longer--this is sometimes billed as a way for the federal government to save money.

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The dollar coin failed to catch on each time this was tried, so why would they think it might work now?

I suspect that it's cheaper to create worthless metal blanks than worthless paper with fancy printing...

Also, I think it adds to the ability of the government to create fake money when the fake money is pulled out of circulation and put into coin collections more or less permanently. It probably tweaks some horribly complex calculation used by the Fed to determine inflation, etc. Somewhat analogous to paper stamps: if the post office sells a stamp that's put permanently into a collection, they collect money without having to deliver a service, which makes them more "profitable".

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I think it is great to honor George Washington and the rest of our country's Presidents, but I really do not understand why the mint is trying to get us to use a dollar coin again. Who wants to carry around a bunch of heavy dollar coins when lightweight paper can be used instead? Heck, I even trade in my singles and five dollar bills all the time so that I carry nothing less than a $10 bill. The dollar coin failed to catch on each time this was tried, so why would they think it might work now?

Here's a note that will make your wallet very light.

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The only problem with that note is it was used only for inter-bank transfers. Never fear though because the $10,000 note was issued to the public.

No note larger than $100 has been issued since the 1960s.

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I just saw a photo of the new coin. I'm dismayed by the portrait of Washington - he is clearly either scowling or sneering outwards from the coin. It is not a dignified portrait. I did a search and interestingly, the original artists' sketch and the final struck coin are quite different, as the web page commentary also notes.

Original sketch: http://coins.about.com/od/uscoins/ig/Presi...-Washington.htm

Final coin:

http://coins.about.com/od/uscoins/ig/Presi...tial-Dollar.htm

This is true of the other coins as well:

http://coins.about.com/od/uscoins/ig/Presi...ogram/index.htm

The original Jefferson sketch is dignified but the coin looks awful - and for James Madison, his face is outright distorted.

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I like coins, but I find this one rather ugly. The US Mint makes very large profit selling coins to collectors. I don't have numbers, but coin collecting is one of the oldest, most established, and most widely pursued hobby in the US. Whether or not the coin is adopted, the Mint will sell millions of those coins, and tens of thousands or millions of the collector grade (uncirculated & proof). They have no incentive to produce compelling designs, and in fact their designs are selected specifically to offend the fewest number of people possible.

The study of coin designs is pretty revealing of the current state of the Arts, and / or of the importance given now to consensus and political correctness. Many modern issues are much uglier than older design. The designs are produced by committee with predictable results. It is interesting to compare that with the way coin designs were done in the past. Two of the most celebrated US coins among collectors were designed by St Gaudens, commissioned specifically by Teddy Roosevelt to make the new gold Eagle ($10) and Double Eagle ($20). The results were:

1908d_eagle_nm_obv.jpg1908d_eagle_nm_rev.jpg

and

Double_Eagle_1912_Obv_Trompeter.jpgDouble_Eagle_1912_Rev_Trompeter.jpg

Note that the original Double Eagle did not have the "In God We Trust" motto. Congress would have none of this and passed a law making that a requirement (the design was also modified to increase the size of the Capitol to the right of Lady Liberty's feet)...

Note also the figure of the eagle on the reverse of those coins. As you would expect and hope, the animal has a proud & vigilant attitude. Compare to that the current design of the standard US gold coin:

gold-bullion-eagle.jpeg

There, you see the eagle bringing to mate and chicks an olive branch. Not quite the martial attitude of times past, but much more consensual, and better fitted to an establishment (if not a population) more preoccupied with providing entitlements than winning the war on terror...

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gold-bullion-eagle.jpeg

There, you see the eagle bringing to mate and chicks an olive branch. Not quite the martial attitude of times past, but much more consensual, and better fitted to an establishment (if not a population) more preoccupied with providing entitlements than winning the war on terror...

Or you could look at it as the eagles doing something productive (building a nest, feeding their family)....

But no doubt you are right about the psychology of the establishment you refer to.

My personal favorite US coin design is the Walking Liberty half dollar--mainly because of the eagle on the reverse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_Liberty_Half_Dollar

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Beats me. Especially since they're keeping the paper dollar. No machine will take the coin, so what is the advantage?

Actually the Coca-Cola machines in our Physics department do.

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After spending some time in Canada, I'm quite glad that one-dollar coins will be in circulation.

Canada's Loonies and "Toonies" (one and two dollar coins) really are great, because you can carry around a bunch of individual dollars more easily than if those dollars were individual bills. I think a 1-dollar bill is, in general, clumsy and useless.

Now the Government needs to phase out pennies, nickels, and dimes.

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My understanding is that mass transit systems in the big cities take and dispense dollar coins--the Susan B. Anthonys, Sacajaweas, and presumably these as well. Also post office stamp machines give them out in change.

The ones here don't (at least I don't think they do; I've never gotten $1 coins from them), and it's been almost 2 years, but if I remember correctly, the ones in DC didn't either. Most people I see (myself included) don't even fuss with cash; we just use plastic.

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Picked up three of these today at a local bank for myself and my boys. I'm not particularly pleased with the design, but it's still always nice to see a new coin. I'm not much of a collector, but I dabble.

At least the ones I got were all nice and shiny, if not uncirc quality or better.

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