Why the New Dollar Coin Will NEVER Work.

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ParisLemon wrote a story titled “How the New Dollar Coin COULD Work.” As you may not know, the US Mint is going to release a new dollar coin to the public. Like ParisLemon says, this one will be newer, snazzier, and will include all new dead presidents. Sadly, ParisLemon is right on the rationale, but wrong on the result. Here is a corrected analysis.

Why the dollar coin is screwed:

“First, they are the exact same size and weight (and made of the same material) as the Sacagawea dollar coin of a few years back.” The same obnoxious, bigger, heavier than a quarter but not so big that you can’t easily confuse them with a quarter size that was unsuccessful the last time they tried to peddle it.

“Second, by taking a page from the successful series of State quarters and releasing the coins in sets of 4, each of which are different, they are creating a demand among collectors and an interest among the general public each time a new one comes out.” Not exactly. Quarters were already popular and heavily used before they came up with the idea to have individual quarters for each state. Not so with the dollar coin, a universally shunned coin.

“Now, these two thing certainly don’t guarantee success or acceptance of the coin, after all coins are pretty annoying to carry around in large quantities…” You got that right.

“They could work with the soda manufacturers to set the price of a vending machine pop to $1. Currently it seems like vending machine drinks range anywhere in price from 50 cents to $1.50…why not split the difference and make them all $1? Imagine how simple it would be if you didn’t need to fumble around in your pocket for change to buy a pop in the machine, or better still, if you didn’t have to keep feeding those awful dollar-bill readers that just won’t accept your crumpled paper money. All you would need to do is insert your dollar coin and out comes the drink.” Thanks jerk. There’s nothing like knowing that the dollar coin is responsible for my office soda machine going from $.50 to $1.00 to encourage me to use more dollar coins! Oh, and I don’t see any problems with the government mandating the price of consumer goods!

“Though the Sacagawea coin has been out for a few years, I’ve only seen a few vending machines that will take them.” Ok. Guess what? The increased cost of compliance just went up. Guess who is going to pay for it? (Hint: it’s not the vendors).

Dollar coins are infuriating. Like the penny, they are totally useless. When I was a kid, I noticed that my dad had a big drawer full of change. Why? Because any change he would get that day would go into that drawer, never to be used again. That was great for me when I was 10, but now I do the same exact thing he does. Coins are for kids, and they will never be anything more.

We have dollar bills, they work. Dollar coins are a perfect example of the government trying to fix something that isn’t broke. Or we have some seriously numismatically-obsessed (that’s coin geeks to you) people working in government. The dollar coin is going to cost YOU money, both at the federal government level and every time a vendor is forced to comply in accepting them. Printing money isn’t free, bub. Moreover, coins, being subject to prevailing metals prices, often cost more than originally planned. I’m sure you’ve heard that with prevailing copper and zinc prices, many pennies are worth more melted down into copper than they are in their present form.

2 Responses to “Why the New Dollar Coin Will NEVER Work.”


  • Very true. We don’t need a new version of something that wasn’t popular to begin with; especially since the changes are nothing but cosmetic.

    I remember paying $3.00 for parking to one of those automatic machines. I fed it a $20.00 bill, and got 17 Sacagawea dollars back. Where did they end up? Nope, not in my wallet. Nope, not in my pocket.

    Most of them ended up inbetween the seat of my car and the divider in front, never to be seen again, sucked up by the vaccum cleaner on some cleaning expedition or other. I could deal with losing a few pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters, but it was quite frustrating to see dollars small enough to fall in spaces that I wasn’t going to be able to get my hand into to retrieve them.

    But maybe that’s a good thing — the very clumsiness of the coins encourages their own destruction.

  • honestly, another problem with these coins;

    do you still get sacagawea coins? noooo… want to know why? frienzied collectors (mostly amatuers) quickly scoop them up and hoard them. it’s like it’s own currency.

    “here, I’ll trade you three sacagawea’s for your british pound”

    then people like that hoard them and think they will be worth alot someday… I’ll say, probably the most “rarest” coin will be a normal dated coin that they made few of and people didnt hoard them like starving crazed squirrels.

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