Monday, November 20, 2006

How about a Bartlet coin?

It looks like the US Mint is going to try something again that didn't work the first two times, because they never did it right: dollar coins. The reason the Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea dollars never took off wasn't inherent in the coins, but in one simple fact: the Mint left the dollar bill in production. Get rid of the bill, replace it with a coin, and voila: acceptance of the dollar coin. Duh!

(And for those who are going to complain about the weight of their pockets, come on! Other than servers in restaurants, who walks around with large amounts of singles? I rarely have more than five or six on me at any given time, mostly because I gain them in the course of a few transactions for coffee and such -- and I spend those fairly quickly. And if we go the Canadian route and have a two-dollar coin as well, that would ease the coin burden too. I just don't understand the affection for the dollar bill, especially when a coin makes far more sense.)

Anyhow, apparently the new dollar coins will rotate through their images, using the Presidents at a clip of four Presidents per year, until we get to the living ones, because a President has to have been dead at least two years before he or she can be on a coin. So it's unlikely we'll see the Clinton or GWB dollars when we'd expect. And another quirk in the coinage law states that a President who serves more than one term, but non-consecutively, gets a coin for each term. So we'll have two different Grover Cleveland dollars! Weird, eh?

Here's a MeFi thread on this item, which contains, as do most MeFi threads, some info and some snark. This line made me laugh out loud:

Envision, for a moment, the religious fervor with which Republicans will greet the Reagan coin. I susect we'll never actually see one in circulation. Unless, of course, they trickle down from somewhere . . .

Heh. Indeed.

1 comment:

Belladonna said...

Personally, I think different sorts of coins are cool. Egypt has gone almost entirely to paper money and I had to really scramble to find ANY sort of coin there I could bring home. They even have paper money for the equivalent of 20 cents!

I've got coins from my various trips to Costa Rica, Fiji, etc and now can add Egypt to the jar. I'm not a serious collector but it's fun to jangle them in the bottle and remember hikes and hobbles around various places in the world.

I think dollar coins here would be a lot more popular if they would make them clearly distinguishable from a quarter. How about one of those cool kind with the hole in the middle like they have in Asia?