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Would You Use Dollar Coins if It Saved the Government $5.6 Billion?

Illustration for article titled Would You Use Dollar Coins if It Saved the Government $5.6 Billion?

The recently-assembled super-committee tasked with saving the US from financial disaster by year's end wants to trade dollar bills for dollar...coins? Wait, don't we already have some of those that nobody uses?


This controversial plan has been floated before but has met with a tepid response from most Americans and strong lobbying efforts from both paper and mining industries (and the states in which those industries reside). However, a recent study by the Government Accountability Office found that the coin's longer lifetime—4.2 years vs. 22 months for bills—would translate into a $5.6 billion savings over the course of 30 years.

But what about the billions of dollars worth of Sacajawea coins the Mint made? Or the ones created through the 2005 Presidential $1 Coin Act? They're still sitting in storage at the Mint because nobody uses them.


So why do Americans dislike the dollar coin? I can understand that both workers and supporters of the US Stripping Industry being against it for logistical reasons, but otherwise is it the shape, the heft, what?

[USA Today via ABC News - Top image courtesy of the AP]

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Arggh! there goes a...snake a snake!

That's interesting, I figured the cotton/ink sheets that make up paper currency would be much cheaper than the metal used to make a coin. 22 months vs. 4.2 years is really only a difference in cost of about 2x.

Also, changing to coin currency may save the government money, but think of all the money that would have to be spent to retrofit vending machines etc. to accept dollar coins.

We could also take it a step further and try to reduce the volumes of currency we print and/or stamp and force a move to electronic payments rendering physical currency obsolete. That would save even more money.