The sad reality that about a billion dollars in dollar coins  currently sits in Federal Reserve vaults has been circulating the last week or so, a staggering sum considering we keep producing them because of a Congressional mandate. The idea behind dollar coins is simple – a coin lasts longer than a bill. We’re supposed to save money by using coins… except we didn’t do away with the dollar bill. All things being equal, people are going to prefer a lighter, foldable bill to a heavier coin. A dollar bill fits in my wallet, a coin will not. If a dollar bill exists, I won’t be using the coin. It seems like simple logic.
How often did you see the larger dollar coin with President Eisenhower? We didn’t use that, why the heck would we use one with other presidents on it?
What makes it more comedic is the sad fact that Congress thought popularity would increase if we made a lot of these coins with different presidents on it, thinking it would be as popular as the program with the quarters. Those were popular because you could collect them. There was a set number (50) and collecting them all cost you exactly $12.50. No one is collecting these coins at a dollar a pop.
I use dollar coins in very rare instances – those cases where we need a small amount of cash. We use it whenever we go to our local bagel place, when we go to the farmer’s market and when I lose bets on the golf course (I lose a lot of them but we usually don’t collect).
Do you use dollar coins? What would get you to use them?
(Photo: joshandrews )