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$1 Billion That Nobody Wants

The U.S. Mint is manufacturing, and will continue to manufacture, one dollar coins that just pile up in the Federal Reserve because no one wants to use them. They've already stockpiled over a billion dollars in coins, and may reach two billion!
In 2005, Congress decided that a new series of dollar coins should be minted to engage the public. These coins would bear the likeness of every former president, starting with George Washington. There would be a new one every quarter. So, far, the Mint has produced coins through the 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant.

Members of Congress reasoned that a coin series that changed frequently and had educational appeal would make dollar coins more popular. The idea came from the successful program that put each of the 50 states on the backs of quarters.

The reserve also has plenty of Susan B Anthony and Sacagawea dollar coins. If the public does not want to use dollar coins, why are they being made? The answer is a bit complicated, and is explained in this article at NPR. -via Breakfast Links

Ironic that the bill that created this mess was sponsored by a member of the Republican party - you know, the party that's always complaining about wasteful government spending.
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I somehow always end up with dollar coins and I do try to use them, but it seems a lot of places won't take them, mostly because I think they don't know what they are or that they are legal currency. It's very frustrating so it os no wonder that no one wants them.
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I don't see why the US doesn't do away with the paper bills. Many other countries have removed the lowest bill denomination and replaced it with a coin. Canada and Australia are the first that come to mind.
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@Canuckle Head

Yeah, and we are finally getting polymer bills this year too. Just the 100 and 50 to start in August, but the rest in the next couple years.
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I really love the dollar coins, but you can't use them in vending machines at all ... which, honestly, is where I generally use coins. I also use them at the used book store. If you go to the train station and use a machine for a ticket, it gives you back dollar coins in change, so sometimes we end up with a lot of them.

I wish vending machines would use them more.
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It wouldn't be such a problem if they just stopped printing dollar bills. Bills wear out faster than coins. The bills will all be out of circulation in a few years, and people would have to use the coins.
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And yet, I keep hearing all these commercials for collectible tubes of dollar coins that tell me these are soooooooooo rare and I had better buy fifty RIGHT NOW!

False advertising suit anyone?
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In Britain, Europe, and Japan there are no notes for the dollar equivalent (1 Euro, 1 Pound, 100 Yen). In Japan the smallest bill is worth more than $10. I never have a problem there though, because their vending machines take everything; Their stores take all legal currency, etc. In America its likely the manager will call the police if you try to use a $2 bill or dollar coins. Ignorance and Idiocy here is astounding.
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Also in Canada we have $2 coins, called "Toonies" that work in most vending machines.

According to the Canadian Mint, Canada left the gold standard behind during the war of 1812. The gold-standard was the prefered monetary system, but financing for the war overran the nations coffers, so Canada switched over to a fractional-reserve system. To date, however, the reserve fraction required by banks is null and void.

All the more reason to put as much detail into the fiat currency as possible, something has to convince us it has worth, or it doesn't.
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I agree, just stop making $1 bills!

One of the arguments I've heard against the dollar coins is that they are to big and heavy. My solution: quarter sized bronze (color) coin maybe with a hole in it?

Also, using coin money in Japan was much more convienient then most Americans would ever think. Though, the vending machines taking just about anything helps. I especially miss carrying about 500Y (aprox $5) coins around.
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In Ecuador they use U.S. dollars (they phased out the sucre a couple years ago) and the one-dollar coins are EVERYWHERE. It's actually really rare to find a $1 bill.
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You can't make it rain at the strip club with coins! You might hurt someone, and they wouldn't stay in a stack under a g-string strap very well. What do you do in Canada? Tip $5 for a dance? That's expensive! I know you don't just put a loonie in her tip jar.
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I went to a strip club with friends one time. I put the $5 on my face and she picked it up... without her hands. Best $10 I've ever spent.
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Cash is easier to carry for me since it is lighter and I don't have to dig in the depths of my bag for my coin purse.

Have no problem using them though. On the street where I work we have those newer parking meters that take credit cards, quarters, and dollar coins. I just save my dollar coins for those.
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Why don't we want to fill our pockets and purses with metal coins? Duh, maybe because metal is HEAVY? I just cleaned out approximately $10 in coins, mostly quarters, from my purse because it was giving me a shoulder ache. And have you tried paying for anything using just coins lately? You can feel the impatience of the store clerk and the hostility of the patrons waiting in line behind you. I used to get and use dollar coins from the post office stamp machine, but they replaced it with a machine that only takes debit cards, so I haven't seen a dollar coin in years.
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I love the how the person in the article states if people would use them they would love them. Yea I like the I know whats best for people attitude.
We have dollar coins and dollar bills its a choice and the people have spoken!
I like dollar coins, BIG silver ones. They feel like they are worth something but I know bigger size means more cost.
My problem with these new coins is the relief is very poor. Badly designed. It looks and feels like a game token from Chuckie Cheeses. Even the newer nickles look "flat" if the coins had a greater artistry and relief I might use them more.
Another problem, ever been a cashier? I can count a stack of singles a LOT faster than a bunch of coins.
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Oh as for "just stop making dollar bills" I say " just stop making dollar coins!"
Look at all of the money saved if we had not of started this mess.
and this is a proven fact right in front of your eyes.
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