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Bill and Debt’s Excellent Adventure: In Coins We Trust

Photo Credit: calistan

Are you someone concerned with debt? How about our nation’s debt? Are you eager to see the government spend less? Well, you may be able to help the cause at home for less government spending if you’re a fan of having jingling pockets of $1 coins.

For the past 10 years the government has been trying to get $1 coins into our nation’s circulation. Trying being the operative word. $1 coins first made their break on the scene in 2000 when the government launched the Sacagawea coin; spending $67 million on advertising promoting the coins. Unfortunately, the entire movement was a flop and never really caught on – Source.

Enter stage left in 2010, the “Coalition for the $1 Coin” urging the government to stop printing $1 bills and solely rely on $1 coins. Why you say? It’s been estimated by the Government Accountability Office the government could save over $500 million per year by cutting $1 bills out of the picture and only making the coins.

While vending machine and metal industries have been pushing for this movement since the coin was first created, creating more business for them, more citizens are joining the Coalition now to try and help cut government spending –Source.

So, be on the look out for $1 coins. In 2007 the U.S. Mint revealed it’s new presidential dollar coins, featuring four coins and four presidents each year in chronological order. Not to fret, Sacagawea’s are still in existence along with five new Native American $1 coins a year. As per the Native American $1 Coin Act, the government must produce 20 percent of all $1 coins as Native American coins.

For all you avid numismatics out there, that’s nine new $1 coins per year. Saving over $500 million! And for all of you eco-friendly readers out there, remember, coins are 100% recyclable and last roughly 28 years longer than $1 bills.

Bellow is a flyer put out by PMX Copper Materials detailing facts and benefits of the coins.


Personally, as someone who once lived in England I’m used to the smallest note being £5 and quite well adjusted to the £1 and £2 coin. Do I think Americans will catch on to the craze of $1 coins? Probably not. Convenience is something that’s valued highly in this country, probably higher than the urge to help the government spend less and lower national debt. There is little convenience to carrying around coins as opposed to cash. It’s not terrible, but I can only imagine the uproar if American currency changed. I will say though that I can see professions relying on tips heavily benefiting by the $1 coin. I found on small transactions, like a cup of coffee or a pastry, I would be more likely to put a £1 coin in the U.K. into the tip jar than I was a $1 bill in the U.S.

In conclusion, I wouldn’t rush out for a fancy new coin purse just yet. We’ll see how this plays out. However, it is a very interesting concept I must say.

About the author

Amanda Miller


  • The dimes quarters and dollars have the same mathematical relationship as $5, $20, and $50 dollar bills. Change can be made by counting to FOUR.

    Dollar coins accumulate for the same reason that dollar BILLS and pennies accumulate. The 5/20/50 denominations “want” a $2 bill and a 50 cent coin in order to make efficient change. The dime/quarter/dollar system wants a $2.50 and a $25 denomination to make efficient change.

    From the top down and from the bottom up, it is as though we are mixing decimal and binary, miles and kilometers. The two money “counting” systems tend to crowd out each other’s denominations.

    The dollar and quarter tend to drive the $2 and fifty cent piece out of circulation – creating a gap where a lot of little tokens ($1s0 accumulate.

    The secret to a popular dollar coin, is a $2.50 and a $25. denomination. Pump $25. dollar bills into the system via ATMs and you will drive $20s out of circulation, and increase demand for $10s and a new $2.50 coin as change. the $2.50 coin and the $10 bill will drive the 45 out of circulation and clean this up this foolish inconsistency (a legacy from the days of silver dollars and gold Eagles ($10).

    See this illustration:

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