NumisMaster Logo
Sign In
Free Newsletter

Collector Info
In Print
Site Map

Abolish Presidential Dollar? Heck No.
July 28, 2011

Should the Presidential dollar program be abolished?

Some members of Congress are making headlines with this proposal.

I would rather ask should micromanaging of coin policy by Congress be abolished?

Like Claude Rains in Casablanca, these members of Congress are shocked, shocked that Americans will not use dollar coins.

The Federal Reserve knows this but feels the law compels it to order 75 million dollar coins of every design even if they are not needed in commerce. The backing up of a supply of over 1 billion coins is the result.

So government can be made fun of by National Public Radio.

Adding to the excess dollar coin supply is another mandate from Congress. Stipulated is that the Native American dollar with the Sacagawea obverse be minted in a quantity at least equal to 20 percent of the total dollar coins minted in a year.


That simply adds more unwanted dollar coins to the supply.

The previous congressional mandate was one-third.

I guess we could say we are going in the right direction with the lower mandate, but why is there a mandate at all?

The Congress should simply tell the Federal Reserve to do its job and order only the dollar coins that are needed in circulation.

Mintages would fall drastically. Perhaps there would be only enough of the later designs to supply collectors.

End of problem.

Congress simply can’t get over the old Western gun-slinger imperative: 

“When I say dance, you dance.”

That’s no way to run our coinage system.

Add to:   digg
With this blog: Email to friend   Print

Recent Comments
On July 29, 2011 Blake said
I'm in the coin business; why can't the mint 'get in bed' so to speak with the people who make vending machines?  People will never use metal dollars until cash registers have a till for them and machines take them.  Instead they make them by the millions, people hoard them thinking they are collectible, and the mint loses money.  Everyday customers come to me to sell Ikes, Susan B.'s, and presidential series dollars.  The mint does a fine job of engraving, and lousy job of educating the public.
On August 1, 2011 Brad said
The vending machines where I work accept the dollar coins, and I use them all the time.

The only dollar coins I will circulate now are those I can get at banks, however.  Now that the Mint has taken away the ability to buy the rolls through the "direct ship" program with a credit card, I would have to pay extra to get them.  The fee at my bank for the wire transfer option would cost me an entire roll of dollar coins.  The check option, while drastically cheaper, would cost me a stamp and a few cents for the check itself.  Basically, if I can't help the Mint circulate dollar coins at no extra cost to me, then I won't be doing it.

I don't do the frequent flier miles, but I did get a bit of cash back from the program.  However, I looked at that as a way to get a little bit back for some of the worthless junk the Mint has sold me over the years.  Some of that stuff is only worth face value now, since the Mint oversold it.  Case in point:  I bought a few James K. Polk rolls in the special paper hoping for a repeat of the William Henry Harrison craziness on the secondary market.  That never transpired, and the Mint is STILL selling those Polk rolls at the time I write this, almost two years later.  The total premium of $114.45 (including shipping) that I paid for the 10 rolls I bought might as well have been flushed down the toilet.  I will eventually have to cash those rolls in for their face value of $250.

I do like the Presidential Dollar coin program, and also the First Spouse Gold program.  I want them to be completed.  I will continue to circulate the coins I get from banks, even though I know the places I spend them just deposit them in their business accounts at their own banks (or the cashiers trade them out thinking they are worth something.)  Nevertheless, I'll keep doing what I can!

Something to add? Notice an error? Comment on this blog.

About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

Search this Blog
Email Updates
Email me a message when a new post is added!
RSS Feed
More Links
Numismatic News

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy | Your data is secure
©2018 F+W Publications, Inc., Iola, Wisconsin. All rights reserved.