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New Numbers for Dollars
September 10, 2008

Andrew Jackson Presidential dollar production figures have been released by the U.S. Mint, so it is time to update a topic I visited only last week.

I noted Sept. 4 that Presidential dollar production was heading ever downwards. Well, that trend has been broken. The Jackson figures total roughly 7 million more than the prior John Quincy Adams numbers, 122 million versus 115 million.

Does this mean the American public is somehow reacting differently to dollar coins this time out compared to the prior two times?

Take a look. Production during the first two years of the Anthony dollar in 1979 and 1980 totaled 848 million pieces. The third year saw production fall to collector pieces only.

During the first two years of the Sacagawea dollar, 1.419 billion coins were struck and in the third year production fell to collector pieces only.

This is the second year of production of Presidential dollars and the combined total so far is 1.302 billion. If the Martin Van Buren total approximates the Jackson total, the two-year total will be virtually tied with the Sacagawea output.

What will that mean for the third year? I wrote last week that the trend was ominous. I had an e-mail to point out that the second year total of Presidential dollars is a higher percentage of the total that the two other second-year totals. That's true.

Second-year Anthony production equaled 10.6 percent of the two-year total. Second-year Sac production was 9.4 percent of the total. Second-year Presidential dollar production could come in around 34 percent of the two-year total.

The question is whether this redistribution of production means anything relating to the future success of the Presidential dollars compared to the prior two dollar coin issues.

In is hard to see any likelihood of the American people warming to the idea of using dollar coins simply based on this data.

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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.

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