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Put Those Dollar Coins to Work
April 14, 2009

The Mint wants to see Americans use dollar coins. I have been helping out in the last couple of weeks. I have been raiding my little stash to more or less get rid of them.

What brought this on was the decision by Krause Publications to change vending machine companies. Those machines in the break rooms here in Iola were virtually my only outlet for dollar coins.

Remove them and you remove the need for me to use them. The new machines were installed at the end of last week. I haven't yet tried them all, but I was told that one machine did not take dollar coins. Perhaps others don't, either.

In any event, I spent some of my dollar coins at the Crystal Cafe. I left a few as tips but decided that this is a slow way to get rid of them and the wait staff might mistake them for quarters, especially the Anthony coins that I still have.

So, I paid for a meal with dollar coins last week. The waitress and I got into a good conversation when she asked if I was raiding my coin collection.

I said that I wasn't.

She told me she has been waitressing for 20 years or so and she has a system of saving the coins she gets as tips. She said she has made many major purchases with the money she saves up in this way from large home appliances to significant home repairs.

So in a roundabout way I was contributing to her next major home improvement. That made me feel better.

Perhaps it is not quite what the Mint has in mind, but it works.

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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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