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Presidential Coins as Useless as Halves
January 20, 2010



Is this the year that Presidential dollars become just like Kennedy half dollars and become collector-only coins offered by the Mint?

Probably not, but we are close to reaching that point.

Dollars are backed up all over the banking system. No new ones are required and won’t be for more than a decade under current demand patterns.

Will the Mint change demand patterns? It has tried. It has had the same result with the Presidential dollars as with the Anthony and Sacagawea coins before it.

Last year the Mint struck 352,100,000 Presidential dollars comprised of issues bearing four designs from two minting facilities. That averages out to about 44 million apiece.

Fat chance of that happening again this year.

How far can the totals fall?

For 2009 Kennedy halves only 1.9 million each were produced at each minting facility for “circulation.” Circulation basically means bags and rolls for collectors. The coins struck for collector sets are counted separately.

Put me down as saying 5 million apiece from each mint for each Presidential design, or a total of 40 million coins.

As the program goes on in future years through its 38 or 40 designs, the totals will get even lower unless the government makes banks take their bailout funds in the form of Presidential dollars and require them to keep the coins forever.



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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, Bank Note Reporter 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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