The U.S. Mint Halts Production Of $1 Coins Because No One Wants Them

If you really love $1 coins, you’re probably in the minority. The U.S. Mint announced their vaults are jammed so full of the things, they’re going to pull back on producing them. Not only do they have enough hanging around, the dang things keep coming back because people just don’t want them.

The Wall Street Journal says the U.S. government has about $1.4 billion worth of the coins, and production will be suspended on making any more.

Seems everyone is hating on them, as Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday, “Nobody wants them.”

It’s not just dollar coins that are unwanted — the WSJ says more than 40% of the coins that are minted come back to the Treasury, while the rest lollygag around in vending machines or coin collections. The dollar coins are unluckier than others, having never really caught on with the public. First it was Susan B. Anthony, then Sacagawea, then a succession of four dead presidents.

“And as it will shock you all, the call for Chester A. Arthur coins is not there,” Mr. Biden said at a Cabinet-level meeting of a White House campaign to cut government waste.

The Treasury says the halt in production will save taxpayers $50 million a year.

The Buck Stops Here: $1 Coins to Be Curtailed [Wall Street Journal]

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  1. dolemite says:

    Well, maybe if they weren’t so close to quarters….

    • ohiomensch says:

      they are not like a quarter (except for susan b.), they are bigger, thicker and a different color than quarters.

      • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

        Different color, yes. However all dollar coins starting with SBA are the same size and weight.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Yeah…that’s a moronic move on the US Mint’s part.

          They need to be a significantly different size so one can tell by feel whether they have a quarter or a dollar (a la the Loony).

          Canada figured this out eons ago, with Loonies and Twonies. WTF is wrong with us?

          • jasonq says:

            Yeah…make ‘em bigger. Then cue the people bitching “OMG THEY’RE TOO BIG AND HEAVY.”

            • YouDidWhatNow? says:

              …once again I’d point out that the Canadians had this figured out a long time ago. Not uncommon for a Canadian to buy lunch for, oh, $8 or so with just the change in their pocket.

              So if anyone wants to complain about them being too big/heavy, I guess that’s tantamount to proclaiming that Americans are sissies compared to Canadians?

          • Dandelion says:

            The difference is that up here, when the coins were issued, we immediately pulled the paper money. As it came in, it was sent back to the mint for destruction. So, excepting people’s little piles of collected bills (I have a few, for instance) there are no more dollar bills. Or twos.

            They’ve been talking about bringing out a five dollar coin.

            Coins make sense. Sure, the initial cost of the coin may be more than the coin itself is worth, but that coin will be around for decades, where a bill will last a couple years in circulation before being toast.

            If you had no choice but to use the dollar coins, you’d use them. You might grumble a bit for the first year, and change purses would come back into vogue, but you’d use them.

        • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

          Sometimes the voices in my head stop me from writing clearly. So with a little more detail …. All of the recent dollar coins, Suzy, Saccie, and Pressie, are the same size and weight. They are all fairly close in size to the quarter, and the Suzy is easily confused with a quarter because they are both silver.

          Incidentally, it was the vending machine companies that helped lobby for the size of the Suzy back in the 70s.

          • YouDidWhatNow? says:

            Incidentally, vending machine companies didn’t have any trouble adapting to dollar and two-dollar coins in Canada.

          • kc2idf says:

            Canada does not seem to be having this problem. Loons are about the same size as the current US dollars, which puts them similarly close to the size of Canadian quarters as Sacies are to US quarters.

            • thedarkerside.to says:

              The loony is thicker than the quarter though and also has angled edges so if you rummage around in your pocket you can feel the difference.

              The US $1 on the other hand looks to a stranger like me like a quarter.

              • kc2idf says:

                Okay, I see your point.

                Come to think of it, I remember hearing that they wanted to make the Susan B an 11-sided coin, but that there was an outcry against it. Strangely, it doesn’t seem to be a problem for the UK, where semi-flat sided coins are common in several denominations.

                The ¬£1 coin isn’t one of them, but then the ¬£1 coin is very distinctive from the others for being very thick.

            • grumpygirl says:

              Canada has to eventually force the issue by ceasing production of $1 bills. The country did not make the transition voluntarily.

  2. AldisCabango says:

    DUH!!! if you keep printing 1 dollor paper currency no one will ever want to carry around the coins.

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      I opened this article to say this.

      • Cat says:

        THIS. It works for Canada, as do a few other things they do but we won’t because we don’t want to become a gawd damned communist country with death panels and loony money like Canada.

        Wait, Canada isn’t communist, you say? WTF, you mean the conservatives lied to me?

        • Flik says:

          I was in Canada last week, and didn’t mind having the $1/$2 coins. Once you get used to them, they’re easy to distribute, just like you would a paper bill. Of course, the strippers hated the bruises from them, but hey – everyone can’t be happy.

          • Happy13178 says:

            If they’re tired of the bruises, just toss them underhand instead of overhand.

          • cparkin says:

            In Alberta you throw loonies at the strippers (sort of). They do their dance then they sit on a blanket and move around perverts row playing games with the patrons. Patrons have to do different things with the loonies like toss them into a rolled up poster to win the poster of the stripper. She then comes out later and signs it for you if you want.

        • SporadicBlah says:

          Cat, After reading articles I find myself searching for your witty commentary.

    • pythonspam says:

      This.
      Canada switched $1 and $2 bills for Tooneys and Loonies just by stopping the printing of the bills.
      While you are at it, get rid of the penny.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5UT04p5f7U

      • Bodger says:

        Yes, and the UK took that rational step some time ago and there is no paper currency below £5 (somewhere in the $8 range). Somehow they manage to buy and sell things pretty efficiently. Every time I go over it takes me all of an hour to get used to it. To me it proves that rationality is not appreciated by US policy makers and will be avoided at all possible costs.

        • PBallRaven says:

          Smallest Japanese bill is a 1000 yen note. A bit over 10 bucks at current exchange rates. Everything smaller than that is a coin.

          • Powerlurker says:

            And while 1 yen coins do technically exist (they’re made of aluminum), you’ll rarely see one in real life.

            • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

              I don’t know where you’ve been to in Japan, but if you buy anything at a store in cash, you see “yennies” all the time. If you shop exclusively via credit/debit card or at vending machines, then perhaps you have a point. But, otherwise, no. You see them quite frequently.

    • ajaxd says:

      Why on earth would you force people to use something they don’t want? If most just want to use paper currency, just let them. What’s the point?

    • DrPizza says:

      Ditto. I also opened the reply just to say this. And, get rid of the pennies; they’re pointless. And, in cases of people actually using currency vs. plastic, they slightly slow down transactions for a cashier to count out 3 or 4 pennies in the change. Even worse – the old lady in line in front of me last week whose total was $1.08 and who paid for the entire purchase with nickels and pennies. Ughh! Occasionally, I help out the owners of a pizza shop (hence the name) and work a shift here and there. I never touch pennies. Order comes to $14.23? It’s $14.20. I’ll even toss in a dollar of my own into the register, just to avoid the stupid things. No one wants them for change. Most people won’t even bend over to pick one up off the floor.

      • Emperor Norton I says:

        There you penny haters go again!
        We can’t get rid of pennies unless we also get rid of state & local sales taxes.
        That’s not happening!
        Those in Congress who want to get rid of pennies inevitably are those who are also in favor of the value added tax, such as what most of Europe has.
        That would cause the greatest inflation this country has ever seen!

        • philpm says:

          Do you know that since the late 60’s, the mints have been producing billions (yes, that is with a “b”) of pennies each year. Pennies will never be out of circulation because most people probably have literally thousands of them just sitting around their homes. At this point, there should be no need to produce another penny for at the minimum several decades.

        • hymie! says:

          We managed to get rid of mills through rounding. Why can’t we get rid of pennies too?

        • ghostfire says:

          Yeah, and we totally need to bring back the half penny too! It was worth more than a dime is today when our government so stupidly phased it out back in 1857, and with a half penny, I could more accurately pay for my gas, since they’re charging me in tenths of a cent increments!

        • Round-Eye §ñ‰∫∫„ÅØ„Ç≥„É≥„Çπ„Éû„É™„ÉÉ„Çπ„Éà„ÅåÂ•Ω„Åç„Åß„Åô„ÄÇ says:

          If the taxes are what’s causing the requirement for pennies (which, generally, is the problem), then the 2 or 3 cents that gets eaten will get eaten by the gov’t. And if a standard rule for rounding up/down is enacted, and all cash registers keep track of this, then there really shouldn’t be an issue of determining which way the rounding went and accounting for the taxes. And, if we follow the one-and-two-cents-down, three-and-four-cents-up rule, shouldn’t the gov’t break even?

      • Rocket says:

        You payed $14.20 for a total of $14.23? Ok, now what if 100 people do that. That’s 3 cents times 100 people, which is 3 bucks. The restaurant just lost $3 because you hate pennies.

        • Rocket says:

          Sorry, I mis-read your comment.

        • Firethorn says:

          Statistically speaking, it cost more in wages for him to count it out than it’s worth.

          Minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Cost to the employer, once you add FICA and other benefits, let’s say $10/hour. That’s 16 cents a minute. If dealing with pennies takes 5 seconds, that’s 1.4 cents down. Don’t forget back office cash drawer counting, rolling costs, etc…

          That’s for a minimum wage worker. What happens in higher paid areas where the worker is getting closer to $12/hour and is costing the business $16-20/hour?

          They’ve done the studies. If not for inertia, most businesses would save money rounding to the nearest nickel. Heck, consider the savings to the people – the customer also has to spend that extra time taking the change(possibly tossing it into the tip jar, the donation slot, whatever).

          Get rid of the penny and dollar bill. Go to a dollar coin. Release the $2 bill in it’s stead.

          • elangomatt says:

            I won’t speak towards the cost of processing the pennies and such, but does it really take you 5 seconds to get as many as 4 pennies from the till? When I worked in retail I took a less time than that to get all of the coins for change, even if it was 94 cents worth of change.

      • cajuncutie01 says:

        We need a 99 cent coin!

    • kc2idf says:

      …and there it is. Simple as that. This is the reason Loons work and Sacies don’t.

  3. ThatTastesTerrible! says:

    I work at a bank. Old people are living as long as they do these days because of these damn coins. It’s like they can’t die until they have them all. IT’S SENIOR CITIZEN POKEMON!!!

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      It’s so they can keep feeding the Extend¬∑A¬∑Life Meters I installed in their houses. The meters also help pay for their Old Glory Robot Insurance. Old Glory covers anyone over the age of 50 against robot attack, regardless of current health. Robots are everywhere, and they eat old people’s medicine for fuel.

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      Me in 1998:
      “151 Pokemon!? GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL!”
      Me today:
      “646 Pokemon!? Do I have to catch them all?”

    • Sparkstalker says:

      Congratulations – you just described my wife’s grandmother perfectly. She has to drive to the bank every day one of these damn things is supposed to be released to try and buy them…

  4. mauispiderweb says:

    The only time I used to see $1 coins is when the fair came to town, cause that’s how they rolled yo.

    • dangermike says:

      I remember when they first came out. I had one ride in my pocket for about two or three weeks with sundry other small denomination coins and the gold almost completely wore off. I firmly believe they were meant much more for collection than for circulation, and to that end deserve to go the way of the dodo. I also think we ought to ditch the penny and the nickel. When the mint decided the half-cent coin was no longer worthwhile, it had more purchasing power than a modern-day dime.

      • guspaz says:

        That’s just faulty manufacturing. I’ve got a 24-year old loonie in my wallet pocket (not for any reason, I got it as change and haven’t spent it yet) and the surface is fine.

    • finbar says:

      I get the all the time, but I ride a light rail system that issues change in dollar coins. it’s funny to pay with them, it takes folks a moment sometimes to register that I can pay for a drink with 4 or 5 coins.

  5. ash says:

    Solution: Stop production of the dollar bill. Yes, I know, people prefer bills but if there are no more bills, people will start using dollar coins. It’s long been known that dollar coins cost less than bills in the long run, but the treasury refuses to stop making the dollar bill.
    At least I can use my dollar coins in Ecuador and Panama…

    • LoadStar says:

      No they won’t, at least if “they” includes me. I hate coins of any value. I don’t carry coins, period. You give me a dollar coin, it’s going to go in a little bowl next to my bed with the rest of my change, and that is where it will stay. It wouldn’t matter if they eliminated the dollar bill… I’d just start paying in $5 bills. Or, I’d just do what I do most of the time anyway – use credit card.

      (Personally, I believe the answer is to replace our current paper currency with polymer currency. The biggest selling point to coins are that they last longer, but so do polymer bills. Unfortunately, I doubt we’d ever see anything but paper money in the US.)

      • Sian says:

        Yeah, but just try lighting your cigar with a plastic benjamin.

      • ohiomensch says:

        “Paper” money isn’t paper either, its actually made out of fabric fibers, which is why it doesnt disintegrate in the washing machine.

        • KeithIrwin says:

          “Paper” doesn’t mean “made of wood fibers”. It used to be that all paper was made from old cloth rags and most paper still has some amount of cotton in it. The paper used for money just has a higher percentage than copy paper or newsprint.

      • fs2k2isfun says:

        You will change. I went all dollar coin last year and it was very easy after the fist week and much faster for small purchases.

  6. milkcake says:

    Need more marketing behind it. Also cut off $1 dollar bills.

  7. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    Dollar coins will never become popular, so long as bills are still in circulation. If the government wants to save money, do away with the dollar bill and the penny.

    The Presidential coins were never about saving money. It was just a bizarre compromise between Democrats and Republicans to get Reagan on currency, by producing coins that feature dead Presidents.

  8. Rachacha says:

    It is not a question of not wanting them…I have yet to find a place where you can actually GET them. I have never been given a dollar coin as change, nor have I seen any store that has dollar coins in its cash drawer.

    • belsonc says:

      Penn Station for me, but that’s about it. The LIRR ticket machines give them as change, and there was one time where one of the shops gave me one as change.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      You can order them from the mint. Up to $1000. They take credit cards, so you can get rewards. If you aren’t going to turn around and deposit them (like so many credit reward junkies have done) it’s fine.

      • jamar0303 says:

        Not anymore. You can thank Flyertalk for that (in particular, the one guy who claimed to do this to the tune of over $500k).

        • Chris says:

          I’m not so sure about the Flyertalk guy but a lot of people were getting free miles on their credit cards by buying the coins online (free shipping!) and then returning the coins to the bank to deposit and pay off their credit card bills.

    • nugatory says:

      I’ve gotten them from the post office automatic stamp vending machine. The machines will take $5 and $10 bills, but will return whole dollars as the $1 coin.

    • mavrick67 says:

      I work in a bank and have several hundred dollar coins in my vault right now. (We seen to get them in mainly from deposits from churches and temples)

    • tinyninja says:

      We’ve usually got a couple in the till at any given time and I forget to give them out. I’d be happy to do so, I just automatically dispense the paper dollars out of pure habit.

    • nandhp says:

      The DC Metro ticket machines issue them as change. You can also get them at banks.

      Do your part: Ask your bank for $1 coins and $2 bills.

      • thedarkerside.to says:

        Seriously? A two dollar bill? Why not a coin.

        I never understood the obsession with paper money in North America.

        Germany in the good old days of the DM had:

        1 Pf
        5 Pf
        10 Pf
        50 Pf
        1 DM
        2 DM
        5 DM
        (and rarely) 10 DM

        all coins. There was no bill smaller than 10 DM.

    • sponica says:

      pay for any sort of subway ticket, metro north ticket, T charlie card with a paper bill larger than the fare and you get a boatload of them….

    • philpm says:

      I use to get them in change from the vending machines at the post office, until the post office got rid of the vending machines.

    • krom says:

      I get them at the bank.

      I mean, it’s not *that* hard.

      It doesn’t even have to be your bank, if you have cash.

      Although it is annoying that I have to go inside and wait in line, instead of via the drive up tellers, because rolled coins are too heavy for the pneumatic tubes.

      They don’t always have the latest President. Well, I’m only trying to collect one per President, not a whole roll (kinda silly IMO). But I tell you, I go through a roll of them in the lunch room vending machine within about three weeks. They’re damned handy.

    • RStormgull says:

      I suspect it has more to do with businesses demanding bills rather than $1 coins because the have a compartment in the register for paper bills, but not dollar coins. No businesses giving them as change means no widespread adoption.

  9. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    There was a program to put these into circulation that many rewards credit card holders really abused. As tempting as the free money would be I never did it, as I don’t like being a bad consumer/taxpayer/citizen.

    • pythonspam says:

      I used the program exactly as it was intended.
      Ordered $250 in coins, paid with (non-rewards) credit card. Spent the coins 1, 2, 3 at a time. Got comments from cashiers and other customers.
      One cashier offered the coins as change to the customer right after me (because there was no place to store them in the drawer, but he pointed out that the $1 bill slot takes up a lot more room than the equitable amount of coins would.) He took the coins as change.

  10. Marlin says:

    Even if you want them no one has them. I asked my bank for some and they looked at me like I was asking for Pesos.

  11. prezuiwf says:

    If they’re looking to unload them, I’ll happily take them all off their hands…

  12. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Canada has loonies and toonies…but they are bigger than quarters and it’s easy to tell them apart. I’d use dollar coins if they didn’t look so much like a quarter. At least the ones pictured above are gold colored, so it’s easier to tell them apart at first glance.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      When I traveled to Canada, I really liked using $1 and $2 coins. They really aren’t that difficult to carry around, and I’m a person who never carries change. You can go to the vending machines with a $2 coin and get a drink and candy/chips and never have to mess with a bill reader device.

  13. Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

    I just don’t like loose coins in my pocket, and it simply being a $1 coin isn’t enough to break that barrier. If there were 1$ 2$ and 5$ coins, then that would be different.

  14. sean says:

    Dollar coins are great for parking meters. I try to carry a bunch around but I’ve yet to come across them in change. I tend to spend them and never see them come back. It’s the merchants that won’t keep them in circulation.

    • Rachacha says:

      Exactly. I don’t mind the dollar coins, and I would keep them in circulation, but like you, have never received a coin as change.

      On a related note, DC Metro needs to have change machines at each of its stations with metered parking spots that dispense $1 coins./rant

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Wow, that’s some really expensive parking. Most of our parking meters still take nickles. Only the new ones take quarters.

      • sean says:

        Yup, it’s a buck an hour here, two bucks an hour in 90210. The parking meters accept credit cards.

      • hoi-polloi says:

        A nickel would barely buy you enough time to tie your shoelaces around here. Meters went up to $1.50/hr.

      • Rachacha says:

        DC Metro $1/hour. At least one station’s parking garage fills up well before the morning rush is complete, meaning that a bunch of commuters are throwing in $10-$11 in coins into a meter to cover the +45 minute commute and 8 hour work day.

      • Ratty says:

        Our meters here are $3.50/hour. I think it’s actually higher now.

      • shepd says:

        That’s cheap. My city is known for the cheapest parking in all of Canada (Or was it Ontario?) and it’s $2/hr to park in the city lots here. Of course, there’s a lot of free parking to balance that out, which is probably why we’re the cheapest on average.

  15. maruawe says:

    Dollar coins are a good deal but the public are so fickle that they are opposed to change in our coinage. Some claim that the weight is a problem, While others say they can’t tell the difference in coins. But the real reason is that they don’t want to change. Paper money is to convenient to fold and hide in socks and pockets… I am for the change because coins last three or four times longer than paper therefore saving money in production.

    • webweazel says:

      I don’t think it’s only the public- vending machine payment mechanisms would need to be replaced. Not going to happen. The cash drawers in stores have slots for paper bills, and change slots for pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. These would have to be changed as well because there’s nowhere to store the dollar coins. Not going to happen. I think this is where the major resistance lies. People use them in stores, and the store ships them all out to the bank and doesn’t get any in return, because they have no way to deal with them easily in the cash drawer.
      I would guess most people don’t want their dollar coins ending up under the car seat and in the cushions of the couch all the time. That can add up to a bigger chunk of change than a few nickels under the seat. I HATE jingling change in my pocket and would rather offer 2 cents to the cashier than get back 98 cents change, so I like to have change easily accessible. I am always on the lookout for a small wallet with a change holder, and it is quite a bit more difficult than you would imagine.

      • rmorin says:

        My father used to own a vending machine company right when the Sacagawea coins came out and it was remarkably simple (and relatively inexpensive) to retro-fit a machine to accept the coins. That is not the reason.

        And no spot on a cash drawer? Come on, most cash drawers have extra spots already and even if they didn’t you could simply put them where the dollar bills used to be.

        As someone who travels to Canada a fair amount, there is no increase “annoyance factor” with one and two dollar coins and it takes only about a day to get used to it.

        The major hurdle is that we also do not have a common $2 dollar denomination (I know it exists, but no one uses it). You need a common $2 denomination (whether coin or bill) or else the amount of coins could become burdensome.

        • gerald.saul says:

          No, I think this is precisely the reason. The cash drawers I use at my business (and we have 11,000 US locations) have slots for: pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, $1, $5, and $10. As a consumer, I love the dollar coins. As a merchant, I hate them. If a customer gives one to me as payment, you better believe I’m trying to give it out as change at the very next transaction.

          However, if they were to replace the $1 bill with the $2 bill, and the penny with the $1 coin, we would have no problems.

      • Girthbomb says:

        Most vending machines already are tooled to take the dollar coin even if they don’t have the sticker saying it accepts it. Eliminating the dollar bill opens up a spot for the dollar coin in cash registers.

        Lived through the change to one and two dollar coins in Canada.

        Sometimes you can’t give the general public a choice.

        Look at metric, Canada said it would change after the USA said it would. To much of the General Public said no change.

        Though I see newer generations do use metric here in the USA now for somethings.

      • Powerlurker says:

        Every vending machine I’ve seen can take dollar coins. They’re already made to take SBA dollars and the golden dollar was designed to be indistinguishable to coin sorters.

    • KeithIrwin says:

      In my experience, being someone who bougt one of those lots of 250 one dollar coins (for $247.50 once you factor in credit card cash-back, woot!), every merchant I’ve given one to has one more slot in their register for loose coins than they actually use. Some of them have put rolled coins in that slot, but everyone has had one. I’m sure that four-coin-slot registers exist, but all the ones I’ve seen in the last six months have had at least five slots which is perfectly enough for pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars unless you live in Las Vegas, which is the only place that half dollars get circulated with any frequency.

  16. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    I don’t care for the $1 coins, but the $2 bill is the most epicly useful bill out there. What can you buy with one dollar? NOTHING, that’s what. But two dollars will get you a cup of joe, or a muffin, or get you onto the turnpike, or a drink at the store. I always have a nice wad of $2 dollar bills on me.

    • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

      sp: epically.

      >:(

      • atomix says:

        Don’t sweat it. Internet forums are pretty forgiving about spelling and grammar.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Consumerist readers love jumping all over people for spelling and grammar issues.

      • Cor Aquilonis says:

        Not only that, but two dollar bills have handsome artwork on them.

        Fun story: I had a friend (we were college age) who laughed at me when I mentioned two dollar bills, like I was making them up. I offered to prove they exist by taking him to a branch of a bank I did business with, and having a teller show him a two dollar bill.

        So we go to the bank, I ask the teller to show him a two dollar bill, and they go in the back to get one. While they’re back there, my friend looked at me suspiciously and then asked if I set up the whole thing. Seriously! The teller comes back and shows him a two dollar bill. He was still suspicious after seeing the two dollar bill, and now thinks I am the craftiest person in the world for setting up a tremendously complicated prank. He still doesn’t believe me.

        Imagine his surprise when he eventually realizes there are such things as two dollar bills! It will be hilarious.

        • Rachacha says:

          You could be like Steve Wozniak. He apparently contacted the US Mint, and was able to purchase several sheets of uncut $2 bills. He takes them to a local printer who cuts them down into groups of 3, perforates them, and binds them into a pad that he carries around with him. He will pull out his pad, rip off a couple $2 bills and hand it to clerks.

    • dragonbox says:

      It won’t get you anything from Taco Bell, though.

      • caradrake says:

        One of those bills and fourteen pennies from my car’s center console gets me a number 3, with no sour cream, a baja blast with no ice, and lots of mild sauce. Yum!

  17. balthisar says:

    As many others have said, get rid of the paper, but I’ll add this: also give us toonies. Er, uh, that doesn’t make sense in the USA because we don’t have loonies, but a two dollar coin would be nice, too. So, one- and two-dollar coins. No paper. Also, kill pennies (and dare I say) nickels.

  18. Dallas_shopper says:

    I think we should go to dollar coins already; the reason the dollar coins keep ‘failing’ with consumers is because they haven’t stopped making $1 bills. The transition would be painful, but only for a little while, and it would save money in the end. I used to live in the UK where 1 pound and 2 pound coins were common, and all vending machines accepted 1 pound coins and most also accepted 2 pound coins (along with any other coin including pennies). It wasn’t a big deal and it didn’t tear my pockets out. Sure, my wallet was a little heavier but it wasn’t a hassle.

  19. mikedt says:

    I would love to see the extinction of the $1 bill. So tired of trying to smooth out a bill to get vending machine to accept it. Just do it. Cut production of the paper bill.

    The federal government seems to have no problem implementing laws/bills/regulations that huge portions of the populous don’t like, but in this one case they bend to public will?

    • ohiomensch says:

      If it were only so simple, the reason my friends is that we have competing agencies making our currency. The Bureau of Engraving prints the bills and the US Mint, mints the coins and if you discontinue printing dollar bills, someone is going to lose their job.

  20. Mr_D says:

    The vending machines at work give out $1 coins in lieu of 4 quarters if you put a $5 or a $10 in there.

    A friend of mine complains about the weight. However, I point out, Canada, Great Britain, Europe, and other countries have high-value coins that are heavy, and yet, baggy pants are a fad here, not there.

    Japan also has the 100 and 500 yen coins, the 100 being about the size of a nickel and the 500 being about the size of our dollar coins.

    • Kaleey says:

      interesting comment about the baggy pants…

      if we switched to more coin based currency, the baggy pants thing iught go away, since everyone’s baggy pants would be falling down due to the added wieght. I am smiling because of that thought. Thank you!

  21. thomwithanh says:

    The UK and Canada did away with the one pound and one dollar note respectively and it saved taxpayers millions. Australia also did away with the penny. I think the problem is the dual system of dollar bills and coins. .. get rid of the bills. .. problem solved.

  22. dolemite says:

    I think it would be cool to buy a small treasure chest and fill it with these. “Arggh, check out me booty!”

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      My grandfather stored his silver coins in a small wooden chest that looked like a miniature pirate’s treasure chest.

      And it still is the coolest thing in the world.

      • tsukiotoshi says:

        That does sound like the coolest thing ever! My mom has a huge jar she keeps full of spare change and the occasional dollar coin that we jokingly call her retirement fund. It’s almost full so maybe I’ll track down a sweet wooden chest for the next iteration….

  23. humphrmi says:

    As others said, if they would mint the dollar coins a different size &/or width, they’d be easier to manage. When I go to the UK, I can pull pound coins out of my pocket by feel.

    Also stop printing bills, then people will take them.

    • Guppy06 says:

      Anybody who claims to have trouble distinguishing between quarters and these new dollar coins must have an even bigger problem distinguishing quarters and nickels.

      • glorpy says:

        Many people immediately think of the Susan B Anthony dollar, which was poorly designed, but the modern dollar coin really doesn’t look or feel like a quarter.

        Since people are so locked into that mode of thinking, however, I say do what the UK does and make them nickel-sized and hexagonal and golden with smooth edges.

        They’ll be unquestionably distinguishable from anything else in the pocket by feel or appearance alone.

        • humphrmi says:

          The hexagon coins in UK are, IIRC two pound coins, but good point.

          Most one pound coins are smaller, thicker, and heavier than any other coin.

    • Happy13178 says:

      That’s intentional, meant to help the blind distinguish them. Ridges and size/weight on coins are all different.

  24. Herman X says:

    Nooooo, and here I was looking forward to eventually seeing the George H. W. Bush coin – the only U.S. currency he would most-likely ever be on. Now my hopes are dashed!

    Guess I’ll have to live the rest of my life getting the same boring old presidents from that miserable automated parking garage meter here in DC that does insist on giving ALL my change in those infernal dollar coins.

    There is a 7-eleven adjacent to this mega garage and I once asked the clerk there if people paid for their stuff in dollar coins. He simply opened the cash register and showed my like 10 zilliion of them and said rather sadly “We have no choice, we have to take them but nobody wants them back in change.”

    On the other hand, my daughter (who still is a believer in the tooth fairy) looks forward to getting the “golden dollars” whenever toothy’s services are called upon to visit our house!

  25. brinks says:

    As a store manager who spends some time behind a cash register, I can tel, you that we HATE them. And $2 bills. There’s no slot in our cash drawer for either of them, and cash registers would all have to be redesigned to accommodate them (the drawer would have to be bigger).

    Also, coins are heavy and weigh down my purse. Also, why do guys’ wallets never have a change pocket?

    Stupid reasons such as these will keep them out of circulation, at least for the time being.

    • brinks says:

      *I can tell you…

      I can tell you that I can’t proof read.

    • sufreak says:

      Because wallets are designed to fit into a pocket, not a purse. I keep change in my pocket until I get to a destination I can drop it into. If a man purse, murse, bag, etc, was an accepted idea, and not too much work, I’d carry one and keep a coins with me. Maybe.

    • Costner says:

      A typical cash drawer has five spaces for bills, and five spaces for coins.

      The bill spaces are typically used for singles ($1’s), $5’s, $10’s, $20’s, and “other” which is often $50s and $100s and sometimes used for checks.

      The coin spaces are typically used for pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters, and “other” which includes the random 50 cent piece, dollar coin, or bulk storage for extra coin rolls.

      So if you think about it, there is room for $2 bills and $1 coins if the drawer is organized properly. First, drop the $1 bill and that space becomes used for the $2 bill. Then drop the penny, slide all the other coins one space left and add a distinct space for $1 coins. If need be the fifth spot can be used for other types of coins or just more $1 coins, and the extra bill space that is often used for large bills and checks can be convered into bulk $1 coin storage, extra storage for rolled coins, or a mixture of the two if so desired. The larger bills and checks can go under the drawer where many businesses already store them.

      Besides – most places won’t even take checks anymore, so there is already some extra room in the till. The whole “not enough room” argument is pretty minor and is easily resolved with some creativity.

      • brinks says:

        We use the last slot for checks (we still take them, although it would be great if we didn’t). The last slot in the coin section is for rolled coins. Even if we officially got rid of the $1 bill, they’d still show up every so often (like the $2 bills and the $1 coins) and ruin my day.

    • Guppy06 says:

      I can’t remember the last time I saw a cash drawer with only four slots. So either half-dollars are ridiculously common in your area, or you’re just storing some rolled coins there like most cash drawers I’ve seen.

      If you got over your own psychological hang-ups and used that fifth coin slot for its intended purpose, you’d realize that coins are far easier to sort and count than bills, particularly the $1 bills that are treated and cared for exactly as much as they’re worth. Dollar coins never stick together, making for faster and more accurate transactions all around.

    • IGNORE says:

      My wallet has a coin pocket, the only kind I will buy. I sure DON’T want it stuffed with $1 coins. Too bulky and heavy.

      Maybe bills would last longer if printed on better stock. Kevlar ???

      TOM

    • josephbloseph says:

      My wallet has a coin pocket. I use it to carry around the Eisenhower dollar I use for making arbitrary decisions.

  26. kella says:

    I hate coins. They’re heavy and they don’t fit in my wallet. I usually pay with plastic, but for those few cases where I have to use cash, I always leave any coins I get in the nearest tip jar/leave-a-penny. Can’t we just stick with bills until cash is finally dead?

    • j2.718ff says:

      Anyone who earns wages in the form of tips surely loves them for exactly the same reason.

    • polishhillbilly says:

      All my change goes into a old 1 gallon mason Jar. When It’s full I take to the jar to the bank, and let the change machine do the counting. I then deposit the money earned, and use for misc spending. This year it’s a set of tires for the my truck, and a recliner for Mrs. Polishhillbily.
      The dollar coins get rolled and saved for when we have a garage sale.

  27. zibby says:

    I dunno, my grandfather gave me a couple hundred dollar coins from the ’20’s and I’m really happy to have them. Maybe we should go back to that design…

  28. RiverStyX says:

    Its like a sacajawea dollar! You can trade them in at the bank for a real dollar!

  29. MMD says:

    I only get them as change for vending machine purchases at work. I hang onto them to reuse in the same vending machine.

    I often wonder how often I have handled the same dollar coin…

  30. Ben says:

    Obvious solution — start making the dollar coins out of paper!! Or make the paper bills out of metal.

  31. Krazycalvin says:

    How long have they been producing this coin and trying to shove it down our throats? Imagine all the money that has been wasted at 50 million a year.

  32. j2.718ff says:

    “the WSJ says more than 40% of the coins that are minted come back to the Treasury, while the rest lollygag around in vending machines or coin collections”

    I’d be curious to see the lifecycle of these coins, and how it compares to that of paper money. As a consumer, I don’t know where to get them, short of mailorder. I’ve never gotten one as change. Last time I asked my bank, they said they didn’t have any.

    I’m tired of things being discontinued because I’m told I don’t want them. When I was in high school, I wanted to take Latin. Every semester, I placed it on my schedule as my preferred language class. Every time, I was told that the only available class didn’t fit my schedule. Finally, my senior year, they stopped teaching it entirely because no students were interested.

  33. ndonahue says:

    That 50MM in savings is misleading. Paper bills are more expensive to maintain in circulation over the long-term — a paper bill lasts less than 2 years in circulation before it needs to be destroyed and replacement printed, while there’s a good chance that you’ve touched a 30+ year old coin the last time you emptied your pockets or purse of change.

    “Nobody wants them?” That’s crap. Push them into circulation and pull a corresponding amount of paper bills. The average person may not (yet) prefer them, but would that person refuse the money if that’s all the salesperson, toll collector, or vending machine offered?

    You want to see them take off? Sell them to banks for $0.995 apiece. Suddenly they’ll be all the rage at vending machines and gas and sips, and the $7MM bucks that the Reserve ‘lost’ is recouped in both reduced storage costs and reduced paper bill printing costs…

  34. savvy9999 says:

    For the same reason I don’t like to keep keys in my pocket any more, I don’t like change in my pocket. It will fuck up the screen on my $500 phone.

  35. TheCorporateGeek Says Common Sense Is The Key says:

    Personally they should ditch the paper dollar and go solely to the coins. I happen to think they look sharp. Time to start collecting!

  36. ianmac47 says:

    Its sounds like the dollar coins really need to identify and coordinate their natural advocates. I would think vending machine operators, for instance, would really prefer the vast majority of the population to use coins instead of jamming up their machines with crinkled dollar bills.

  37. Krazycalvin says:

    How long have they been producing this coin and trying to shove it down our throats? Imagine all the money that has been wasted at 50 million a year.

  38. jrwn says:

    “The Treasury says the halt in production will save taxpayers $50 million a year.” How much was it supposed to have saved us by printing these coins again? I’m to lazy to look up the number.

  39. SabreDC says:

    It doesn’t bother me. I throw away anything under a $20 bill. Straight in the trash.

  40. El_Fez says:

    Make them REALLY different from quarters and people would be more accepting. Look what the UK did for the pound – it’s about twice as thick as a quarter, is much larger in diameter and is two-toned. Real easy to tell apart from the rest of the currency.

  41. kurtmac says:

    “The Treasury says the halt in production will save taxpayers $50 million a year.” They might have mentioned if we instead stop production of the $1 bill in favor of the coin it would save taxpayers $180 million* every year. But, its not like we’re penny pinching! *I can’t seem to find a consistent estimate on the intertubes, so I went with the most modest figure I found.

  42. IGNORE says:

    1.4 billion? Why didn’t they stop production LONG ago?

  43. IphtashuFitz says:

    Aside from all the comments regarding stopping production of $1 bills, the other big problem is that most vending machines, parking meters, etc. still don’t recognize them. Do something to encourage vending machine manufacturers, parking meter manufacturers, etc. to support the coins and people will be more likely to use them.

  44. OnePumpChump says:

    Gee, maybe if they weren’t so goddamned similar to quarters they wouldn’t be so unpopular.

    It isn’t like no one realized this would happen. When the Sacajawea coins came out that criticism was all over the place.

    • SabreDC says:

      They really aren’t that close to quarters. Pennies/nickles/dimes are more similar to each other than quarters/dollar coins. The dollar coins are noticeably thicker, larger diameter, and heavier.

  45. gedster314 says:

    I like the dollar coin. The dollar readers just plain suck. I missed a couple of trains becuse a stupid reader could not read my dollars. Yeah the size is similar to a quarter but it sure beats the weight and size of the old silver dollers and 50 cent peices.

  46. sparc says:

    i used to see these in the stamp vending machines. now i don’t see them at all since those vending machines have been retired at most USPS locations.

    I rarely even keep coins around these days. The one’s i do end up getting go straight into a jar to go back to the bank. That makes a $1 coin an annoyance as i’d have even more value locked up in coins i don’t want to store in my wallet.

    Long live the $1 bill… make it out of plastic/cotton blend if you need more durability

  47. jono_0101 says:

    they had better not stop printing paper ones! if they do, i can see business transactions taking place at this nations strip clubs taking on a really awkward piggy bank kind of vibe….

    • jono_0101 says:

      eh? this was supposed to include “for all the people saying to stop printing paper like they do in canada” before the rest of my post

      #editbutton

  48. Cat says:

    For all those complaining about “heavy coins”:

    Once upon a time, a coin was worth whatever the metal it was made of was worth. A gold or silver dollar was a big coin, yea, but it was worth a hell of a lot more than our dollar today.

    I would suggest that we return to that model, and the sizes of the coins would be smaller and lighter in our pockets. Except, I don’t think we could mint coins that small, even if we made them out of a cheap metal like zinc.

  49. Romario says:

    This is a typical example of bad government decisions. Dollar coins last a lot longer than dollar bills. Yes, people haven’t been using the one dollar coins. But if cost reduction is what the government really wants, then they should stop producing dollar BILLS. Dollar bills last an average of 13 months. Dollar coins last for many years. They should stop producing dollar bills, keep producing dollar coins and increase production of two dollar bills. It cost no more to print two dollar bills than it costs to produce one dollar bills.

    We’d have to get used to the dollar coins and the government would save money.

    Once again, dumb, dumb, wrong decision.

    P.S.: Stop producing pennies too.

    • Dreadcthulhu says:

      No, the most cost effective thing for the government to do with currency is to switch to polymer bills like they use in Australia, and are introducing in Canada soon. They are much cheaper to make than coins, and are nearly as durable. Coins are very annoying to use, as this article shows, but I think the public wouldn’t mind a transition to polymer notes that much.

      I do agree with getting rid of the penny; for that matter the nickel can go too.

  50. tsukiotoshi says:

    Aw man, I love dollar coins! They are so much easier to use in machines. I’ll have to go down to the bank and exchange some paper dollars for dollar coins.

  51. cameronl says:

    If someone would actually GIVE ME one (I mean as change, not charity), I would use it. I never see them out in the wild. I have no problem with them, but I can’t use them if I don’t have them.

  52. maxhobbs says:

    I used to use the $1 coins, then I took an arrow to the knee.

  53. Kahlidan says:

    They’re just halting production of the presidential coins for circulation, but will keep producing them through 2016 for the collector market. This might make the collectors think the coins will actually be worth more than face value someday!

  54. Rob says:

    Can’t get rid of my $2 bill either.

  55. john says:
    • ironflange says:

      I saw the new $100 bill, and it’s absolutely beautiful.

      The best part of our bills is the colour coordination. You can be blind drunk and still grab the right bill. During visits to the States, I’ve been shortchanged more than once because all the bills look the same. And I hadn’t even been drinking!

  56. The Lone Gunman says:

    Wasn’t the reason that the dollar bill is still in production a deal that was struck with the union that prints money at the Treasury? Something about protecting the union printer’s jobs that would have been phased out if the singles stopped production in favor of the newer dollar coins?

    IIRC, this was covered by Sixty Minutes back in the day…

  57. DerangedKitsune says:

    Why even give people the choice? Just stop production of the dollar bill. They don’t like it, too bad.

    That’s what was done here in Canada 24 years ago when our $1 coin came out. Sure I was only 7 at the time, but I don’t recall wingeing and complaining on contemporary levels when it happened.

  58. jefeloco says:

    I keep several of the dollar coins in case of emergencies but otherwise use my debit or credit card for just about everything. I use cash so sparingly that I didn’t even know that I had a twenty and three ones in my wallet because I so rarely open that section.

    I like audit trails and the ability to dispute charges if needed.

  59. NumberSix says:

    I like them! I save them up in a big oak chest and pretend I’m a pirate!

  60. AEN says:

    The Mint should get rid of the $100 bill and produce a nice, big $100 coin in order to make drug deals as inconvenient as possible.

  61. patty says:

    Baltimore’s “Block” has a municipal parking garage next to it. Once you are done at the adult entertainment places you go to pay for parking with paper money and get back these $1 coins. It is the only place that gives them in change. Your wife will know where you’ve been when you empty your change from your pocket.

    *the block is an adult entertainment area.***

  62. NumberSix says:

    I actually had a checker turn to her manager one time and ask “Do we take these?”

    YEAH YOU TAKE THESE! They’re money!

  63. ironflange says:

    Here in Canada, the dollar coin came along over 20 years ago. It’s so similar in size and color to yours that I actually got one in change recently. Anyone who confuses them with quarters is an idiot. Anyway, when the coin was introduced, the dollar bill was discontinued. As a Canadian, I am reminded of what a pain in the ass the dollar bill was when I visit the US. Believe me, it’s far far better to have a few $1 and $2 coins in one’s pocket than an ugly wad of ragged $1 bills. I know what it’s like trying to get a vending machine to accept a beat-up dollar bill, so simple just to pop a coin in.

    Most of the world now uses higher value coins rather than small bills; this is just another antiquated system the U.S. insists on clinging to. Same goes for health care and the metric system.

    • guspaz says:

      We introduced loonies in 1987, and by random chance, I’ve got a 1987 loonie in my wallet right now… Still in good enough condition for years more circulation. They save a bundle over reprinting banknotes every three years.

      The dang things are so iconic and popular that we’ve unofficially named our currency after them; the newspeople don’t talk about the value of “the Canadian dollar”, they talk about the value of “the loonie”. As in “The loonie gained half a cent on the US dollar today”

  64. HogwartsProfessor says:

    If they put Batman on the coins, I would totally use them. Imagine paying with Batman.

    “I don’t recognize this. What’s this coin—“
    *gravelly voice* “BATMAN HAS NO LIMITS! NOW TAKE THE COIN!”

  65. Rick Stout says:

    Its not just that no one wants them. Some places wont even take them. I have my kids some to pay for their school lunches and they were told that they could not pay with those coins. TWO DIFFERENT SCHOOLS. How can a school refuse them? So I won’t take them as change for that reason…

  66. Emily says:

    Good. In a time when more of our money is becoming digital, we should be shifting to currency that is the lightest and most convenient. They should be eliminating coins rather than paper money.

    If the concern is durability and materials use, perhaps we could explore switching to something more durable like refillable plastic cards.

  67. Memtex784 says:

    Will anyone think of the strippers?!! Out of all the places only the vending machines give me the dollar coins. Never from any human.

  68. dush says:

    tell those coins no lollygagging

  69. fuzzbox000 says:

    The Mint: Makes unpopular changes and then goes back based on what the public wants.

    Facebook: Makes unpopular changes and could care less what the public thinks.

    Can we just swap the management structure of these 2?

  70. there's a difference between username and screen name? says:

    The trouble is that the U.S. won’t stop production of dollar bills to force people to use them. Given a choice between something familiar and something new, and having zero incentive to change your habits, what would YOU do?

    Personally, I like the dollar coins.

  71. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Loonies are significantly bigger around than a quarter. Also, they aren’t perfectly round – they’re like 20-sided or so.

  72. krom says:

    For the record, you’re all morons.

    I’ll be thinking of you next time I’m having *no* trouble at all plunking a dollar coin into a vending machine, while you stand there for ten minutes rubbing, un-creasing, flattening, scraping, and re-inserting the same crappy old ragged dollar bill, over and over and over again, before you give up and walk away thirsty.

    Mmm, this ice cold bottle of Coke is really refreshing, you should really go the machine and get one.

    (America, decades behind the rest of the world in monetary transaction technology, since 1974.)

  73. krom says:

    The Vice President is laughing at the fact that American’s don’t care about their nation’s history and don’t have any respect for Presidents of years past. That’s awesome. How’s history going to treat you, Joe? I wonder.

  74. Mole90 says:

    You think they would have learned after the Susan B Anthony Dollars. No one wants to use them.

  75. xanadustc says:

    It was funny the other day when I was at the post office and the clerk was telling me that a person came in and paid a $75 bill with them. It caused a hassle because the post office has no way to process them…they can not be put in the drawer, nor will their bank take them in the regular deposits….Funny that the Fed controlled USPS can not take Fed money….

  76. nikalseyn says:

    I was in WDW last week and they must be trying to get on the government’s good side, because they are giving people these stupid coins as change in Epcot and apparently other places in the park. You have to insist they take them back and give you real, honest to good paper bills instead of some heavy coins to sit in your pocket and pull your pants down. Only the foolish Canadians use dollar coins and you know what they have become!!!

  77. ancientone567 says:

    This is nothing new. Everyone hates dollars coins every time they have tried it. The government wants to make them because IF people use them is much cheaper than making a 1 dollar bill.

  78. stuny says:

    I feel like the US Treasury has no understanding of the needs of their customers. Every attempt they make at adding something new or exciting to currency ends up as a failure. Their re-designs are confusing and always poorly received. Their new currency introductions are always absurd. Since the $2 bill, everything they’ve introduced has been an utter failure. The whole nation isn’t going to buy new cash registers every time the mint dabbles in some multi-billion dollar artistic boondoggle. Give it up people. The only people who care that you moved Jefferson off-center on the nickel is you! Stop wasting our tax dollars on these projects.

  79. NightWriter says:

    No one wants $1 coins because no one wants coins period. They are a pain in the ass to carry around.

  80. guspaz says:

    Umm, you know what would save MORE money? Stop printing $1 bills. That’s what we did in Canada, we introduced the loonie and simply stopped printing the bills. The result? The entire country transitioned to the $1 coins, and the government saves a TON of money by not having to reprint bills.

    Paper bills last about three years before they need to be replaced, on average (according to the mint, anyhow, the new polymer notes should last sevenish). Coins last effectively forever; decades, to be certain. We started minting loonies in 1987… I just opened up my wallet, and guess what I found inside (by pure coincidence)? A loonie from 1987, still in good enough condition for active circulation. I’ll probably put it in a laundry machine or a vending machine.

  81. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Maybe if the Treasury Dept. would have made those $1 coins eleven-sided, came up with a cute term for them, and stopped printing $1 bills, you Americans would have eventually accepted them. See: Canada, 1987.

  82. DragonThermo says:

    How much are we spending on dollar bills every year. Paper bills only last about 18 months. Coins last 30 years.

    How much trouble have you had with a vending machine trying to find a dollar bill smooth and crisp enough for the machine to accept, compared to dropping a coin in a slot and having it work the first time every time?

    As for the “it looks too much like a quarter” argument, I say BAH. The cent is almost the same size as a dime. The difference is one has a smooth edge and the other has a reeded edge so they feel different. One is shiny white the other is shiny red or dull brown, so they have different colors. However, a dime is 10x the value a cent vs a dollar being only 4x the value of a quarter.

    I will grant that the SBA dollars were a huge mistake. Both the SBA and quarter were nickel plated and had reeded edges, so they definitely looked and felt the same. The Sackies have plain edges and are made of magnesium brass giving them the “golden” color when new. However, it is a shame that magnesium is very reactive and the coins quickly turn from shiny gold to dull brown.

    I say to heck with Crane & Company and stop making dollar bills. According to CNN.com, the GAO says we can save $5.5 Billion over 30 years by replacing dollar bills dollar coins.