Here at The Consumerist, we have a long-standing anti-penny stance, but we’re somewhat in favor of the gold-colored dollar coins. They’re shiny! The Sacagawea ones have a woman on them! They save the government money! Except a new Government Accountability Office report mentions something interesting that we haven’t discussed here before. Just replacing more fragile dollar bills with durable coins doesn’t save any money at all. Minting and distributing all of those coins costs a lot. Instead, all of the cost savings would come from Americans throwing dollar coins in jars instead of circulating them.
The Canadian “give a penny, take a penny” tray industry has just been hit with some sad news. The new federal budget for our neighbors to the north has done away with the coin that costs more to make than it’s actually worth.
The fight over whether or not the dollar should be printed or minted continues. The latest volley of cannon fire in favor of the dollar coin came from Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa and Arizona’s John McCain, who earlier today introduced the Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings (Hey — that spells COINS!) Act to promote the use of coins in an effort to curb waste and spending.
Any number of stores have policies against accepting cash in denominations higher than $20 or $50 bills, but what about loose change? A woman in Portland (the one on the left side of the country) says her local grocery stores refused to let her use quarters to pay for $32 in groceries.
It’s cost taxpayers an unnecessary $300 million so far, and won’t end until 2016. It’s wildly unpopular with the American public, even though it saves the government money in the long run. It’s taking up comical amounts of space in secure federal government vaults. What is it? The United States Mint’s series of dollar coins featuring the faces of all 44 presidents. Congress meant well when authorizing the program in 2005, but failed to realize that the American public thinks that dollar coins are an icky Canadian affectation. One billion of the coins are currently in hibernation, and at least a billion more coins will be minted but destined for storage.
Even though it’s referred to as “paper” money, most of the material used to produce U.S. banknotes is actually cotton. And with raw cotton costs at a 140-year high, it’s costing more money to print money.
While many other global economies — including the European Union — have ditched their low-value paper banknotes in favor of coins, the U.S. continues to churn out dollar notes while $1 coins take a backseat. But a new report by the Government Accountability Office urges the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to give renewed thought to the idea of making dollar bills extinct.
If you enjoy commemorative coinage, and want something tangible and shiny to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, wait for the official coin coming from the U.S. Mint later this year. Skip the neat-looking coin currently being hawked on cable TV. That coin comes from a company with an untrustworthy past when it comes to 9/11 coinage, headed by the same man who brought us the Bedazzler.
As a favor to guests, one hotel washes every coin it receives, just like it’s done since 1938.
Remember just a few days ago when we wrote about that visionary Dunkin’ Donuts franchise that had started a voluntary no-penny policy? Well it didn’t last long, as NPR has learned from Dunkin’ HQ that the penny-abolishing policy has since been abolished.
One donut shop is taking a stand against the bacteria-ridden zinc disks of suck that are pennies. Reader Tom sent us this photo from a store he recently visited. In a policy change that was probably born during an 8 AM rush, this franchise appears to be are rounding customer totals up or down to the nearest five cents, and only providing pennies to those annoying people who actually want them.
Here’s the new design for the back of the 2010 penny. Instead of the Lincoln Memorial there’s now a shield, or maybe a tiny badge that you can flash whenever you want to announce, “I have jurisdiction over your pocket change.” No, I’m pretty sure it’s a shield.
47-year-old Washington resident Michael Lynch tried and failed to pay a $206 speeding ticket with a plastic bag filled with coins and urine. Surprisingly, his special payment for doing 54 mph in a 35 mph construction zone didn’t violate any laws…
You may have seen the commercial where Montel Williams hawks some goofy collectible coins with President Obama’s face IN FULL COLOR OMG. If you were planning on ordering some, though, watch this video from KATU 2 TV in Portland, Oregon first.* A father and daughter bought the coins and discovered that they’re just regular money with color stickers applied. One of the news anchors even comments that she could see the face on the coin through the sticker when she looked at it from the side.
Hayden wanted to buy a $4 wood plaque for his mother as part of a last-minute birthday gift, but Michael’s wouldn’t accept 16 quarters as payment. “It’s store policy not to accept change,” a cashier explained, forcing an embarrassed Hayden to borrow a few bucks from his younger sister.
29 Readington Middle School students earned two days detention after paying for their lunch with pennies. School administrators took the penny treatment a sign of disrespect towards cafeteria workers, who eventually collected 5,800 pennies.
“At first it started out as a joke, then everyone else started saying we’re protesting against like how short our lunch is,” student Alyssa Concannon said.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson hates the penny because it is a worthless dingleberry of a coin. In an interview sure to have kids thinking they know enough to run the Mint, Paulson simplistically noted: “The penny is worth less than any other currency.” Don’t sing the penny’s swan song just yet.
…he quickly added that he didn’t think it was “politically doable” to eliminate the one-cent coin and it wasn’t something he planned to tackle in the final year of the Bush administration.
Great, add the penny to the slate of issues over which the parties disagree. Put it right next to war spending and social security.