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The Struggling Dollar Coin

Paul Partyka |

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite efforts to promote the use of the $1 coin, most Americans are not using the coins often in their daily transactions, according to U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy.Moy recently addressed the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology regarding “The State of U.S. Coins and Currency.” A part of Moy’s presentation dealt with implementing 2010 circulating coin programs, specifically the $1 coin.Since the inception of the various $1 coin programs, the U.S. Mint has issued 3.9 billion $1 coins. These include the Susan B. Anthony Dollar, the Golden Dollar featuring Sacagawea, the Presidential $1 Coin and the Native American $1 Coin.Of the 3.9 billion, the U.S. Mint has distributed 1.7 billion Presidential and Native American $1 coins since 2007. The U.S. Mint has continued to encourage the awareness and use of these coins, spending about $30 million on these efforts since the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, Moy says. He says these efforts have resulted in some successes, which include use by transit systems in New York and Washington, D.C. and general acceptance of the $1 coin.The U.S. Mint has fulfilled its statutory requirements to aggressively and cost effectively promote the use of the $1 coin, yet the Federal Reserve Banks have an inventory of approximately 1.1 billion $1 coins, which is of great concern, he admits.Generating robust $1 coin circulation and drawing down existing coin inventories depend on far greater utilization where most customer cash transactions occur — at the cash register, he says. The U.S. Mint, despite efforts to encourage use of the $1 coin, is unsure as to whether it can cost effectively achieve significant and sustainable increases in $1 coin circulation.To read more of Moy’s remarks, click here. 

About the author

Paul Partyka

American Coin-Op

Paul Partyka was editor of American Coin-Op from 1997 through May 2011.

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