Lending Club Blog

The Presidential $1 Coin Program

Building on the success of the 50 State Quarters program, the US Mint began a Presidential $1 Coin Program this year. Whether this newest dollar coin will finally gain acceptance is a matter that only time will tell.

The Presidential $1 Coin program will release 4 coins a year and bear images of the former Presidents in the order in which they served. This year’s releases were/will be:

George Washington February 15th
John Adams May 17th
Thomas Jefferson August 16th
James Madison November 15th

Recent releases of dollar coins have proven to be largely unsuccessful. It seems that prior failures have caused the mint to change its tactics. Both the Susan B. Anthony Dollar and the Sacagawea Dollar, which were the two most recent dollar coins intended for circulation, were marketed for their historical significance. It was also highly touted how much more cost effective dollar coins were to paper dollars due to their extended lifetime.

The Presidential $1 Coins are being marketed in a completely different light. They are marketed as collectibles and it’s no wonder why. The 50 State Quarter Program saw a renewed interest in coin collecting that the mint likely hopes will continue with this program. When people collect coins, rather than use them as currency, they are effectively taking the coins out of circulation. This creates a profit, or seigniorage, for the government because the coins cost much less than their face value to produce. Since its inception in 1999, the 50 State Quarters Program has generated over four and a half billion dollars in this manner.

Although collectors may keep the Presidential $1 Coin Program alive and profitable, it seems to me that the only way for a dollar coin to truly catch on is to eliminate the paper dollar. Until that day comes, if it ever does, we will have to enjoy the latest dollar coins for their beauty and collectible nature if not for their use in our daily lives.

Monday, September 17th, 2007 at 6:48 am

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