White House scraps unpopular Presidential $1 coins

White House scraps unpopular Presidential $1 coins

The US Mint is scrapping the production of dollar coins bearing the likeness of deceased Presidents as part of the White House's waste cutting campaign.

The coins were introduced following a 2005 Act of Congress but according to the White House "nobody wants to use them" and 1.3 billion - more than 40% of those produced - are sitting in storage at the Federal Reserve.

With the Mint slated to produce another 1.6 billion coins through 2016, the administration has decided to virtually ditch the coins in a move it claims will save around $50 million a year in production and storage costs.

Announcing the move, Vice President Joe Biden revealed: "As will shock you all, the call for Chester A Arthur coins is not big. I don't mean to comment on his Presidency but it just is not very high. Surprisingly, to my shock and dismay."

A small number will still be produced to be sold to collectors as is required by law but there will be no cost to the taxpayer.

Comments: (2)

MaryAnn Allison
MaryAnn Allison - Payments Industry - Palm Desert 16 December, 2011, 04:29Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I think this bit is somewhat misleading.

The USD $1 coins were originally mass-produced with the intention of replacing or displacing the US one dollar bill which does not last very long as the paper wears out quickly, relative to the metals in coins. It was an attempt at cost savings by the US Mint that did not work out as intended. The coins are cheaper to make and last longer than their paper equivalents.

However, the $1 coins proved to be an unsuitable and unpopular replacement for the one dollar bill and were not adopted by mainstream American public. Some/most did not like to carry the weight of all that coinage in their pockets! 

There has always been a collectors market for those interested in coins of all kinds, including those collecting the Presidents. That market has not changed with respect to this new decision by the US Mint.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 16 December, 2011, 14:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Perhaps this story should be filed under the heading of 'Slow Learner.' Hopefully this action will finally kill the concept of implementing a $1 coin that so closely resembles a 25-cent piece in size and appearance that consumers hesitate to use it for fear of making a 75-cent error.  The just-discontinued presidential $1 coins follow 2 previous, spectacular failures -- the Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea coins.