New U.S. Mint $1 Coin Campaign Doomed to Fail

by Mike Unser on August 22, 2008 · 12 comments

Presidential $1 coins and $1 billAmericans are very familiar with the continual failure of dollar coins in every day use. In recent years, the Susan B. Anthony and the Sacagawea Golden Dollar have lost their acceptance battle.

Today, the new Presidential $1 coins honoring U.S. presidents is failing. Over one billion of the coins have been minted since the series start in 2007. Yet, few are ever seen in daily use. The paper bill is the currency of choice.

The U.S. Mint hopes a new marketing campaign will change people’s minds. They have selected four cities — Austin, TX; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Portland, Oregon; and Charlotte, North Carolina — as their testing bed.

The latest campaign takes a "green" approach, marketing how paper dollars waste money and harm the environment. To help America, the four city residents will be told to use "100 percent recyclable" coins that last decades instead of 21 months, like a $1 note’s typical lifespan.

 

"This is the first program of its kind to inspire shoppers, diners and commuters to use $1 Coins in their normal, everyday activities," said United States Mint Director Ed Moy. "When each of us spends the $1 Coin, we make a difference for our country, because the $1 Coin is durable and using it saves the Nation money. We hope our pilot cities lead the change!"

 

The U.S. Mint is required by law to promote the new Presidential coins, and their latest approach is perhaps one of the most unique ways to date. It rides the growing green train.

But then there are today’s facts that starkly contrast against any campaign for dollar coins.

To name a few, banknotes are preferred, convenient, nearly weightless, don’t jingle in the pocket, don’t take valuable space, and are readily available — unlike dollar coins

Dollar bills bear little to no physical and mental burdens for anyone. Their reason for use outweigh the tangibles of every day transactions using $1 coins. Marketing the coins as a green solution will not begin a viral surge to use them.

What will work? The history of previous dollar coin failures has already drawn up the successful picture.

Removing dollar bills from circulation is the only event that will cause Americans to carry $1 coins in any significant quantity.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

jerke wadde August 22, 2008 at 2:12 pm

The bottom line:

“Removing dollar bills from circulation is the only event that will cause Americans to carry $1 coins in any significant quantity.”

Derek August 22, 2008 at 2:33 pm

With all the advantages of banknotes, why do we use coins at all? Quarter dollar bill, anyone?

If the half dollar coin and the two dollar bill were more widely circulated, we wouldn’t need to carry around so many dollar bills (or coins), which would lessen the advantages of bills over coins.

Llama Money August 22, 2008 at 3:10 pm

I’d give up $1 bills in a heartbeat. I hate them. Dollar coins all the way… if only I didn’t get an ugly look when I ask for a few rolls at my bank.

All the Mint has to do is simply stop making $1 bills, like the author says.. problem solved! People would cry for a bit, and then simply get over it.

Jake August 22, 2008 at 8:48 pm

If bills went away, people would just use their cards. All transactions will be digital before end-century.

Koichi Ito August 23, 2008 at 8:40 am

Most people prefer One Dollar Bill for transaction of money. And think that One Dollar Coin is for collector. Since One Dollar Coins are popular with coin collector, but not for use of purchasing goods and service!

Mr. M August 24, 2008 at 3:50 pm

These coins are great to use. Even just to give a little excitement to a cashier or server.

Since you can’t really get anything anymore for a dollar, but maybe a $1.25 or $1.50 in a vending machine, the $1 coin only makes sense for use.

Bring back the $2 bill so you have a low commodity bill and the $1 coin is used in the vending machines and parking meters. Sure, maybe more people will use the $2 bill, but the government would produce less of them when compared to the $1 bill and I think as a result the $1 coins would be utilized more.

Mrs. Z August 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I live in the US but am originally from Canada where we not only have a $1 coin but also a $2 coin. They are a lot easier to use, especially for those people who use parking meters, public laundry facilities, car washes, etc. Instead of using handfuls of quarters you only need one or two dollar coins. For example when I did laundry in Canada I used 2 dollar coins for washing. Here I use 6 quarters for washing.

Matthew October 26, 2008 at 7:54 am

The solution is to stop making dollar bills and start making two dollar coins. With $1 and $2 coins, you only have to carry two coins at most. Carrying two coins is easier than carrying 4 bills.

Why don’t we do away with pennies? They are worth far less than the old inflation-adjusted half cent was.

Kathy October 30, 2008 at 11:59 am

Is it true that the “In God We Trust” has been removed? If so, I as a christian, will have no part of this new coin, whether is is “green”, convenient or anything else.

Derek October 30, 2008 at 12:57 pm
JayKay January 2, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Almost every other major country in the world has eliminated its dollar bill or equivalent, and civilization hasn’t fallen. I’ve spent a lot of time in the EU and never had to fight with bill acceptors on vending machines or transit vehicles – just pop in a €1 or €2 coin. (I was going to ask if their citizens are more adaptable than ours, but I think I just answered my own question …)

As far as the purported removal of In God We Trust, it AMAZES me how a combination of the far right and rumor-whisperers can keep this myth alive. And anyway, people forget that paper currency didn’t have the motto until the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was only added as a way to differentiate the U.S. from the “godless Communists” of that era. We DID manage to defeat the Nazis without having the motto everywhere, didn’t we?

tony October 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Once again the US Mints fails!
They think it’s more important to put the faces of historic people than
actually making a coin people can see within 1/2sec that it’s a dollar coin.

Here is for a success:
1: Make it thin a light.
2: Put a big 1 on it instead of a face of some dead person.
3: Don’t use same color as a quarter, maybe gold with a silver or blue ‘1’ ( if you can merge two metals)

Think Vegas chips (but less gaudy)

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