Army and Air Force Exchange Service Promotes $1 Coins

by on July 13, 2010 · 5 comments

Military exchanges around America are beginning to promote the use of $1 coins in daily transactions, according to an announcement by the United States Mint.

2010 Presidential $1 Dollar Coins
The four 2010 Presidential $1 dollar coins

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) has kicked off an initiative at several retail stores to encourage and use Presidential and Native American dollars regularly, with plans to eventually expand their usage in all 1,703 AAFES locations.


"AAFES’s main focus is on improving troops’ quality of life through initiatives such as the $1 Coin Program, which not only speeds up transactions, but also is an environmentally-friendly initiative,” said AAFES Assistant Treasurer Jim Jordan.


Military exchanges at Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Huachuca, Arizona; and Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Academy in Colorado began promoting the $1 coins on July 4.

2010 Native American DollarExpectations are for the coins to offer speed and convenience when "used at grocery stores, restaurants and movie theaters, or when these coins are dropped into vending machines, parking meters and toll or fare boxes," according to the Mint announcement.

The savings aspects of the dollars were also promoted. A GAO report in 2002 said the coins could save more than $500 million every year.


The benefits of using $1 coins resonate with the military’s commitment to sustainability. The coins are 100% recyclable, last for decades and can save the country money," said U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy.


The Mint produces five different $1 coin designs each year. Four honor former United States Mint Presidents, with the 2010 dollars featuring Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln. One is an annually changing Native American $1 that depicts important contributions by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans.

Getting consumers to use $1 coins has been a problem since their inception. To date, the convenience of paper bills has greatly eclipsed the public’s desire to spend or willingly receive heavier dollar coins in large quantities.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Vachon July 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm

The US goverment, if it is serious about promoting the use of dollar coins, should make it a requirement (at the very least) that all federal facilities use them (like the Post Office) and that all vending machines on federal property dispense/accept the coin (It wouldn’t hurt if they’d add the half dollar and $2 bill to this as well). This could also be expanded to any facility receiving federal dollars/contracts and any vending machines thereupon. There are enough places receiving federal largesse to make the coin circulate competitively with the dollar bill.

Jaime July 14, 2010 at 9:52 am

“A GAO report in 2002 said the coins could save more than $500 every year.”

This should have stated $500 million, correct? July 14, 2010 at 10:06 am

Thanks Jaime. Corrected.

Ryan North August 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm

What amazes me is that most “Self Check Outs” would save a lot of time if they dispensed $1 coins instead of $1 notes as change, and that it would be a great way to get them out there.

Munze December 27, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I’m 100% with you, Vachon. If enough places gave $1 coins and $2 bills in change they’d start to work their way into circulation. I used to work in a major city whose transit system began giving change in $1 coins whenever you bought tokens or tickets from a vending machine. After a while stores were using them instead of bills, too. (Then the transit co. got rid of the vending machines and the whole transition stopped, fooey.)

I’m also pushing for the National Park Service to get a steady supply of ATB quarters. A year after their introduction neither I nor any of my collector friends have seen a single one, and the NPS should be an ideal venue to put them into circulation.

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