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.
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.
Expectations 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.