US Dollar Coins

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 05, 2015 6:45 PM GMT
    Trivial topic du jour.

    How many people actually use or encounter dollar coins in daily life? Or even half-dollars? I can't remember the last time anybody gave me a half-dollar in change.

    In Europe, I often pay for drinks and small items with Euro coins from my pocket. Almost never so with dollar coins. Occasionally I get a few Susan B.'s or Sacajawea's in change, from stores in Portland, where the transit ticket machines use them - or did before everyone just started using plastic for everything.

    One problem is that the US never seems to make a convenient dollar coin. The Ike's are just too darned big and the Ladies are too hard to tell from a quarter.

    The Kennedy half-dollar would make a good size for a dollar coin. They're weird too though... according to Wikipedia, the mint keeps striking them, but they keep disappearing. Nobody knows where they're going... icon_eek.gif
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    Apr 05, 2015 6:54 PM GMT
    The problem with one dollar coins is most vending machines aren't set up to take them. And many cash tills don't have a slot for them. And people prefer one dollar bills.
    Dollar coins make sense though because they are so much more durable than one dollar bills they cost much less in the long term.
    The only way to get people to use dollar coins is to completely replace one dollar bills like Canada did in 1987.
    Loonies and toonies are one of my favorite thing about Canada. A pocketful of change can be 12 bucks, enough for lunch! They do make tipping at a strip club a bit problematic though... icon_twisted.gif
  • carew28

    Posts: 660

    Apr 05, 2015 6:59 PM GMT
    I like the idea and appearance of the dollar coins, but I never, ever come across them anymore. I like the appearance of the Susan B. coin, but it's easy to mistake for a quarter. I also like the appearance of the Sacagawea coin. But nowadays I use mostly plastic credit-cards, and I don't often carry coins in my pocket. My paycheque is direct-deposited, I pay my bills mostly online, once in awhile I write out a cheque. Credit-cards have become more convenient to use than cash. Many days I no longer use cash at all. I do have a nostalgic feeling for the old days of cash and coins, though.
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    Apr 05, 2015 7:02 PM GMT
    Oh, the reason I thought of it was that I was cleaning out an old family dresser to put in a rental unit and one of the things in it was my Dad's Vegas slots fun-bag. No great riches - about $60 in quarters and $50 in various dollar coins. One silver eagle.

    More fun were a couple of other bags that appeared to belong to my Great-Uncles on opposite sides of the family. One has a bunch of Pre-WWII European currency and the other a bunch of banknotes from occupied Europe.

    Hey, there's got to be 60 or 80 million deutschemarks in here... I'm rich! Oh, wait... 1923 Reichsbanknotes. icon_cry.gif n/m
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    Apr 05, 2015 7:23 PM GMT
    Slightly off-topic, but we have had the £1 coin since 1983. Size-wise, it is slightly smaller in diameter than a US Quarter and about twice the thickness. I think the important thing was to rapidly phase out the £1 banknote, which it replaced.
    54eb2ba3-72ef-44c9-985b-a19cb467d199

    The £1 coin has been widely counterfeited, so a new bi-metal version will be rolled out in 2017.

    article-2583878-1C65E48500000578-72_634x

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    Apr 05, 2015 7:29 PM GMT
    Yes, thick would be good, like a Euro is thicker thicker than other coins. You can reach into your pocket and tell what it is without looking.

    OK, the Sacajawea's and Susan B.'s are slightly larger diameter than a quarter. If they were actually in common use, I guess it wouldn't be hard to learn their feel. But only if you always carried a quarter too, for comparison.
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    Apr 05, 2015 7:34 PM GMT
    Oh, speaking of off-topic, I also have a whole cabinet of 1953 Queen Elizabeth II coronation tea-cups to get rid of. My Mom was convinced that they were worth money (liker her "Hummels" icon_rolleyes.gif ) But apparently everybody in the British Empire already has so many of them, they're used for doorstops and mixing paint...icon_confused.gif
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    Apr 05, 2015 7:43 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidOh, speaking of off-topic, I also have a whole cabinet of 1953 Queen Elizabeth II coronation tea-cups to get rid of. My Mom was convinced that they were worth money (liker her "Hummels" icon_rolleyes.gif ) But apparently everybody in the British Empire already has so many of them, they're used for doorstops and mixing paint...icon_confused.gif


    They are pretty much worthless. Much like Hummel, Coronation ware was mass produced, is of indifferent quality and there is tons of it still around. In fact, the Hummel is probably a better bet value-wise.
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    Apr 05, 2015 8:04 PM GMT
    43rueperronet saidWhy can't they make the dollar coin green or copper to differentiate it from the quarter?


    Um... it is brass colored.

    final_obv.gif

    Let me guess... never had that much money together all at once?
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    Apr 05, 2015 8:08 PM GMT
    I wish they would just get rid of the $1 and $5 and use a coin instead.
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    Apr 05, 2015 9:02 PM GMT
    It's been a while but I do remember getting dollar coins in change from the cable car ticket vending machine in San Francisco.

    I almost never use cash, only when some place won't take plastic. Then, when I do use it and get change I just put it in the console thing between the driver's and passenger's seat in my car. The paper money in my wallet is brittle and brown. So for me it's more convenient getting $1 paper money change since it's easier to carry.

    I hadn't heard about the Ike coins so I went to usmint.gov and I never was able to find a page that shows the currently issued coins; it's all geared towards foolish people who collect coins. (I used to collect stamps but fortunately soon realized what a waste of money it is.)

    Other things I stumbled across with google:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Save_the_Greenback

    Similarly curious, how many times have you ever seen the $2 bill?

    http://www.moneyfactory.gov/uscurrency/smalldenominations.html

    I remember when the $2 bills first came out there was a mad rush to get them and there was an instant urban legend that if you took a new one to the post office and put a stamp on it and had them cancel it then it would be worth a lot of money in the future. Lots of people did it. This was way back in the 1970s when I was in the Navy.
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    Apr 05, 2015 9:05 PM GMT
    Fun with money. I even bought some ink stamps to stamp my bills for this but it's more work than it's worth in my opinion. Could be fun for kids though.

    http://www.wheresgeorge.com/

    http://www.stamp-connection.com/george-stamps.aspx
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    Apr 05, 2015 9:20 PM GMT
    I guess the Ike's were only minted during the 70's. Nowadays, they're pretty much only used in slot machines (i.e. Vegas and Reno.)

    I seem to recall them being pretty common in the 70's. After all, that was a full tank of gas for my Honda, or lunch.

    McDonalds+1970s+inflation.jpg

    Which brings up another problem with a dollar coin... WTF can you buy for a dollar any more?




    OK... exactly how DO you tip a stripper with coins?
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    Apr 05, 2015 11:00 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidWhich brings up another problem with a dollar coin... WTF can you buy for a dollar any more?

    If there were any pay phones left, maybe a local phone call.  
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 05, 2015 11:49 PM GMT
    I never see dollar or half dollar coins.
    I'd be happy if they did away with both of them, and the penny, too.

    BTW, I use a debit card or a charge card so much that I rarely have any change (coins), at all.
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Apr 06, 2015 12:43 AM GMT
    Since MindGarden started this he might get the joke: I use dollar coins to pay my portland "Arts Tax" - I tape 1 to each one of 10 $2.50 checks I write to the City of Portland. the postage is hell, but it's also sent certified mail, to make processing the "arts tax" as inconvenient as possible. ;)

    I also keep $1 coins for parking.

    I also like how bank tellers usually have to go to a safe to get a roll of them - because that extra time leaches away a teensy bit of corporate bank profits.

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    Apr 06, 2015 4:03 AM GMT
    The $2 is still in circulation, but I haven't seen one in years. I've got one pressed in a book. (Maybe they are all pressed in books).
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1034

    Apr 06, 2015 4:27 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidI guess the Ike's were only minted during the 70's. Nowadays, they're pretty much only used in slot machines (i.e. Vegas and Reno.)


    Actually, Vegas slot machines don't use coins anymore. It's all done with plastic, and paper tickets.

    To me that takes the fun out of it completely - and the sound of all those coins dropping into the pot was a great way to get people eager to play. But I guess somebody figured out people are happy enough to empty their wallets in a casino even without any physical money being involved.
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    Apr 06, 2015 4:40 AM GMT
    Well then what am I supposed to do with a roll of them?

    The only times I walked through Vegas casinos was to get to my room when I was there for wurk. Rather horrifying demonstration of how easy it is to manipulate the masses... maybe a little harder than sheep, easier than pigs or cats.
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    Apr 06, 2015 6:54 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidWell then what am I supposed to do with a roll of them?

    And I'll bet those Coin Star machines won't take them (if you don't mind their 10% fee; bastards).
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    Apr 06, 2015 12:31 PM GMT
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    Apr 06, 2015 3:09 PM GMT
    When I moved to Canada from Ohio I had to get used to not having the $1 bill and to use $1 and $2 coins instead. It felt awkward at first, but now I like it.
    loonie-toonie.jpg

    But what I liked most of all was the death of the penny. Those things were annoying!
    Ox7xt.jpg
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    Apr 06, 2015 6:01 PM GMT
    I remember seeing a sign posted on a BART ticket machine in Berkeley back in the '80s reading, "This machine does not accept Susan B. Anthony Dollars," the recently-minted and short-lived dollar coin of the time. Alongside which, in a distinctly feminine hand, someone had written, "What's the matter? Isn't she good enough for you?"

    In a word, no. The "Suebuck" was an ugly piece of specie and, due to its general non-acceptance by machines nearly everywhere, a pain in the pocket to boot. The "Peace Dollar," minted to commemorate the signing of our peace treaties with Germany and Austria, NOT the Versailles Treaty, is IMHO the coolest silver dollar ever made.
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    Apr 06, 2015 6:26 PM GMT
    But one of the main reasons for the (post-bullion) dollar coins was because items in vending machines were becoming more expensive...

    But instead the industry switched to the "dollar bill reader." Obviously, complicated bill readers make no sense when coins of the same denomination are available. The true purpose of these devices is to force hilarious antics of desperate customers attempting to smooth and iron their bills into some readable form, using only materials at hand, while being recorded on hidden cameras for the amusement of bank executives.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4864

    Apr 06, 2015 7:12 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidBut one of the main reasons for the (post-bullion) dollar coins was because items in vending machines were becoming more expensive...

    But instead the industry switched to the "dollar bill reader." Obviously, complicated bill readers make no sense when coins of the same denomination are available. The true purpose of these devices is to force hilarious antics of desperate customers attempting to smooth and iron their bills into some readable form, using only materials at hand, while being recorded on hidden cameras for the amusement of bank executives.


    The obvious solution would be to have an ironing accessory as part of the bill reader. It's strange that that has not already been done.