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Viewpoint: It’s time we ‘make coins great again’

By Wayne Pearson

This is in response to the letter by William Tuttle, “Get rid of the cent and paper dollar for good,” published in the June 13 issue.

I couldn’t disagree more with this Viewpoint. America needs to think out of the box instead of discontinuing our way of life by eliminating the cent and the dollar. No doubt New Coke would have still been around if it was a new product added to the line instead of replacing Classic Coke. The same can work for the dollar coin if the government would commit that they would keep making the coin – same size, shape and color so vending machines wouldn’t have to change out their dollar coin acceptors on the whim of a new dollar coin. We have had three.

Second, adding the coin to the lineup (while keeping the American icon paper dollar), they need to commit to making only the amount needed and not to flood the market when there isn’t a need for as many as they were making with Presidential dollars.

And the government also needs to commit that they will not replace the paper dollar for a coin. People would use the coins here and there if they are assured it will not lead to the elimination of the paper dollar. If there was any savings at all to be found in replacing the paper dollar for a coin, our wonder members of Congress would have the savings wasted before the ink on the legislation dried!

As for the cent-eliminating, it is a defeatist attitude. Think out of the box and create a trime (three-cent coin). For every 100 current one-cent coins being made, cut it down to 52 and make 16 trimes to make up the difference. This would save a little money in materials and offer consumers fewer one-cent coins in their pockets. They would go in the one-cent slot of the register and fit nicely because you would not need to have as many one-cent coins on hand. They would have a scalloped shape and be 16.5 mm in diameter.

The same idea could apply for rising copper and nickel costs to save the five-cent coin if we offered a 15-cent coin.

To further help the Mint make money, possibly create jobs, and save the cent, nickel and paper dollar, we could add a $2 and five $5 opposite-colored ringed bimetallic coin (solely for the purpose to raise money; not to replace the paper versions). They would be commerce and added to coin sets for face value and costs.

Additionally, we could actually make our coins great again by returning designs of Liberty. And to raise possibly four times the money, each mint could offer different designs. Common obverse and four different reverse sides or vice versa.

All the Mint is currently offering is legislative junk. We need to seriously think out of the box. And while we are at it, we can change all of the faces on paper money and update it to the 20th century. Not just target Jackson.

This “Viewpoint” was written by Wayne Pearson, a hobbyist from Union City, Ind.

Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to david.harper@fwmedia.com.

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One Response to Viewpoint: It’s time we ‘make coins great again’

  1. Clifford Johnson says:

    You write: “adding the coin to the lineup (while keeping the American icon paper dollar), they need to commit to making only the amount needed and not to flood the market when there isn’t a need for as many as they were making with Presidential dollars.”

    What you propose is precisely what the present state is supposed to be–the public now has all the dollar coins it wants now, and for many years ahead. Throughout all the years of purported over-production of the dollar coin–except for the very first couple of years of the Sacawagea and Presidential series–the federal reserve misrepresented that dollar coins were readily available to any members of the public who wanted them. That was never my experience, I had to go out of my way to get a them from my local banks, even while the federal reserve banks were testifying that dollar coins were readily and ordinarily available through the banking system. The Fed wanted its own notes to remain dominant, while professing neutrality.

    According to ex-Mint Director Philip Diehl’s December 2012 testimony (at https://financialservices.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hhrg-112-ba19-wstate-pdiehl-20121129.pdf), strong initial public demand for the new $1 coins “ultimately flagged” simply because the federal reserve banks commandeered and then intentionally suppressed the public supply, sitting on a production that they simply stored, while disingenuously pretending that no one had ever wanted them.

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