Skip to main content

Two Mint directors share one opinion

Former Mint directors Philip Diehl and Ed Moy teamed up to advocate abolishing the cent and the dollar bill and striking dollar coins to replace the paper money.

Coin collectors have seen this movie before.

It is nice when a former Democrat appointee to the Mint can agree with a former Republican appointee.

Diehl was appointed Mint director by President Bill Clinton.

Moy was appointed by President George W. Bush.

Both were highly committed to their jobs and sensitive to the wishes of coin collectors.

Diehl has the distinction of trying to make the Sacagawea dollar work in the year 2000 without the $1 bill being abolished.

His approach included lining up big retailers like Wal-mart to use them.

He funded a glitzy ad campaign to promote the $1 coin.

It did not work.

Retail customers quickly lost interest in getting dollar coins.

Diehl was criticized for spending money to pay for the ad campaign.

Moy headed the Mint when the Presidential dollar series was in full swing starting in 2007.

It was hoped enough people trying to put Presidential sets together would help change public attitudes to the dollar coin.

It didn’t.

Instead, the supplies of dollar coins ballooned at the Federal Reserve.

Costs of storage became a big issue and not long after Moy left office in 2011, the remaining Presidential dollar coin designs were struck only in small numbers just for collectors.

As is the case every time this issue arises, the argument rests on saving taxpayer money.

The facts are there. It will save tax dollars if these changes are implemented.

However, many of the public have come to the conclusion that they must pay for so many things they don’t like, that paying a little more to keep the dollar bill and the one-cent coin, which they do like, seems worth it.

The Diehl-Moy article cites a new poll with different results.

What the reaction will be to this latest presentation, I cannot know for sure.

What I expect is the cent and the dollar bill will continue in use.

However, we all know that the future of cash itself is in question.

Payments using a cell phone is the next big thing.

It will eliminate much of the need for cash, especially small change.

While I like and respect both former Mint directors, there is a high probability that the dollar bill and cent will disappear only when all other forms of cash disappear with them.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

• Like this blog? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News.