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Dollar Programs Continue to Be Unpopular

Native American Dollar

2009 Native American golden dollar. (Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint.)

by Bill Tuttle

Another “golden” dollar program is getting started! Why?

Golden dollars are not popular in the U.S. and don’t circulate except in big cities where a bus and/or train (metro transit company) operates. The “small” dollar coin was/is a good idea, but the U.S. kept the paper dollar in circulation, unlike the other worldwide countries who’ve discontinued their paper for the coin.

So, the first “small” dollar was not popular because it was the copper-nickel clad type of the lesser-valued coins in circulation. Plus, it was a size slightly larger than the quarter and created confusion among the citizens. The government then introduced it as a “golden” dollar (really, no gold is in the coin, despite some non-collectors calling it “a gold dollar” when they see one). To stimulate interest and acceptance, they had a breakfast cereal company put one in a box. (No, it wasn’t Cracker Jack!) Then came the Presidents, which were circulated for a while, then stopped (being put in circulation due to “lack of interest” by non-collectors). Then it was Native American Heritage dollars, which are sold by the Mint basically as collector's pieces. Finally, the American Innovation dollars are coming out (just for collectors willing to pay a premium for them?).

Why is the U.S. government continuing these failed projects? The unknowing government officials just want the money from the sales of these pieces to go into their pockets. Little or none will enter circulation, and those that do will be questioned as to their legality. A sales clerk may ask what it is, confused.

I agree with Wayne Pearson of New Jersey: Don’t buy these coins at a “premium.” If you desire to have one, or one from each mint, have patience and wait to get one in circulation. Maybe then the government will get wise and discontinue the dollar bill.

This “Viewpoint” was written by Bill Tuttle, a collector from Ohio.

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