I just read your article about the sorry state of the circulating U.S. coinage and I agree with you. Inflation has really taken a toll on our currency. I liked your example of the girls in the restaurant.
I don’t really know what can be done in the long term about the cent, dime and nickel. It seems like a silver coin could be made to work if it did not have an engraved value on it.
I like the idea of Hugo Salinas Price, have a coin with a quoted, published value that would be money not bullion.
As money, the coins would be detached from the ups and downs of the market prices of metals, except that the quoted value can be ratcheted upwards whenever inflation makes this necessary.
I wrote up a bill for Congress, and I have submitted a copy of this to my congressman, Jason Chaffetz. Haven’t heard back from him yet.
Anyone who likes the idea is more than welcome to use the text and send it to their representatives as well.
To establish a series of precious metal circulating coins with a published rather than an engraved monetary value, and to provide a means of saving for low-income Americans.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the “Quoted Value Coin Act.”
SECTION 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSES.
(a) Findings – The Congress finds the following:
(1) Silver and gold coins have been part of the monetary system of the United States in the past, but these coins no longer circulate because the face value of the coins is less than the market value of the metal in the coins.
(2) The Constitution of the United States requires that the Federal government provide gold and silver coins as part of the circulating money of the United States.
(3) Given the history of inflation over the period of the last 100 years and the likelihood of continuing inflation, any engraved dollar amount on a coin is likely to render the coin obsolete, and cause it to not circulate as described in Item 1 above.
(4) A coin with published value, where the value could increase with the effects of inflation, would render the coin immune to the effects of inflation, and the coin could continue to circulate despite the effects of inflation.
(5) The current rate of return provided by banks to savings account holders is less than the rate of inflation. Savers, therefore, lose purchasing power by holding their money in bank accounts.
(6) Holding money in the form of cash also results in a loss of purchasing power over time as a result of inflation.
(7) Other options for investing, such as stocks and bonds, require more knowledge, sophistication and accumulated funds than may be possessed by low-income persons, and such people risk loss of their saved money should they choose to so invest.
(8) A precious metal coin could provide a means for low-income citizens to save money in a form that would maintain purchasing power over time.
(b) Purposes – The purpose of Section 3 of this Act is to establish precious metal coins as circulating money of the United States of America.
SECTION 3. QUOTED VALUE COIN ACT
(a) The U.S. Treasury shall cause the U.S. Mint to issue coins of gold, silver and other precious metals.
(1) The series of coins may be referenced as the “Quoted Value Coin” series.
(2) The coins shall be offered in metals, sizes and weights as the public demands, except that, once offered, the metallic composition, size and weight of the coin may not be altered.
(3) The metallic composition of the coins in the series shall be consistent with the requirements for circulating money.
(i) Each coin must be recognizable by the public.
(ii) Each coin must be recognizable by mechanical devices.
(iii) No individual coin may be uniquely identified so as to result in a loss of anonymity in commerce.
(iv) Each coin must have characteristics of durability and resistance to counterfeiting.
(4) The initial coin in the series shall contain one troy ounce of silver, followed immediately by a coin containing one troy ounce of gold.
(5) The artistic design of the coins shall be the responsibility of the U.S. Mint subject to the following requirements:
(i) The coins must be recognizable by the public as legal money of the United States and as part of the “Quoted Value Coin” series.
(ii) The coins must state the predominate metal contained in the coin, the weight in grams of the predominate metal contained in the coin, and the total weight of the coin in grams with precision sufficient to aid in the detection of counterfeits.
(iii) The coins must contain words or markings to indicate the following, “This coin has a quoted legal tender value published by U.S. Treasury”.
(6) The coins shall be produced and distributed by the U.S. Mint in quantities and qualities sufficient to meet public demand.
(7) The coins may be sold in bulk by the U.S. Mint at a discount from their legal tender monetary value.
(8) Collectable versions of these coins may be produced and sold by the U.S. Mint at a higher price than the legal tender monetary value of the coins.
(b) The U.S. Treasury shall establish a legal tender monetary value, and publish the current legal tender monetary value of the coins of the “Quoted Value Coin” series.
(1) The legal tender monetary value of a coin shall be established by the market value of the precious metal, plus the other costs of coin production which may include materials, equipment, labor, management and distribution costs plus a two percent markup, with the total amount being rounded up to an even dollar amount.
(2) The legal tender monetary value of a coin shall be increased from time to time as needed to maintain the legal tender monetary value above the costs of the precious metal content and the other costs of coin production.
(3) An increase of the legal tender monetary value shall apply both to newly minted coins, and to all existing or circulating instances of a coin, as well as all coins of the same composition and weight that have the same legal tender monetary value.
(4) The legal tender monetary value of the coins shall never be decreased.
(c) Excess profits from the sale of the coins shall be applied.
(1) First, to a subsidy of the production of the uneconomic, circulating, minor coins such as the nickel, so as to postpone the need to change the metallic composition of such coins, as such a change of materials would impose costs on the public, in particular, on the manufacturers, owners and operators of mechanical coin recognizing devices.
(2) Secondly, to the reduction of the debts of the United States of America.
(d) Possession of these coins shall never be prohibited.
(e) The confiscation of these coins by any government agency shall never be allowed, except as a result of conviction of a criminal act.
(f) Possession of these coins shall never be the basis of suspicion of a criminal act.
(g) An increase of legal tender monetary value of these coins shall not be considered a taxable gain to the holders of the coins.
SECTION 4. TIME FOR COMPLIANCE
(a) Coins meeting the requirements of this Act must be made available to the public within six months of the passage of the Act.
Steven Snelgrove is a hobbyist from Orem, Utah. Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Numismatic News.
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