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Viewpoint: Save money, better art; why not act?

By Wayne Pearson


To help with costs for the one-cent coin, do you think the introduction of a trime would be beneficial? If we made 16 trimes out of every 100 one-cent coins (48 cents), then we would need only make 52 one-cent coins. Already a savings in materials for 32 coins. 16 + 52 = 68. When you get your change, be it a combination of four or nine cents (14, 19, 24, 29, etc.), instead of four one-cent coins you would get one one-cent coin and one trime. No one wants a pocketful of pennies.

If this sounds like a good idea, size and metal to be used would be smaller than a dime, 16.5 mm, but thicker? Maybe 20 mm with a hole in the center and a reeded edge, like the 50 euro cent coin.

To aid in saving the cent, nickel and the paper dollar, we should produce two opposite bimetallic coins (silver-color center with gold ring and gold center with silver-color outer ring), one for $2 and one for $5. These are not intended to replace their paper counterparts. But these two coins would circulate and be put in coin sets for face value plus costs.

The Mint already charges a premium on coin sets. The money raised from coin sets could be applied to the cost of copper, nickel and zinc, as well as the printing of the paper dollar. It is all free money we don’t have right now.

Issue a half dollar coin that will circulate, 27.5 mm with a heptagon shape like they use in the U.K. for their 50 pence. Not too big for vending machines.

I read in Numismatic News that sales are down for coin sets (proof sets). Here is an idea that you need to be sitting down for.

Our coin designs are basically tired. We have used them for years, and the new Jefferson nickel makes me ill. The Sacagawea dollar design makes me ill. The beautiful profile designs of the past are much better.

The idea is to issue a different coin set every year for six years and then repeat them. The designs on all but one of the coins would be designs of Liberty. The non-liberty design would be one of the six people currently on our coins but with a better design. They would be issued in the order of their appearance. First would be Lincoln (1909) using the Lincoln design by James Fraser. Next Washington using the Laura G. Fraser 1932 design. Jefferson would be next. I love the 1994 dollar version. I added the piece on the chest from the 1903 gold dollar similar to a failed entry from 1938. Next FDR using the plaque by Selma Burke.

In year five, the seven-sided half dollar would be a Kennedy portrait from the Presidential medal. In year six, it would be a profile version of Sacagawea by Glenna Goodacre.

Lastly, this idea is admittedly a bit off the wall, but what do you think of a 1st class forever coin? It would be the amount of a 1st class stamp (money over the register, not in vending machines), with the Treasury seal obverse and the postal seal reverse – all the writings of a coin and stamp, and the first one would carry a letter “A.” When postage goes up, same design, but it would be the “B” version. As a forever coin, the “A” issued coins would all be equal in value to the “B” version.

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

To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 5225 Joerns Drive, Suite 2, Stevens Point WI, 54481. Send email to

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Keep up to date on prices for Canada, United States and Mexico coinage with the 2018 North American Coins & Prices guide.

• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.