On Dollar Coins

Yesterday in change I received one of the new Presidential Dollar Coins. I’m not sure why I got it back in change, as I think the register clerk was confused about what it was. I didn’t realize until much later that I even had it when I was fishing around in my pocket and trying to figure out what I had.

It’s a nice looking coin. It’s shiny. Unfortunately, it’s not one of the misprints missing “In God We Trust”, some of which are fetching thirty to fifty dollars on eBay.

The new Presidents series is really a marketing gimmick, to get people collecting dollar coins the way the commemorative states series of quarters got people interested in collecting quarters. Whether or not an increase of interest in the dollar coins leads to an increase in circulation of dollar coins remains to be seen. To be honest, I get a little annoyed when a vending machine at the post office or subway station spits back my change in Suzy Bs or Sacajaweas.

Dollar coins have not been a success in this country. The cynic in me wonders if any publicity on the coins–like an accidental misprint–can only be a good thing to get people thinking about the dollar coins, talking about the dollar coins, using the dollar coins.

See, the United States Mint has been -very- good about catching misprints. Misprinted bills are burned, mispressed coins are melted down and pressed into new coins. For their quality assurance program–which has had virtually 100% accuracy for so long–to screw up on the scale that’s been said (no “In God We Trust,” upside-down “In God We Trust,” no faces) just doesn’t seem plausible.

In the case of the new Presidential dollar coin, any news is good news. So I harbor some doubt of the story that the misprints are really an accident.

I’ll have to see if I receive any back in change or from vending machines in the next week or so. I’ll have to see if I get lucky and get a “godless” dollar. 🙂

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