Saturday, February 24, 2007
The New Money
Why is the federal government minting Presidential Dollar coins? Don't the powers-that-be remember how the public took to the Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea dollars? According to the Wikipedia page on the Sacajawea coin:
Despite a major promotional blitz by the United States government, these coins [Sacajawea and Susan B. Anthony] failed to gain popularity with the general public, and mintages of the coins declined sharply after the first year, just as mintages of the Susan B. Anthony dollar had done 21 years earlier.
I know why I don't like dollar coins - I don't like them because they're too close in size to quarters. It's too easy to mix them up. Supposedly, the new Presidential dollars will be gold, which the Mint believes will take care of this problem. But the Sacajawea coins were gold too (and still are - since they're still being minted in small amounts, chiefly for coin collectors.) And coins of a different color matter not a hoot, since so many of us can tell the difference between a dime, nickel and quarter with our eyes closed.
The state quarters introduced a few years ago are still going strong - because they're basically quarters. Only the designs are different. If the federal government wants dollar coins to take off, then they need to look closely at how Americans actually feel about their money. Dollar coins go against all kinds of mindsets, but the feds haven't bothered to research any of that. No, it's taken an Act of Congress to spend more money on designing, minting and marketing the same old product that didn't work two times before.