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Your take: Do you use $1 coins?

The government keeps churning them out, but does anyone want to carry the bulky things around?

By MSN Money Partner Jul 6, 2011 1:35PM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


It's a sad reality that about a billion dollars in dollar coins currently sit in Federal Reserve vaults. It's a staggering sum considering we keep producing them because of a congressional mandate.


The idea behind dollar coins is simple: A coin lasts longer than a bill. We're supposed to save money by using coins, except we didn't do away with the dollar bill.  Post continues after video.

All things being equal, people are going to prefer a lighter, foldable bill to a heavier coin. A dollar bill fits in my wallet; a coin will not. If a dollar bill exists, I won't be using the coin. It seems like simple logic.


How often did you see the larger dollar coin with President Eisenhower? We didn't use that, so why would we use dollar coins with other presidents on them?


What makes it more comedic is the sad fact that Congress thought popularity of the coins would increase if we made $1 coins for many past presidents -- thinking this would be as popular as the state quarters. Those were popular because you could collect them. There was a set number (50) and collecting them all cost you exactly $12.50. No one is collecting these presidential coins at a dollar a pop.


I use dollar coins in very rare instances -- those cases where we need a small amount of cash. We use them whenever we go to our local bagel place, when we go to the farmers market and when I lose bets on the golf course (I lose a lot of them but we usually don't collect).


Do you use dollar coins? What would get you to use them?


More on Bargaineering and MSN Money:

Jul 18, 2011 2:10PM
PS - I hate the video ad everytime you click on a MSNBC page - just to let you know, I shut them off and go on without looking at the ad
Jul 18, 2011 3:45PM

I liked picking them up as change whenever I could and throwing them in my change jar.  When it comes time to empty it out the dollar total is a lot higher.


One downside to the coins is that they don't really fit inside a stripper's thong and they get pretty mad at you if you hit the girls with the coins when you throw them on stage!



Jul 18, 2011 3:25PM

Either stop making the damn coins or stop making the paper bills. 

My suggestion, pay the politicians who came up with this law, with the coins.  Pay all government workers with the coins.  Pay all welfare recipients with the  coins. Put the coins in circulation and maybe, the public will decide to use them.

Jul 18, 2011 2:14PM

I've not used a $1 bill in five years.  There are only two countries I know of with a paper bill worth less than our $1 bill - Honduras and Argentina.  The coin lasts much longer.  Stop minting the paper and start using coin exclusively.  Saving half a billion dollars a year in this way won't go far toward solving our spending problems, but it's a step in the right direction.


Then we can go after the real sacred cow - the penny.

Jul 18, 2011 1:22PM
We can't use them if they don't circulate them. I have never seen one in circulation, never received one in change from a cashier or machine, and I live in Denver, home to one of the mints. If they want to do this, they need to pull the paper bills, but they're a bunch of wienies!
Jul 18, 2011 2:03PM

I would use them as I have in Europe and Canada, but I never see them? Just put them into circulation and stop making paper dollars. It makes financial sense as they last much longer. It doesn't have to be so hard? BUT! Pass a bill that any profit goes back toward the national debt!

Jul 18, 2011 2:09PM

I don't get them so I don't use them.  I used them when I got them from the Post Office, but they have removed most of those machines from PO's everywhere - and all of them from where I live.


The presidential dollar was a dumb and greedy idea.  .25 cents to make and they were hoping people would horde them like the quarters which only cost .08 cents to make.


Anytime a country has successfully gone to a coin as a replacement for their smaller bills, the had to get rid of the paper before it would work. Frankly, I like the coins.  The big head paper money looks stupid AND the "Barney" five $ bill wont work in numerous machines because of the large PURPLE "5" - hence the nickname Barney money.

Jul 18, 2011 12:49PM

 I would use a $1 coin, since I have used coins in Italy, Germany and the UK.  If the government just said, Hey you are only going to have the $1 coin to use, you have no choice. 

It's a waste of taxpayers dollars to make the coins and not circulate them.  Money is money whether paper or metal -- the only difference is the weight.  Get over it.

Jul 6, 2011 11:02PM
If they were even in circulation where I live I would use them.  Money is money.
Jul 18, 2011 12:38PM
I used coins in Canada and thought how smart the Canadian government was to stop wasting money on printing dollar bills that wear out in no time.  The Loonie and Toonie help keep people from carrying a load of singles.  I've seen people in the States pay for a one or two dollar item with a 10 or 20  when they had ones in their hand.   You don't see that as much in Canada because they would rather not carry a bunch of change. 
Jul 18, 2011 2:39PM
We use them for our children. The "tooth fairy" leaves them. The kids think they are the greatest things ever!

Jul 18, 2011 4:36PM
I'd use them if they were circulated.  The whole reason behind coins instead of paper is that coins last longer. The US Mint spends too much money on paper $1.
Jul 18, 2011 6:30PM
I like the dollar coins. I prefer the Scagawea coins as they look better than the presidential dollar coins. They are great to give as tips. But they will never catch on as long as there is a $1 bill. If they did like Canada and got rid of the $1 bill they would be used. Canada even has a $2 coin.
Jul 18, 2011 1:01PM
Who is designing these things.  A billion dollar program and some federal employee decides that they should be almost the exact same size as the quarter.  Who hires these people?
Jul 18, 2011 4:09PM
Why don't we pay every congressman and senator with them to show what a great idea it was starting with former congressman Pomeroy's big fat pension.Let them carry ten bucks worth of coins in their pockets for just a day to see how stupid an idea it was.
Jul 7, 2011 12:12PM
I used them in Europe and though they were great. It's an idea whose time has come.
Jul 28, 2011 5:59PM
         It seems to me that the solution is to simply copy the system in use in Canada where they use both one and two dollar coins. The two dollar coin is easily distinguishable because it is minted with a hole in the middle of it.  I am in my fifties and can remember well the introduction of soda machines that could accept dollar bills. It does not seem to me that machines that can recognize dollar coins would be a giant technological leap. After a year or two of using both one and two dollar coins, simply eliminate distribution of one dollar bills. Cash registers could simply have the dollar bill slot in their till divided into two slots for the two coins.
Jul 18, 2011 12:20PM
I use them for bus fare. It's quicker than trying to get a dollar through the bill slot.
Jul 19, 2011 8:23AM
i use $1 coins often, they are great to use for tips or to give to the homeless guy asking for money.They last longer than the paper dollar.The paper dollar should be eliminated from circulation.You would have to use them then!
Jul 18, 2011 6:22PM
I like the coins but nobody circulates them and no effort is made by anyone to use them.  I agree with one of the other comments that if the dollar paper bills were retired, people would maybe tend to use them more.  And I do agree with the original idea of the fact that the coins are more durable and as to the author's opinion, what's so hard about purchasing a coin purse and carrying the coins in that instead of loose in your pocket?  There's a place that sells these online and that's how I personally carry coins around so that they don't fall out of your pocket when you pull your keys or other junk out of said pocket.  And as far as the vending machine comment, they can be made to use the dollar coins because at my own work place the machines are set up to utilize the dollar coins or the bills so the vending machine argument doesn't hold water.
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