The Federal Reserve’s vaults are currently stuffed with 1.4 billion of the gold-colored coins, which are out of circulation because “nobody wants them,” says VP Joe Biden. More than 40% of the coins are returned to the government, while the rest await irritated Americans in USPS vending machines.
It’s certainly not the first flop for a dollar coin in the U.S. The Susan B. Anthony dollar (1979-1981, 1999) never caught on because it was the same damn size as a quarter. Same for the politically correct Sacagawea Golden Dollars (2000-2008) and equally who-cares Native American $1 Coin, with the same front as Sacagawea and a different backside.
In 2005, Congress mandated that the Mint make $1 coins with the likenesses of the presidents, four each year between 2007 to 2016. The Mint is up to 20th president James Garfield. Next up: Chester A. Arthur. The Mint will continue production for collectors, without attempting to circulate them. There’s a dumbass law that 20% of all the coins have to be Native Americans, which will also continue to waste time and money in limited production.
The move, the Treasury said, will save taxpayers $50 million a year (or about 15 minutes worth of the federal deficit).
Other nations have had great success with dollar coins (because they’re a different weight and size than a quarter… duh), including Canada’s Loonie and the U.K. pound coin.