Presidential dollar coins

I’ve been seeing lots of news articles about the new dollar coins being discussed. Here’s an excerpt from one of them.

Before long, American pockets could be jingling with dollar coins engraved with the faces of Ronald Reagan, Millard Fillmore and Bill Clinton, after the House of Representatives gave its approval Tuesday to a presidential look for the $1 coin, moving it a step closer to becoming the first 24-karat gold bullion coin in history.

“Not only will it be a moneymaker for the federal government, but it will also be a fun, educational tool to turn all of us into history buffs,” said Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., the bill’s sponsor.

By a vote of 422-6, the House approved a plan for the U.S. Mint to begin selling the coin early next year, bearing the faces of U.S. presidents and first ladies.

The issue now moves to the Senate, where Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., is expected to introduce a similar bill.

Hoping to cash in on the popularity of the state quarter program — which has generated $5 billion in revenue and turned an estimated 140 million Americans into coin collectors — officials at the Mint say the $1 coin could be a financial boon, in part by winning a larger share of the world market. They estimate that the potential global market for 24-karat gold coins is about $2.4 billion annually.

The current dollar coin, which made its debut in 1998, features Sacagawea, the young Shoshone interpreter who guided the Lewis and Clark expedition. It has yet to come into widespread use.

The presidential coins would be minted at a rate of four presidents a year, starting with George Washington and working up to the modern day. Every former president, living and deceased, would be on a dollar coin if the bill becomes law. Sitting presidents would be excluded. Supporters hope the new twist would drive up demand for dollar coins that are now gathering dust in sock drawers and coin collections.

Read the rest of the article

Two more articles about the coin can be found at the Sun Times and CNN’s Money section.

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