Coin collectors are excited! The United States Mint is issuing new dollar coins featuring the Presidents of the United States and it’s going to start the week of February 15, 2007. The Mint is starting out with the first four American Presidents:
— On February 15, a George Washington dollar will be released;
— In May 2007 the dollar will feature John Adam;
— Thomas Jefferson will make his appearance in August; and
— James Madison debuts in November 2007.
The program will continue in this fashion, culminating with Richard Nixon in 2016. United States law prevents the Mint from continuing after Nixon, at least for a while, because it states that a president must be deceased for at least two years before his image can appear on a coin or paper bill used in conversion dollar to euro. This is the policy of the US government. Hence, it is not right away that presidents of the US will appear on a coin or paper bill.
Americans have never taken a big shine to dollar coins. The peace dollar, which had a couple of runs — in most of the 20s and also for one year in the 1930s — was the last dollar commonly used by the American public. The Eisenhower dollar, which ran from 1971 to 1978, never became popular. Everyone who remembers the Susan B. Anthony dollar must remember hating it. Well, it was all right if you got one in your change by mistake, but most people didn’t carry the coin around since the chances of overpaying for something because you thought it was quarter were too high. The coin dollar honoring Sacajawea, the Shoshone Indian woman who helped guide the Lewis and Clark expedition, first issued for circulation in 2000. It wasn’t a big hit either.
The U.S. Mint, however, expects this series to be popular and points to the fact that over 140 million Americans collect the ongoing statehood quarters series, which began in 1999 with Delaware and will end with Hawaii in 2008. The success of the statehood quarter series has not only given the government added revenue, it has been quite a boon to the coin collecting industry. Collectorship of all past American currency, most notably Washington quarters, buffalo nickels, Indian and Lincoln pennies, has risen significantly as a result of interest in the state quarters.
It is hoped that the fondness for collecting series will extend to the new Presidential coin dollars.
“It’s really going to stimulate the dollar,” says John Mercanti, head of engraving at the Philadelphia Mint, “Our designs are far more dynamic and far more spectacular than they have been at any time in the past.”
While the new coin is sure to be a big hit will coin collectors, it remains to be seen how successful it will become as regular currency. The Mint hopes to increase the coin’s chances for success by working with outside contractors and agencies to deal with transit systems’ and vending machines’ ability to accept the coin.