Archive for the ‘Dollar Coin’ Category

Dollar Coin Shortage?

December 21, 2011

Recently the mint was told to cease production of the gold colored dollar coins.  Due to the continued printing of the dollar bill, dollar coins have not been circulating. That is to say they have only been circulating in one direction. Dollar coin enthusiasts get rolls of  brass bucks from their preferred financial institution and spend them in their daily lives.  These coind however are not given out as change, but for the most part end up back at a bank.  Then , according to many articles, they are returned to the mint for storage until the end of time.

Many banks only ever receive new coins from the mint, such as the recently interrupted presidential series. When asked, my bank did not affirmatively say that I would be able to get rolls of dollar coins from them when they run out of their presidential dollars. Luckily, I believe I have secured a source of rolls of circulated coins from another local bank. These will likely have that nice patina of use instead of being always shiny and new, a plus!

But I really prefer the original Sacagawea dollars as they were minted between AD 2000 and AD 2008. They look like money, not a token. In my opinion removing much of the writing from the face of the coins and inscribing it on the edge was a big mistake. Likewise with the presidential coins, where the letters are so small that I cannot read them without a magnifier!

So, for those who enjoy spending dollar coins, and other odd money such as $2 bills and Eisenhower cartwheels, I’ve designed several shirts on CafePress.  What’s important though is that you SPEND DOLLAR COINS.

It’s Money, Spend It! (dollar coins generally)

Classic Sackies are the Best (sackies shirt)

I Like Ikes (Eisenhower Dollars)

It’s Money Spend it ($2 bills)

A Tale Told By NPR Full of Fury Signifying Nothing

July 19, 2011

This is a re-post from Coin Collector’s Blog

A Tale Told By NPR Full of Fury Signifying Nothing

According to the website at National Public Radio, “The mission of NPR is to work in partnership with member stations to create a more informed public – one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.” Unfortunately, it looks like NPR drowned in the shallow end when it published its story “$1 Billion That Nobody Wants.”

While the Federal Reserve is holding about $1 billion in dollar coins in its coin vaults, its assertion that, “Some 2.4 billion dollar coins have been minted since the start of the program in 2007, costing taxpayers about $720 million,” is false. To quote myself:


The U.S. Mint can strike trillions of coins that will sit in the Federal Reserve’s vaults, but none of the money used to strike the coins comes from taxpayer dollars. For our friends at NPR, money used by the U.S. Mint is withdrawn from the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund (PEF). The PEF is the account where the seigniorage, the profit from selling the coins, is deposited. As sales are deposited in the PEF, the law requires that the U.S. Mint use the money in the PEF for budgetary reasons like to manufacture coins, maintain facilities, pay employees, etc. No tax money is deposited in the Public Enterprise Fund.

While the NPR story says, “The government has made about $680 million in profit by selling some 1.4 billion dollar coins to the public since the program began,” they failed to mention that this profit comes from the money paid by the Federal Reserve to buy the coins. Excess profit over and above the U.S. Mint’s operations funds are returned to the Treasury general fund.

Wait! Did you say that the program actually made a profit?

Yes, I did and so did the NPR story. And it did not cost the taxpayer anything to make that profit. Not one red cent!

But what about the $1 billion in the Federal Reserve’s vaults?

Those coins were not purchased from the U.S. Mint using taxpayer money. Each and every dollar coin in those vaults were paid for by the Federal Reserve at face value. Since it costs the U.S. Mint about 30-cents to strike one dollar coin, the U.S. Mint made a profit (seigniorage) of 70-cents per coin. The money was paid by the Federal Reserve and NOT taxpayer money.

Think about it: the U.S. Mint is generating 70-percent profit for striking $1 coins with most of that money will eventually make its way to the Treasury general fund.

If it is not taxpayer money, then whose money is it?

It is the money earned by the Federal Reserve through its banking operations as the United States central banking infrastructure. Deposits made to the Federal Reserve are made by member banks. Fees are paid by those banks for cash services, check clearing, and transfer services. The Federal Reserve also earns its money from making loans made to member banks. Some Federal Reserve branches make money on other services. For example, the New York Fed stores gold for foreign countries and sells currency overseas.

But it’s our money, right?

Yes, it is the money that is the heart of the economy of the United States. It is not classified as taxpayer money because no tax dollars were collected in order to fill its coffers.

You don’t make it sound like a problem. Why did the story go viral?

Actually, the $1 billion in coins sitting in the Federal Reserve’s vaults is a problem. It represents $1 billion of working capital that is not circulating in the economy. It is money that cannot be invested by loaning it to other banks or be used in other banking operations. In a tight economy, it is not a good idea to have $1 billion sitting idle. Unfortunately, the NPR story and subsequent follow-ups by various news outlets made it sound like it was $1 billion of taxpayer money being wasted by the government. On the contrary, the federal government earned $680 million!

If those dollar coins sitting in the Fed’s vaults is a problem, what can be done about it?

Stop printing $1 paper notes! The United States is the only “first world” country still producing its unit currency in paper. Two currencies whose value has stood up against the dollar during the current economic crisis, the British Pound and Euro, use coins for their unit currency and not paper. In fact, European Union use coins for the 1 Euro and 5 Euro denominations.

I know that “public sentiment” says to keep the $1 note. But when is governing about bowing to public sentiment. I thought government was supposed to do what is in the nation’s best interest. If it will save money in the long term, then let’s drop the paper for coins. American’s are resilient, they will get used to it.

August 2, 2010

Today I sold a gold wedding ring which I found along the local railroad tracks about 20 years ago. It went for $56.00. Decided to use that to buy 2 rolls of dollar coins.

Since I was headed to a bigger town than I live in, I thought I’d try the bigger bank instead of my branch. Ho boy, what a hassle. The teller gave me a sort of deer in the headlight look when I asked for them. I didn’t even specify which pres I wanted. She asked another teller, then had to fill out a form IN TRIPLICATE in order to get them out of the vault. Ended up with two rolls of Zachary Taylor.

So on the way home, I stopped at a Quik Chek for a Gatorade. I handed the cashier three shiny brass bucks and she sort of gave me a ‘look’, then gave me the change. I got the impression she wanted to throw it at me.

Further along, about 1/2 way home, I thought I’d continue spreading the good word and stopped at another Quick Chek for a Milky Way. The lad behind the counter sort of looked at the brass buck, and gave me my change.


Cool as a 2 Dollar Bill

June 25, 2010

Many users of the Dollar Coin use the seldom seen two dollar bill to prevent the necessity of handing over more than a few dollar coins at a time. I myself do not use two dollar bills, or Toms as they are sometimes called because I figure I’m asking for enough Ire using dollar coins.  However, since many cashiers apparently do not realize that two dollar bills are still incirculation, I’ve created a shirt just for users of this not-so-rare bank note.

If you would like to buy a similar shirt, it’s available on CafePress.  Using THIS LINK will save you about $5 over the usual CafePress Marketplace price (that’s two toms and a dollar coin.)

Spend Dollar Coins!

June 24, 2010

OK, I’m getting more behind this idea. When I get my check cashed, I’m going to request three dollar coins instead of the 3 singles I usually get.  My wife and I are going to keep dollar coins on us when shopping to avoid getting singles back in change. I’ve also designed the shirt below and I just received the one I ordered for myself.

Spend it shirtIf you want one, I’ve placed it on CafePress.  Following THIS LINK will save you about $5 off the CafePress Marketplace Price. There’s a lot of different styles of shirt to choose from.

[Edit] I also forgot to mention this interesting blog The Van Buren Experiment documenting the use of dollar coins by three people along with reactions to the coin.

Betwixt and Between

January 19, 2010

Sometimes I feel that I choose my hobbies poorly. They seem to contradict each other. I like to register my paper money on, but I also strive not to have singles (Georges) because I try to use dollar coins wherever possible. Also, I occasionally stamp an ‘ad’ for dollar coins on the reverse of my singles in the hope it will spur someone on to asking their bank for dollar coins (and then hoping they will use them, thus getting them into circulation a bit more.)

I’m also an Esperantist and a Lutheran (Missouri Synod). Esperantists tend to be left leaning folks. Lutherans (Missouri Synod) tend to be right of center on many things. This puts me at odds (in my mind) with those who speak Esperanto. (One of my fellow Esperantists was ranting away one on politics and indirectly called me a fascist.  (He didn’t know my political leanings at the time.))

This of course puts me about where I’ve always been, on the outside of the group. I’m even on the fringe of my railroad buddies because I specialize in the railroad stations, not on the locomotives.  Ah well, Jen la vivo.

Numismatists will Hate Me.

January 3, 2010

Occasionally I buy a roll of dollar coins from our bank for spending. The roll is deceptively small looking as the coins are all stacked neatly in a roll. When one opens the roll, however, the coins come out in a pile which can barely be kept in your hand.  There’s only 25 in a roll, but it seems like so many!

Because these rolls are uncirculated, straight from the mint, they are brand new.  They look it, all shiny and bright. Even though they are a gold color, they don’t look real at first glance because they are so very bright and clean. I’ve been trying to find a way to age some of my coins, to get them that ‘circulated patina’.

A civil war re-enactors group member said that some of the ‘guys’ use uric acid (urine) to age their brass buttons. The composition of the dollar coins is basically brass, so that would undoubtedly work. I’ve found 2 other methods which are a)cleaner, and b) faster.

The first is simply to put them in the center of your stove’s gas burner. They come out darker, almost too dark. A bit of a polishing with Brasso will bring them back a bit. (Don’t go too far, or you’ll be back to shiny newness.) The second way is to put a pool chlorine tablet in some water, day a cup and put the coins in the water. This will ‘age’ them so severe;y in just a few hours that they will look like part of a pirate treasure that spend years on the ocean floor.

The Mythical IKEA

December 29, 2009

Yesterday we journeyed away to find the mythical IKEA store in Paramus, NJ. I say ‘mythical’ because we had often heard of this furniture store, but had never gone there. Well, a few years ago, when we re-did our kitchen, we no longer had room for the grand, bulky, pine dining room table which previously occupied a large portion of our room. After the kitchen re-do was done, we ate from a card table ‘until we got a new table that would fit better’.

Well, I got tired of the flimsy card table and built a perfect sized kitchen table using a few donated pieces of wood from a friend and some purchased wood from Lowes. The bill came to about $50. This table came out so nice that my wife decided that we should just keep it and get chairs to match.

Well, the chairs got put off and put off. We were eating off of one folding chair and two cast off wooden chairs that my aunt found along the road. The wooden chairs were getting ricketier by the month and I had to repair them several times.

So finally, we decided to go buy chairs for the table. We were assured that you just go down 208 to 4 and there’s signs that ‘you can’t miss’. We missed the signs and ended up at the verge of crossing the GWB. We stopped for directions, turned around and arrived at IKEA.

They had the chairs we wanted, but they also sold them as a set with a matching table. The price was right, so we got the table too. It all comes in one box, a bit smaller than the flat paper cartons I used to lug around as a printer.

Before we left, we had something to eat. No, we didn’t partake of the Swedish meatball, served in the food court at the store. Instead, I had a cinnamon roll (delicious, but would be better with melted margharine,) and my wife and daughter had hot dogs.

On the way to the door, I spotted a soda machine and snack machine. I went over to discover it sold Gatorade, my favorite. I dug out my pouch of dollar coins and they clunked right in. A few button pushes later, my drink was in my hand. I offered to buy something for my family. My wife asked for some trail mix in the snack machine. The dollar coins worked there too! Much easir than feeding a crinkled dollar bill into these monsters.

So, when we got home, I took a look at the project of putting the table and chairs together. The instructions have no words, just pictograms. Now there‘s a way to avoid language problems!

I had the whole set together within an hour! Nice. My home fashioned table now resides in our family room where it will be used for scrap-booking. Previously our folding table was used for this purpose.

Dollar Coin Shirt

December 26, 2009

I was trying to think of how one could let any prospective cashier know that it’s OK to give dollar coins as change. This could be done by repeatedly saying so at every transaction, but I think it might get tiring and make one sound like a crank.

I’ve come up with an alternative. A way that you only have to look like a crank. I’ve put a design up on CafePress for shirts, magnets, and a few other items sporting the reverse of the Presidential dollar (likely the most likely to be seen over the Sacagawea, since the sackie’s reverse now changes every year.) The words ‘I Accept Dollar Coins as Change’ accompany the image.  You can buy them from my CafePress shop here.

The items will be cheaper buying them from my link above as CafePress charges more if you buy from their ‘Market Place’ I.E. just searching for ‘dollar coin’ for example.

Duct Tape

December 17, 2009

I’m sure I mentioned that I get into some odd stuff. Recently I stumbled upon the craft of duct tape.  It’s a bizarre craft from what I’ve seen on youtube.  I haven’t done much with it aside from a coin purse (basically a tube) to hold my dollar coins and I made several simple wallets to accompany gift cards we got a few folks for Christmas.  Don’t know if I’ll go any further with it. I do know that if I can’t find the type of wallet I’m after (bi-fold with a coin pouch) that I’m likely to try my hand at making one out of duct tape.