CoinWeek Podcast #66: Does the Dollar Coin Have a Future? – Audio

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This Week on the CoinWeek Podcast, editor Charles Morgan talks to Aaron Klein and Shawn Smeallie from the Dollar Coin Alliance.

Smeallie is the Executive Director of the organization, and has a 30 year career working in Washington in various capacities, including as a Special Assistant to President George H. W. Bush for Legislative Affairs from 1990-1993. He was worked with the Dollar Coin Alliance since 2011 to get leaders to get the dollar coin circulating in America again.

Klein is the former Chief Economist for the Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee. In this capacity, Klein worked on a number of big legislative efforts, including Dodd-Frank and TARP during the Obama Administration.

For the next thirty minutes, we go beyond the soundbites and get to the heart of the matter… is there a future for a dollar coin?

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1 COMMENT

  1. This podcast only briefly touches on the fact that every other major country with a successfully-circulating $1 coin also makes wide use of a $2 coin as well. That intermediate denomination fills the gap between $1 and $5, and as such it greatly simplifies change-making. Having both denominations in wide use negates the oft-cited objection that eliminating $1 bills will force people to carry “pockets full of dollar coins”: in Canada, Australia, the EU, etc. you rarely ever receive more than two high-value coins in change; you get a single $2 (or €2) coin, a $1 and a $2, etc. If adding a second coin is just too radical a step at this point, we should at least have a redesigned $2 bill available as a temporary measure until people become used to the idea of dollar coins. That approach would mollify those who insist on their “foldin’ money” while still offering (admittedly reduced) savings for the BEP.

    Contrary to one of the presenters, I would DEFINITELY NOT be in favor of a revived quarter-eagle (as opposed to a $2 coin) because it doesn’t fit into the standard 1:2:5 decimal pattern. The $2.50 denomination is a historical artifact that was created to mirror the 25¢ piece, which we all know was itself created for compatibility with Spanish milled dollars – hardly a modern requirement. “Hybrid” denominations like quarter-eagles, the old British 2s/6d pieces, etc. complicate change-making because they require their users to account for both whole and fractional amounts. In fact, that’s why nearly every other country that’s revised its currency in the last 50-100 years has adopted purely decimal denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 … units rather than the mixture of base 10 and base 2 that the US and Canada inherited.

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