Edmund C. Moy, Former United States Mint Director, Interviewer: Charles Morgan, CoinWeek.
Charles Morgan asks former U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy if there was ever a plan during his term as Mint Director to create higher denomination U.S. coins.
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I know it’ll never happen, but Congress needs to be completely removed from the “currency loop”. Otherwise decisions will continue to be put off and/or mangled, as Mr. Moy described so well, for generations to come.
My 2 cents would be complete reform, similar to the way that euro coinage replaced a hodgepodge of old sizes and denominations. Obviously we need to join the rest of the industrialized world by eliminating the cent, replacing $1 bills with coins, and creating a widely-circulating $2 denomination – a coin if at all possible, but a redesigned bill if that’s what’s needed as a temporary sop to Crane Paper. Downsize the half dollar and change its design so it can return to the place it had in daily commerce before the multiple blunders of the 1960s that rendered the denomination almost extinct.
Finally, what to do about the nickel? Unfortunately we’re pretty much stuck with it so long as we insist on minting 25-cent pieces, an odd multiple of 5, for backwards compatibility with Spanish milled dollars. It would be a tougher sell, but maybe the nickel could be eliminated in return for replacing quarters with 20-cent pieces and finally giving us a fully decimal coinage system.
Over the last 50 years countries like Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and the entire eurozone managed to replace their old-style coins and bills with new, more consistent versions without destroying their civilizations. Are we so stuck in the 19th century that we can’t adapt similarly?