Last Tuesday, 13 December 2011, The U.S. Mint announced that current production of one dollar coins is ending. The Mint will continue to produce a few one dollar coins for collectors, as required by law. But these will have numismatic value, and cost more than $1.00.
instead of producing 70-80 million coins per president, the Mint will now only produce as many as collectors order.
Forty percent of $1 coins were returned, unwanted, to the Federal Reserve Bank each year.
Circulating demand for $1 coins will be met through the Federal Reserve’s existing stockpile, which will be drawn down over time.
My favorite $1 coin featured Sacagawea, guide to Lewis & Clark. This is the 2010 Native American $1 coin, reverse side. It is beautiful. Click through for full details from the U.S. Mint.
Even though the $1 coins would have saved billions over time (they are more durable than paper money), they were never popular with the American public. Not all of the American public feels similarly. Those participating in this discussion on Reddit seemed saddened by the news. Others raised the point that the U.S. Mint remains committed to production of the penny. Despite my fondness for copper, and loyalty to the Arizona as The Copper State, one wonders at the sense of this. Both Canada and many European countries have already discontinued small denomination paper bank notes, and replaced them with larger denomination coins.
I liked $1 coins, as they were useful for buying commuter train tickets. I’ll miss them.