Should $1 Be “Cold, Hard Cash”?

Image from www.coinnews.netCheck out the original story on Yahoo: Congress looks at doing away with the $1 bill by Kevin Freking.

Some have argued for years that the U.S. should switch to a $1 coin and ditch the $1 bill. And perhaps it makes sense- coins can stay in circulation much longer, after all, so they can be more cost-efficient to produce.

The most common argument I’ve seen against the idea is simply this: we have never used $1 coins, and we don’t want to. As Philip Diehl notes in the article, though, “It’s really a matter of just getting used to it.” That’s my take, in any case.

I’ve been blessed with the good fortune to visit a couple of other countries, the United Kingdom and El Salvador, in which $1 coins are used. Both experiences were unique, but both left me with an improved opinion of $1 coins.

The UK actually uses Pounds rather than Dollars, of course. It was my first real experience with large denomination coins- I don’t really count the few I run into here in the U.S. To me, their 1 & 2 pound coins were just as convenient and useful as bills. Their best feature, though, was that their size and/or thickness makes them distinctly different from the smaller denomination coins.

El Salvador actually uses U.S. Dollars, and the larger denomination bills are used there too. But $1 coins are the norm there- in fact, we ship a lot of ours we don’t use to them. Again, convenience was the same, aside from the one real problem we face in this: gold dollars aren’t easily distinguishable from quarters. I couldn’t simply reach in my pocket and know by touch which one I held. But that’s not too hard to fix.

Perhaps $1 coins are a needed governmental cost-cut and a positive cultural change. In regard to business, aside from a few instances such as vending machines, I think the situation is really six of one, half a dozen of another. With equally convenient usage, I doubt business trends will be greatly effected.

Thanks for reading,



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About Taylor Kothe

I'm a husband, accountant, and sometime blogger from Tulsa, Oklahoma. My passion is for personal finance, especially as it relates to teaching everyday people how to handle their everyday incomes and expenses. If you've ever found yourself lost in a rising tide of strange financial terms and incomprehensible policies, you're far from alone. So let's put our heads together and see if we can de-mystify some of the financial challenges that we all face.

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