Three stories, all involving dollars: Monday Morning Brief, Apr. 3, 2017

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Published : 04/03/17
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Coin World managing editor William T. Gibbs looks at three stories this week, all involving dollar coins. One involves legislation that would end production of the dollar note and replacement it with existing dollar coins. The other stories involve American Eagle silver dollars.

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Full Video Transcript:

Good morning, this is William T. Gibbs with Coin World's Monday Morning Brief. I have three stories i'd like to talk about today, all of them involving dollar coinage. The first is about the Senate legislation, just introduced, that seeks to end production of the dollar bill, and replace it with all of these dollar coins that we have sitting out there in Federal Reserve vaults. The bill also seeks to end production of the Lincoln cent, and to increase the amount of copper that is in the Jefferson five-cent coin.

Now, this legislation is back by the dollar coin alliance, who's members include industries that are involved in the copper industry. Now since the $1 coins that are currently in vaults that we use are mostly made of copper,  the bill also seeks to increase the amount of copper in the five-cent coin, you could understand how the copper industry would like this legislation. The people who would most like suffer from this would be the manufacturers of the paper that is used in printing paper dollars. At the same time, the workers who're with this company, and workers at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing which prints the dollar bills. Now, this kind of legislation has been introduced in the past - it's never gone anywhere.

Whenever Congress has authorized new dollar coins like the Anthony dollar, or the Presidential dollar, or the Sacagawea dollars - they have never eliminated the $1. People gravitated to the money they are most comfortable with, that's been the dollar bill rather than the dollar coin. We'll have to see what happens with this legislation. The other two stories I want to talk about both involve silver American Eagles - bullion coins and proofs.

Earlier this year, we asked U.S. Mint officials for a breakdown, by Mint facility, of silver American Eagle bullion coins struck from 2014 - 2017. Now, the bulk of that production has been at the West Point Mint. But from time to time, the San Francisco Mint and the Philadelphia Mint  have also struck silver American Eagles to make sure that we had enough inventory to authorize purchasers to buy. When we asked the Mint for this information, they said "no, we're not going to give it to you, so we exercised our rights under the 'Freedom of Information' Act, and filed a formal FOIA request for this information. Under the provisions of that federal act, the Mint really had no good reason to deny us this information, so they gave it to us.

You'll find that in our April 17th issue, and also in some of our news coverage online. The other American Eagle story this week involves the Proof coins for this year. Two sets; the limited edition Silver Proof set, and the Congratulations set, will have a Proof American Eagle silver dollar struck at the San Francisco Mint. Typically these sets have a West Point Mint strike. So, the fact that there will be two, at least two different American Eagle proofs this year struck at different Mint Facilities, will collectors something to go out and buy and collect.

The Congratulations set has mostly been aimed at non-collectors,  it's basically a gift that someone can present to someone else as you know, "Congratulations!", but the Limited Edition Silver Proof set tends to be a popular one with collectors. Expect to see an increase in interest for one, or both of these sets. Now we have a lot more news coverage, and all of our usual columns and features in the April 17th issue. I hope that you're subscribers, you will find some of our news coverage of course, on our website. For Coin World, this has been William T. Gibbs.

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1 comment
The reintroduced COINS act conspicuously lacks a provision for making a $2 denomination widely available. Aside from the usual plaint of "I'm familiar with paper bills", the most common objection to replacing the dollar note is always "I don't want to carry a pocket full of dollar coins" - but that's exactly what will happen if we don't have a complementary $2 bill or coin in general use. Every other major country that's replaced their "one" also has a "two" in common use. Change in dollar amounts less than $5 can be made with at most two coins instead of the maximum of four that are needed without an intermediate denomination.

While it would be desirable to introduce both denominations as coins, it may be more palatable politically to amend the COINS proposal to authorize ramped-up production of a more modern $2 bill, at least temporarily. That's how Canada converted, introducing their $1 coin in 1987 and the "twonie" a decade later. Admittedly this approach might not save us taxpayers as much initially, but it could be more successful by blunting the objections of those who like their "foldin' money" as well as placating Crane Paper.

A little P.S. to the person who wrote the transcript: that should be "whose" rather than "who's". Ah, English!