Coin expert says: Good idea for new $1 coins,
but Treasury may have to look at eliminating $1 bills.
The following statement was issued March 8, 2004 by Steve Ivy concerning the Congressional proposal for a series of new $1 coin designs depicting former U.S. Presidents. Mr. Ivy is President of the Professional Numismatists Guild (www.PNGdealers.com)), a non-profit organization of the country’s top rare coin and paper money experts, and Co-Chairman of Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers of Dallas, Texas, the world’s largest rare coin company.
“Virtually every country in the world frequently changes designs on its circulating coins and paper money, and only recently has the United States resumed this practice. While portraits of former Presidents on our coins seem common today, the concept is less than 100 years old with Abraham Lincoln first appearing on the cent in 1909 and then George Washington on the quarter-dollar 23 years later in 1932. Thomas Jefferson has been on our nickels since 1938; Franklin D. Roosevelt on dimes since 1946; and Dwight Eisenhower appeared on $1 coins from 1971 to 1978,” said Ivy.
“Ironically, in the early days of the United States Mint in the 1790’s, President Washington strongly resisted the idea of putting his portrait on our money.”
“If the new $1 coins are going to win, the $1 bills will have to lose. We don’t advocate elimination of any current denomination, but, frankly, the Treasury Department will have to stop production of $1 bills to make the new $1 coin successful. The United States used to have half-cent 2, 3 and even 20-cent denomination coins in circulation. Perhaps the day will come when $1 bills also will be obsolete.”
“Canada, Australia and England simultaneously eliminated production of one-dollar and one-pound denomination paper money when they introduced into circulation coins of the same denomination.”
“The word ‘dollar’ became the official monetary unit in 1785, and the first silver dollars were struck for circulation by the Mint in Philadelphia in 1794,” Ivy explained.