Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Eagle Squawks

Aw gee. They're doin' it once again, people. What part of NO do they not understand?

I'm talking about our beloved gubbermint, of course. You remember them? Of the people, by the people, for the people? Yeah. Those folks. The ones who keep minting the $1 coins in spite of the fact that we keep saying we don't want the danged thangs.

Now they're starting a new series, featuring 4 different presidents each year. This will be the 14th time since 1794 they've tried to talk us into using a dollar coin. At least they've continued the trend they started with the quarters, trying to make the dollar coin appealing to the collector. There's a new twist to the design, too: this time they have printing around the edge of the coin, relegating the mint date, mint mark, "E Pluribus Unum" and "In God We Trust" to the less readable portion of the disk. That's either in aid of minimalist design or somebody has stock in magnifying lenses.

Personally, I don't really mind the dollar coin but I try hard to avoid it. Although we have screamed long and loud about the unfortunate size-resemblance to the quarter, causing untold incidents of accidental inflation, they still insist on turning out quarter-sized dollar coins. Oh sure, they'll tell you there are differences that will enable you to spend quarters as quarters and dollars as dollars but, in the real world, whoopsies keep whoopin' that money right out of our hands.

We've heard the saying that it takes money to make money and that is never more true than when applied to the Mint of any given country. We are faced, for instance, with the peculiar fact that it costs more to mint our pennies than they're worth as a coin. And when our gubbermint is trying to entice us with new coinage, they don't hesitate to spend the advertising buck in the process. Just go to the U.S. Mint site to see what a vast array of free promotional items can be downloaded or ordered for mail delivery.

If I did a little research, I could probably determine why we don't mint coins the size of the old silver dollars. Part of it is the sheer inconvenience of the larger coin but I'm guessing at least some of the reason for the reduction in size is the cost of materials. Which leads to the identity problems because the Mint simply hasn't gone far enough with their design differences. How's this for a concept? Cutout dollar coins!

Visualize this: the coin can be exactly the same size as the quarter -- or the nickel, for that matter -- but if the main design is cut out in silhouette, the way they do when they make jewelry out of coins, one would be able to feel the difference, even in the dark. There would be an added bonus in the fact that there is much less metal needed to produce each coin, reducing the cost of production.

I'm partial, myself, to a dollar coin with a big eagle spreading its wings from edge to edge. Because I like that other old saying denoting payday: The eagle flies.


**Cj** said...

Dee...don't get yer knickers in a bunch. :) For one thing, that's uncomfortable! For another.... Back in the 80's I was in England and they either had just minted the pound coin or were about to. Everyone was griping, they didn't want it, and would never get used to it! Then we, in Canada, got the $1 coin he "Loonie")...larger than the quarter and 'gold' coloured. People griped for a bit but didn't take long to accept them. Later, they even gave us the "Toonie" $2. coin...silver and a different coloured metal in the centre. I haven't heard anyone griping since soon after the Loonie arrived! It's amazing how quickly the angst disappears. So, try not to fret it if you can!

John Bailey said...

There was a move, on the introduction of the one-pound coin, to name it the 'thatcher' because it was small, brassy, and thought it was a sovereign. Didn't catch on.

The old pound notes (bills) disappeared without too much weeping; they were simply too fragile to the kind of use inflation had forced upon them, with the result they were filthy, tatty things within days of being issued.

So, we lost the ten-shilling note and the one-pound note. Now it's beginning to look like we'll lose the five pound note too, in favour of another coin.

Life goes on... :-)

bb said...

I do hope they manufacture some good coin purses as the wallet will end up being used only for pictures and plastic.

Mage said...

They keep making them too small. That's what they aren't catching on about. Silly them. And yes, you will just have to get addicted to baseball. The season begins soon.......oh hurrah. I'll vanish into work. Oh hurrah. The only thing I worry about is, will I get my quilt done before the baseball season begins. Oh, worry.

Wilma said...

As a Canuck, we don't even think about the fact that we have more and heavier change now. As far as the cost of production goes, when you think of the relatively short life span of paper money and the fact that we are cutting down trees to make it, the coins are actually far more economical.

Mike said...

I like the Sacajawea* coins, but I haven't seen one for a couple was fun leaving them for tips, but perhaps the wait staff weren't pleased...

Monkey Boy

* Sah-cah-gah-way-uh, I'm told, not the sack-a-jah-weee-ah we learned in school