Sacagawea Golden Dollars came and (mostly) vanished - What happened?

Well not “vanished” literally, but not really in circulation in any change I am receiving in the last 6 months or so.

What happened? Why is it not really in the mix in popular circulation? Is the Sacagawea dollar coin going to meet the same fate as the Susan B. Anthony dollar?

Perception of rarity, leading soon to real rarity. People thought the pretty gold-oid coins were rare, hoarded them instead of spending them, and soon they were all socked away in sock drawers instead of being spent. It’s trivial, really, and what happens to nearly all currency that’s unfamililar in the least. For example, the government has been printing two-dollar bills for a good while now, and is not stopping, but when’s the last time you saw one? Or a Kennedy dollar? They aren’t rare, except in circulation.

I’m afraid the Sackie is dead. Americans do not want dollar coins. Nor do they want 50 cent pieces. The only way a dollar coin will work is to make them the old size like the Ike dollar and then stop printing dollar bills.

Wiped out by the white man? :eek:

BobLibDem has it right.

They took a survey (I believe it was CoinWorld) and the general consensus was that any $1 coin is doomed to failure as long as the $1 bill is printed.

They was no mention about the size of the coin being an issue; in fact the coloring of the Sacagawea coin was considered a positive attribute.

Canada had no problem ditching their $1 and $2 bills; no reason why we can’t so the same.

Anything that saves the government money is a no-brainer for me. Coins have a life of about 30 years; bills last typically 2 years.

I do.

I agree. I think it was silly to make the Suzie virtually the same size as a quarter. The sackie is the same size of the Suzie because they had to work in the vending machines that had been built to accept them. This is what I would do:
[ul][li]Make the dollar coin the size of the traditional dollar coin;[/li][li]Stop producing paper dollars;[/li][li]Let the vending machine companies deal with the change (on re-read, no pun intended) by making machines that will accept traditional-sized dollars, Suzies and sackies, paper dollars, and half-dollars.[/ul][/li]Why subject the vending machine makers to the change? Because the social benefit of using coinage instead of paper will be greater than their economic hardship. Besides, they can offset the cost somewhat by claiming the change as a business expense and reducing their taxes.

I like dollar coins, but there are downsides. For one thing, dollar coins are heavier and less easy to carry than dollar bills. Many people don’t like carrying coins. This is why dollar bills have to be discontinued if we want the longer-lasting dollar coins to be accepted.

** Derleth ** wrote…

There ya go. I have 10 of them here in Brazil. My mom thought they were neat/rare so sent a bunch to us as gifts (I know, what a cheap skate). This same phenomenon happened here in Brazil with the event of the latest new coins. The old coins had the same values but were almost indistinguishable from one another. The new ones look like they were modeled after the Euro, each denomination is made of a different alloy and has its own thickness, way to cool for the people to resist. The first production ended up in peoples collections. There was a campaign urging people to go ahead and spend them, we’ll make more. Certain vending machines (metro tickets for example) only take new coins.

For some reason they are used to give change by Post Office stamp vending machines, so we usually have a few around. I’m saving them for the Tooth Fairy to hand out.

Unless somebody can give some non-anecdotal evidence that they’re less circulated now, I don’t know if that’s really the case. I see them all the time.

Of course, I get a roll from the bank every week, but I also see them in cash drawers and, of course, the post office vending machine.

The parking payment machine at the Amtrack station near me still gives them as change, last I knew.

I like them – they’re great for slapping down on old wooden bars as tips.

I’ve always liked the pound coin the Brits have – gold-colored, a little bigger than a nickel, but really thick. An American coin of such dimensions would almost never be mistaken for anything else. The Aussie’s two-dollar coin is similar too.

Time is not on the Sackie’s side. A few months ago, I got a well- worn Sackie from a stamp machine. It turns out that the shiny gold coating eventually wears off, and when that happens the Sackie looks a lot like an arcade token. In fact, I had to look twice before I realized that it was really a dollar coin, and not a slug or a foreign coin or something.

You see Sackies around here occasionally, but most everybody prefers dollar bills.

Last Thursday, when I slipped the last one I had into the g-string of a particularly toothsome stripper. I stop by my credit union every few weeks and lay in a supply of $2 bills exclusively for use as stripper tips. The boys sure act like they appreciate them and always give me a little extra attention.

As for sackies, I never see them except as change from the stamp machine or if I go pick up a roll of dollar coins at the credit union. The rolls are a mix of sackies and suzies. I haven’t picked up a roll for a while but when I did I used them to plug the parking meter went I went to the club for the strip shows.

Hmmm…the only time I go to the credit union is to get money for the purpose of seeing naked men…

*Originally posted by Johnny L.A. *

[ul][li]Make the dollar coin the size of the traditional dollar coin;[/li][li]Stop producing paper dollars;[/li][li]Let the vending machine companies deal with the change (on re-read, no pun intended) by making machines that will accept traditional-sized dollars, Suzies and sackies, paper dollars, and half-dollars.[/ul]**[/li][/QUOTE]

Not quite that easy.

The Suzie dollar was designed to be smaller than the traditional dollar coin because people simply didn’t want the larger coin. If you try to force the larger dollar on them again, I doubt if it will be any more successful than it was in the 1970s.

Vending machines aren’t the only problems. Many cash draws have five slots – pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and one to spare (it usually holds rolls of coins.) You can have a 50-cent piece, or a dollar coin, but if you want both, most every cash register in the U.S. will need a new tray.

And why should the vending machine industry get stuck having to accept three different dollars.

I say, drop the dollar bills, recall the Suzy from circulation, concentrate on the Sackies and keep the 50 cent piece for what America really wants – a collector’s item.

When it comes to the dollar coin, you won’t be “subjecting” the vending industry to anything: They are pretty much the ONLY lobbying group with any interest in the dollar coin, and their influence is the only reason that the Sackie exists in the first place. They would LOVE a dollar coin, of any size, to be accepted, and don’t really care if it’s quarter sized, or half dollar sized, or anything else, because they know that if we don’t have the option of bills, we’ll be forced to use whatever coin it is that wins out.

Pretending that the dollar coin is anything other than government giving in to the vending interest groups is just lying to yourself.

I think Otto has stumbled on the real reason - try picturing a stripper with a g-string full of sackies!

I worked retail for a few years and never saw one used once. And we were across the street from the Post Office.

I worked retail for a few years and never saw one used once. And we were across the street from the Post Office.

And most people don’t want to get rid of dollar bills. I don’t. I hate carrying around coins.

I like them. I ask for them at the bank, and I use them. Just last week I got two of them (and a Susan B. Anthony!) in my change.

  1. Don’t make them bigger – the damned things will wear a hole in your pocket and give you a bruise on your thigh. Don’t you remember how huge those Eisenhower dollars were? I think the size of the sacajawea dollar is fine, and I don’t mistake it for a quarter.

  2. The very idea of a dollar coin works against it, almost regardless of size. I can carry a walletfull of dollar bills with no problem, but the equivalent amount of money in “sackies” will hurt. (I carry a mix of bills and dollar coins).

  3. I think the coins didn’t see enough circulation, just like the Susan B. Anthony coins. To kick-start them into circulation you’d have to flood the money supply with them, not give them to the relatively few outlets they did.

Except that the “silver dollar” was not introduced in the 1970s. That’s when it was phased out. It seems to me that people were perfectly happy to have dollar coins for most of the history of the United States.

The Suzie and the sackie are interchangeable – they’re the same size and weight by design. No need to recall the Suzies (which haven’t been minted for a while anyway). As for half-dollars, there is a restaurant near me that routinely uses them as change.

FWIW, the Sackies are popular at Renaissance Faires as paper money hadn’t been invented.