What happened to 50-cent pieces?

I see the article is dated 1994. The email service is scraping the bottom of the barrel apparently.

In fact the government did try another 1$ coin, the Sacagawea dollar. Which also failed despite being a different texture and color versus the quarter. The theory that you need to remove 1$ bills from circulation before coins in the same face value will really take off would seem to gain a little merit.

It would be interesting to know if this is because people are just resistent to change and want to keep using their fibrous paper, or because there’s some perceived advantage to the bill. Mass, perhaps…?

Well, as someone who’s currently handling a largeish quantity of cash (cookie manager for 2 troops of Girl Scouts), I can say that the dollar bills are much easier to handle than an equivalent quantity of dollar coins would be. I deposited about 175 dollars today and they fit nicely in a large paper envelope. The equivalent number of quarters (closest good comparison I have) would have been quite heavy to carry and the dollar coins, being slightly larger, would be even heavier. So “mass” may indeed be part of the problem.

Also, dollar bills are easier to count if you don’t have equipment (such as tubes to help stack the coins); counting the coins into neat stacks works only until the stack falls over and the coins go skittering off into the corner. Presumably business would have such equipment handy, handling the dollar coins like any other coins.

Beyond the logistical concerns (most folks don’t have to handle such a large quantity of bills at any given time unless they’re cashiers or something), I honestly think it’s because we’re used to bills and, as you say, “resistent to change” (love that turn of phrase!).

The fact is, just about every country in the world has replaced their more-or-less dollars with coins, and they do just fine. In fact, to be honest, when I was a kid, the US money then that was equivalent to about a dollar now was a coin – to wit, the nickel.

The $1, $2, and $5 bills should all be replaced by coins, and the cent eliminated. Actually, the nickel and quarter should be eliminated, too, and the half dollar replaced by a new design that people won’t hoard, but the present commemorative programs wouldn’t allow that.

Hello, Momaw, and welcome to your chair. I was calibrating my bifurcator when your post came in.

You have no way of knowing this, but the dollar coin mystery is something we have ceremonially danced around many times in the past. As you may know, the current US dollar coins are being issued with images of our past presidents on them. The improvement over the Susies and the Sackies is that the edge of the new series is smooth, with the words In God We Trust along the circumference. That makes it easier to spot a dollar by feel. The Susies and Sackies edges were milled, like a quarter is.

Despite the improvement, the new coins are being thrown into people’s sock drawers just as fast as the Mint can spit them out. In one way, that’s good, because folks pay a dollar for each one, and it costs a fraction of that to make them. In every other way, the coin is still a failure. I made a point of spending them, and cashiers routinely mistook them for quarters. The Sackies are spent so seldom that a supermarket checker once took one of mine to her boss to make sure I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one. She had never seen one. I’m told the president coins are out there in the millions, but I have yet to see one.

The fifty-cent pieces, sporting Franklin or Kennedy are no longer in circulation. Many millions are out there, in millions of sock drawers. They’re so unusual that a certain rapper decided he could stand out by calling himself Fifty Cent. :stuck_out_tongue:

In previous discussions here, the grumping settled down to two tracks. The nuisance track says nobody needs more coins in the pocket. The pull the bills track says the Canadian dollar coin, or Loonie, succeeded only because the government took all the dollar bills out of circulation.

With this quick summary, now you know most of what we have muttered about the dollar and half coins in the last several years.

On preview, I see that Mama Zappa told of putting $175 together from cookie money, and she didn’t mention any dollar coins at all. She also talked of the nuisance of handling piles of coins. Woops! Where’d that Sackie go?

. They’re definitely there, but you don’t see one because most people in the US prefer a banknote. But, if you wanted, you could go to your local bank and request they order 10,000 dollar coins. They will, and will be delivered within a week or so. They don’t keep them on hand because of lack of demand. You could also order any amount of half dollar coins. They are quite available, but are usually not kept on hand.

Lest we forget, dollar coins are used quite a bit in large cities which have mass transit, at least that’s what I remember from previous threads. They seem to work more reliably in ticket machines, certainly better than dollar bills.

How big would a $10,000 coin be? I’d want it to be really big so I wouldn’t be able to lose it in the couch cushions. :smiley:

For anyone that actually wants to buy a quantity of coins at the bank, head to the merchant services window - banks stock coins by the roll and by the box down there. (IIRC, a box of quarters is fifty rolls, or $500.00) at that end, whereas a regular teller might only have two dollar coins and five bucks worth of quarters.

I would support the dollar coin just to make it easier to use vending machines. I hate putting in the dollar, having it rejected, straightening the corners, putting it in again…

Are there any vending machines that take dollar coins yet? I haven’t been looking. I suppose the chicken-and-egg aspect of vending machines and dollar coins has been discussed here, too.

I don’t carry any coins myself. But then, I hardly ever carry bills, either. Then again, I hardly ever buy anything in person anymore. Whatever I want, the brick-and-mortar store either doesn’t stock it, hasn’t got any, or has it in the wrong bin so I can’t find it. So why leave the house?

Are they more than four times heavier? Because there would only be 1/4 as many of them.

Whoa, there. The one concern I have with dollar coins that never seems to be mentioned in these discussions is that if you lose a dollar coin in a sewer grate or in your couch or something, well you just lost a dollar. If I ever let a five dollar coin roll away from me I’d be pissed about it for days.

Maybe that’s not such a big deal to you, but some of us are more clumsy than you are. :slight_smile:

They’ve been around since the Susan B Anthony came out. That’s why the new dollar coins had to be the same size. Older machines don’t take dollar coins, but most new ones do. If you put in a $5 bill you’ll get $1 coins for change.

Most all vending machines take dollar coins. They’ve been made to do so going back to the days of the SBA dollar.

I much prefer dollar coins. I wish the government got rid of the penny and the dollar bill. Instead, they make me install low-flush toilets. Good job, that. :stuck_out_tongue:

What part of “equivalent number” did you miss? :stuck_out_tongue:

Again, explain why it is that this is such a big concern for an American, but other countries can have coins of similar value and not have them go rolling down a sewer grate, etc. :smack:

There’s another theory (mine) that asserts that it’s the design of cash register drawers which causes a kind or inertia against the use of dollar coins and 2-dollar bills. The drawers have only so many compartments, and merchants are in the habit of stocking their cash registers with the coins and bills that have always gone there. They don’t give change in dollar coins or two-dollar bills because there’s “no place to put them” in the tray. Also, if you pay for something with a dollar coin or two-dollar bill, the cashier doesn’t know where to put it.

Well, that’s just my suspicion, anyway.

Which would make sense except for the fact that the common cash register drawer has five coin slots. Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and … :smack:

It’s because this American can’t afford to have something worth five dollars tied up in something as easy to lose track of as a coin. What people in other countries do doesn’t figure into it. Coins get lost all the time, at least in when they’re in my possession (probably because I’m accustomed to them having so little value) so I’d like to keep them as worthless as possible. :slight_smile:

Rolled coins.

Well, that’s what they use it for now, but they also can use the fifth bill slot for that (and often do). Or they can do what they often did in the past, and put the rolled coins under the drawer, where they put checks and big bills.

Trust me: the lack of slots isn’t the reason merchants don’t use dollar coins. The reason they don’t use them is that patrons don’t want them back in change.

Small money making secret. Ask your bank for a roll or half-dollars. Go through them carefully, usually a few are the old silver coins which can be sold for more than 50 cents. Last week I got 11 in a roll.