Friday, November 16, 2012

The Dollar Coin

The United States dollar coin to be exact. I have featured most types that were circulated over the past 130+ years and it is interesting to see how they changed. It is not only the metal and size but the popularity that has really changed.

Authorized by an act of the 1792 U.S. Congress these HUNDRED CENTS coins were meant to be silver and large. Shortly after that they ceased production and that on and off production continues even today. Gold dollar coins became the standard in the 1850s and that would also change several times.


Check out the comparison above. Of course there are more types but these were the most circulated and popular (plus the only ones I have on hand).

1878-1921 Morgan Dollars (far left pictured)
Very popular and the iconic silver coin. An 1873 law changed the standard gold dollar to 90% silver and the Morgan was born. Design was simple and featured Liberty and all the symbols of early America. By 1904 the silver bullion was exhausted and the coins ceased production. A quarter of a billion of these coins were melted to make new coins in 1921 when they changed over to the Peace Dollar (1921-1935)

1971-1978 Eisenhower Dollar (center left pictured)
Not counting the 1964 Peace Dollar, that were all melted and never circulated, a huge fifty year gap of production took place. The rising value of silver and many other factors explained the gap but the effect on people was unique. As a people Americans forgot about dollar coins. They were no longer seen as convenient or better than a paper dollar. They became old fashioned and stuff of westerns that were two generation removed from our modern world. Still to honor both President Eisenhower and the moon landing these coins were authorized.

To say they fail would not be fair but sort of accurate.

1979-1999 Susan B. Anthony Dollar (center right pictured)
The complaints of the large dollars and to finally honor a real woman on coin the mint changed to this almost quarter sized dollar. After just two years the unpopular coin, often confused for a quarter, stopped circulating and by 1981 they just stopped. Suddenly vending machines especially the New York City MetroCard machines were in desperate need of dollar coins. It was so bad that the vaults were opened and rat dropping covered Anthony dollars were shipped to NYC for use. The need for new 1999 dollars were satisfied with a one year issue.

2000-2008 Sacagawea Dollar (far right pictured)
The need for the dollar being strong again the mint redesigned the dollar coin making it still vending machine friendly but looking completely unique. The golden dollar has no gold but plenty of copper and manganese. The finishes on early coins were bad they tarnished quickly they were still usable but not liked. Enough were being used that they branched off into Presidential dollars and Native American dollars. Then came the debit card and smartphone which made small change a burden once again. Officially the Sacagawea dollar ended in 2008 but the golden dollar kept going until now.

2012--  (pictured?)
We will see the last circulating dollars and despite the strong demand in foreign countries America will move onto the the less bulky options. Dollar bills, apps, and plastic will slowly replace these coins but as I far as I can tell NYC vending machines will insist on giving you back change in old dollar coins. I have skipped many commemorative, older dollars, and bullion type but they probably will continue to be more popular than most of those listed above.

2 dollars worth, for Comments/Questions click here.:

Qiana Longknife said...

I found a 1972 Eisenhower Dollar but it is about 1/4 of the size. Is this fake or possible real? I also found a double head 1964 half dollar same thickness, and the rivits around the coin is complete, nothing missing. any info would be greatly appreciated.

Man said...

1972 Eisenhower Dollar but it is about 1/4 of the size.
--Fake or shrunk with electricity either way no extra value.

I also found a double head 1964 half dollar same thickness,
-Fake.