I have been pleasantly surprised by the popularity of my first post on this topic:
Well, the day has arrived. It’s November 20th, and the US Mint has officially taken the wraps off the first four Presidential Dollar coins, the ones that will be issued in 2007.
The first four coins represent the the first four Presidents of the United States. The US Mint is really going out of their way to make this an educational program. They have a page set up for every design, with historical facts about each president:
They have a nice Flash demo up that highlights the new features of coin. Basically, it will be the same size and color as the Sacagawea dollar, but they have expanded the space for the portraits by moving some of the text to the edge of the coin.
The reverse of the coin features the Statue of Liberty, as a sly nod to previous efforts to feature prominant women from US History on the dollar coins.
This coin is a great idea, as it will definitely bring in revenue to the US Mint from collectors, and will spark a whole decade of fun, historical exercise with children.
The one mistake this program is making is not tying it to the removal of the $1 Bill. As Canada has shown recently, eliminating the $1 bill does not have to be traumatic. However, it is necessary if you want to force adoption of the new coin by both consumers and by retailers.
I’m excited about this program, although I’m a little disappointed to hear that they will not be making a precious metal version of the dollar coins. Gold & silver are better base metals for collectibles, since they also have intrinsic value. I would love to see them make a special edition gold version of each coin for collectors.
Unfortunately, they have decided to only make special edition gold coins of the First Ladies for each President… and I’m not sure I’m willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a group of people with dubious historical significance… OK, I might pony up for Jacqueline Kennedy coin…
Here is the release schedule for all the coins, in case you haven’t seen it. They have only plotted out until early 2016 (Richard Nixon), as I think that’s the point where they start running into live Presidents. We have quite a few living ex-Presidents now (Ford, Carter, Bush, Clinton), so they won’t get coins unless something unfortunately happens before 2016.