21 November 2006

Time to collect coins - again

I've been an avid collector of coins, both US and foreign. Although my usual collection is leftovers from my foreign trips, plus a special collection of oddball US coins like the bicentennial half-dollar, I do take troubles to collect special series, such as the first batch of 1-Euro coins or the 50-state US quarters. In fact, I made sure to buy proof sets for the 50-state quarter program, which has gone through 40 states so far.

I've just found out that the US dollar coin will get similar treatment starting in 2007. It will get faces of dead US presidents, four presidents per year, starting with George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. The schedule currently goes up to early 2016 and Richard Nixon, though by then, Ronald Reagan will certainly qualify, and most likely Gerald Ford as well. I certainly don't look forward to spending George W. Bush dollars in the future though!

If these new coins can get the acceptance they deserve, something neither the Susan B. Anthony dollar nor the Sacajawea dollar did, that would be fantastic, as the current dollar bill has short lifespan and outdated design. (The $1 is not being included in any of the redesigns that other bills are getting.) Among all the countries I've been to, only China prints lower-value denomination banknotes than the US $1 (though the South Korean 1,000-won is close). $1 and $2 ought to be in coins - just like in Canada and Euroland; they will work wonderfully at parking meters and pay phones.

The new coins will have new features. "E Pluribus Unum" and "In God We Trust" (the latter I object to, due to its paternal connotations of God) will move to the edge, just like the various Latin phrases on a British pound coin. The word "Liberty" will disappear, replaced by an image of Statue of Liberty on the back.

In any case, I will promptly order proof sets of these new dollar coins.