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Why are Americans so stubborn about $1 coins?

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90 replies to this topic

#1 of 91 OFFLINE   Jeff Adkins

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:29 AM

After just spending 5 weeks in Europe, I can't help but wonder why Amercians are so damned stubborn about accepting $1 coins. I found it to be so much more conveient using the 1 and 2 Euro/Pound coins over paper bills. Especially in vending machines. Ever try to stuff a dollar bill into a vending machine? In my experience it only works about 50% of the time. Overall I preferred pulling a coin out of my pocket for simple things like newspapers and Coca-Cola as opposed to pulling out my wallet. I've seen Americans get violently upset when they've been given a dollar coin as change. I once saw someone kick the shit out of a stamp vending machine at the post office because he got 4 dollar coins in change. Maybe there is a reason that I'm just overlooking, but the resistance just seems silly to me. What do you guys up in Canada use for $1? Jeff

#2 of 91 OFFLINE   Jeff Ulmer

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:34 AM

We have one and two dollar coins, no paper.

#3 of 91 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:41 AM

Australia has both $1 and $2 coins and of course it logically follows that the larger (in diameter) coin is the $1 denomination. Flying across the Tasman you will find that the larger coin in New Zealand is the $2 coin.
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#4 of 91 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:42 AM

Probably the weight and bulkiness is one of the problems. Ten $1 bills fold up nicely in your pocket or wallet. Ten $1 coins are a heavy mass bumping your leg everytime you take a step.

I don't like to carry loose change, period. It all goes into a jar on the nightstand to be sorted a couple times a year, rolled, and changed into more paper money at the bank. Posted Image

Not to mention the US Treasury screwed up from the very start when they made the first $1 coin look exactly like a Quarter.
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#5 of 91 OFFLINE   Shane Bos

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:43 AM

The bonus to having $1 and $2 coins is that when you empty your pockets of change into that jar on the night stand and eventually when you get around to rolling it you have way more money than you thought you did. Also alot easier to find enough money in hte ashtray for a quick burger.

#6 of 91 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:49 AM

But strippers all across America would revolt if dollar bills were replaced by coins...
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#7 of 91 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:47 AM

i'm like malcolm. i hate carrying change in my pockets. it all goes in my coin jar. (i just recently cashed out about 60.00 in change)

if i had to carry all those flippin $1 coins in my pocket i'd go bonkers.

#8 of 91 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:51 AM

boy patrick - i'm not even gonna touch that one... Posted Image

#9 of 91 OFFLINE   Mark Shannon

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:53 AM

Been to New Zealand...I'm trying to remember what the coins look like, and if I took any back with me. I know this is kinda off topic, but their bills are the most amazing ones, and possibly most counterfeit proof, I've seen. The bills have transparent plastic parts, with what looks like an engraving or watermark on he plastic of some person (can't remember who). Those have gotta be hard to fake. Back on topic, Canada has both $1 and $2 denominations, called Loonies, and Toonies, respectively. The Toonie is the largest coin, and is Silver with a Gold center. The Loonie is all Gold (not real, I'm sure). Tho it is convenient, with the removal of the $2 bill a couple years ago, the Toonie really does add more weight to your pocket.

#10 of 91 OFFLINE   Ted Todorov

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:54 AM

As someone who has spent considerable time in coin happy Europe, I am very, very glad that we are sticking to our $1 bills. Much more convenient to carry and much less likely to get lost. Vending machines: for sums above $1 they should accept credit cards. Problem solved. I hate loose change. The best time I had was during a visit to Bulgaria in the early '90s, when inflation had made all coins completely worthless, thus there were no coins in circulation whatsoever -- bills only. I totally loved it. Long live our old-fashioned stubbornness -- in this case, anyway. Ted
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#11 of 91 OFFLINE   Lance Nichols

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Posted July 17 2003 - 09:00 AM

I prefer the coins, for the most part. Sure, i don't go walking around with lots of coins in my pockets, but also wonder about the "$10 change is inconvenient, but paper isn't" argument. Hell, if I have $10 cash, its either in fives, a ten, or half a twenty. Posted Image

That being said, Canada has a great debit card network (an advantage to having national banks) and between that and my AMEX/VISA I rarely use cash. Usually have just enough cash for the 6/49 and Super-7

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#12 of 91 OFFLINE   Joel Mack

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Posted July 17 2003 - 08:59 AM

[quote] But strippers all across America would revolt if dollar bills were replaced by coins... [quote]

My thoughts exactly.

#13 of 91 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted July 17 2003 - 09:08 AM

"You don't think I'd go into combat with loose change in my pockets, do you?" - Col. Bat Guano
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#14 of 91 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted July 17 2003 - 09:16 AM

[quote] Ever try to stuff a dollar bill into a vending machine? In my experience it only works about 50% of the time. [quote] Huh, I almost never have a problem unless the bill is fairly beat up. And since I keep the things in my wallet rather than crumpled up in my pocket, that doesn't happen too often.

Honestly, I just don't see $1 coins often enough to have much opinion one way or the other on them. I wouldn't mind them, especially if more vending machines took them, but I don't necessarily think they'd be more convenient - given the choice between rooting around in my pocket which contains keys, coins, gum, pens, slips of paper with notes or directions or other information on them, any business cards I may have accumulated during the day, etc., or getting a couple singles from my wallet... I'll go for the latter.
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#15 of 91 OFFLINE   Jason Boucher

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Posted July 17 2003 - 09:21 AM

I never liked the buggers, but I'm coming around. We have a local theater that always gives dollar coins as change, and of course the Post Office (I also say I guy about kick the shit out the machine when it would not accept the coins back to purchase more stamps!). I also liked using them in Canada, and am getting more confident using them in U.S. Initially, I was afraid that I would have to explain to merchants that it was really money. You kind of hold it out opened handed like foreign money, as if saying "Is this okay?" But I am starting to hand them over with confidence. I think it might actually take this time. The old excuses just don't hold true (it used to be reluctance at the size of the Kennedy, the politics of the Susan B., the similarity to the quarter, the hostility of merchants who did not have an extra tray in their change drawer). The gold coin also looks really cool--makes me feel like Harry Potter to have one in my pocket.

#16 of 91 OFFLINE   MickeS



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Posted July 17 2003 - 09:27 AM

Hehe, you got it!

#17 of 91 OFFLINE   BrettB



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Posted July 17 2003 - 09:31 AM

[quote] Honestly, I just don't see $1 coins often enough to have much opinion one way or the other on them. [quote]A few months ago I got one back as change and I thought "what the hell is this?" That's the only time I remember ever seeing one.

But I have formed an opinion - gimme paper.

#18 of 91 OFFLINE   Aaron Reynolds

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Posted July 17 2003 - 09:38 AM

[quote] Vending machines: for sums above $1 they should accept credit cards. Problem solved. [quote]
Well, except that suddenly the vending machine has to be connected to a phone line at all times and also everything is at least 5% more expensive to cover transaction fees and monthly charges from the different card companies. Also, the card companies hate small amounts and penalize retailers whose average ticket size is small, so chances are the cost to the vending machine operators would be higher than the 2-3% that the average retailer pays.

Oh, and I forgot about the cost of the phone line. That'd cost extra, too.

I like the $1 and $2 coins. Yes, they make my wallet fatter. They're also very easy to identify because of size, shape, colour and edging. I find them simple to deal with, and according to our government we save a bunch of money every year, since singles and doubles are the bills that wear out fastest.

#19 of 91 OFFLINE   Jason_H


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Posted July 17 2003 - 09:58 AM

I have been to Australia a few times, and I really liked the $1 and $2 coins. Much more convenient, IMHO. But what I REALLY liked is that tax is included in every price that you see AND all prices are rounded to the neared 0.05. No friggin' pennies! It just makes sense.

#20 of 91 OFFLINE   TylerN


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Posted July 17 2003 - 10:04 AM

Just in case the non-Canadians are wondering, here's what the loonie looks like:

Posted Image

And the toonie:

Posted Image

The toonie is a physically a bit larger than the loonie.

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