Discover Copper Online

Spring 2007

A Copper Dollar in Your Pocket

The first $1 Presidential coin featuring George Washington

Following the popular 50 State Quarters Program that debuted in 1999, the U.S. Mint introduced in February a new series of one dollar coins, made primarily of copper, that honor the country's deceased Presidents. Although previous dollar coins bearing the likenesses of Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea failed to catch on with consumers, the government is betting the public will welcome the new Presidential coins.

Four coins will be circulated each year in the order that each President served. The series, which begins with George Washington and includes the late Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, is scheduled to run through 2016. If any of the four current living Presidents dies before then, their images would be added to the list and the series extended. Each of the 39 coins features a unique image of the Statue of Liberty on its reverse side.

The $1 Presidential coin contains 88.5 percent copper, 6 percent zinc, 3.5 percent manganese and 2 percent nickel. This is the same composition as the Sacajawea dollar, and it carries the same electronic signature, enabling its use in vending machines, tollbooths and fare collectors as well as retail commerce. Copper's durability has made it an ideal choice for use in all circulating U.S. coins, which are designed to last for decades.

According to U.S. Mint spokesperson Carolyn Fields, "Congress designed the $1 coin program to give Americans coins they will enjoy using and collecting over time. At the same time, general use of the Presidential $1 coin is expected to increase use of all dollar coins as Americans become more familiar with using them."

It costs the federal government hundreds of millions of dollars annually to replace worn and unusable one-dollar paper bills. A recent report from the Government Accounting Office estimates a savings of $500 million dollars per year if the bills are replaced by dollar coins.

For more information on the $1 Presidential coin series please visit the U.S. Mint at Cu


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