Monday, January 5, 2009

Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees Anymore

We have all heard the expression but after thinking about it a little bit today I realized that, well, essentially it does since the most frequently used money is made from paper. In 2000 the United States released the $1 Golden Coin called the Sacagawea with little interest to most, with the exception of some coin collectors. It might be surprising to learn that in the year 2007 the United States began a new $1 coin program featuring the Presidents.

Direct from the US Mint website:

“The United States is honoring our Nation’s Presidents by issuing $1 circulating coins featuring their images in the order that they served. The United States Mint issues four Presidential $1 Coins per year, with Presidents Harrison, Tyler, Polk, and Taylor being honored in 2009. Each coin has a common reverse design featuring a striking rendition of the Statue of Liberty. These coins feature larger, more dramatic artwork, as well as edge-incused inscriptions of the year of minting or issuance, "E Pluribus Unum" and the mint mark. "In God We Trust" will appear on the face of the coin starting in 2009. Although the size, weight and metal composition of the new Presidential $1 Coin are identical to that of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar, there are several unique features that make this coin distinctive.”

One of the coolest things about these coins is that they are not made of paper. A paper bill will go into circulation and last upwards of four years before it is destroyed. That is certainly a lot of trees killed since the United States prints billions of dollars annually. The coins can last for up to forty years in circulation which will significantly reduce the environmental impact of creating money. In addition to the obvious saving of trees another advantage is that once the coin comes out of circulation it can simply be melted down to create a brand new, shiny, dollar. Now that is recycling at its finest!

10 comments:

Dave King said...

A refreshingly original viewpoint. I shall follow your blog with interest, I think. Thanks for signing up to mine.

High Desert Diva said...

The Sacagawea coin's design flaw was that it was so close to the same size of a quarter.

I haven't heard of, or seen, the presidential coins. Weird. Hope they are a different size.

Good point about paper money/trees. I wonder if the US Mint uses recycled paper?...

Karen said...

Interesting post, Jenn. I haven't seen the coins either, but looked at The Mint website and they are beautiful coins. I espcially like the printing on the sides of the coins.

mint news blog said...

The Presidential Dollars are the same size, shape, and composition of the Sacagawea Dollars.

ginger said...

isn't paper money made from cotton?

ginger said...

i looked it up...paper money is 25% linen and 75% cotton.

now that that's settled, i prefer the coins anyway. i don't know why people have such a problem with them. i haven't seen the special series though.

Jenn said...

Now see, you learn something new everyday! Thanks Ginger, that is actually something I never knew but thought I had gotten right. Cotton & Linen are certainly more rapidly renewable than tree pulp but still not as long lasting. thanks for the info!

Judi FitzPatrick said...

I've had a problem with the $1 coin myself confusing it with a quarter - the size is way too close.
Thanks for making us think about money in a new way.
Peace, Judi

Leon Basin said...

Great points! Thanks for sharing.

Bridgete said...

Interesting stuff!

Regardless of Ginger's discovery that paper money isn't paper (which I knew because of the many times I've sent cash through the laundry in my pants) I still think we should switch to only using coins for $1. And we should have a $2 coin too, that people actually USE, unlike the ever-elusive $2 bill. I think we may be the only developed country that doesn't use coins for those small amounts.