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Why do you think people resist the use of dollar coins?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on February 12, 2007

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Photo of Ricky Lockner

“No one likes change. They don’t like the weight in their pocket or their change getting in the way of everything else they’re carrying.”

Photo of Anna Davies

“Change is more annoying than bills are, and it’s easier to tell how much money is in your wallet with bills.”

Photo of Bob German

“I think that people don’t like to deal with currency or coins in general. Everyone seems to prefer the electronic transfer of money.”

Photo of Amanda Haas

“I think it’s a hassle to carry them around if you get them as change. They’re bulky and don’t fit in your wallet easily. I think they’re just impractical for everyday use.”


sgtwolverine 10 years, 1 month ago

I have no idea. I do know, however, that England's paper pound notes start at 5 -- all they have below that is the equivalent of our dollar coin. And somehow, society seemed to survive.

Also, the pound coins are really cool.

lilchick 10 years, 1 month ago

Wow, guess my hubby and I are just plain weird. We both enjoy getting dollar coins and two dollar bills to pay for stuff.
Okay a big part of the $2 bill is to confuse the young pups who argue with us that the bill is fake, or who call their manager to ask which slot the bill goes in! Its also funny to tip a waitress with dollar coins and watch her get all pissy about being 'shorted' with quarters to then watch her happy face when she realizes she got several dollars! Yes, I am aware of our dorkiness....

sunflower_sue 10 years, 1 month ago

I carry around enough baggage.

lilchick, I'd suggest paying them w/ a glass 2 liter pop bottle full of pennies! :)

paladin 10 years, 1 month ago

I think that the People get them cornfused with quarters and end up being short changed. They should be the size of 50 cent pieces, which seem to have disappeared. A more interesting question might be, where did the 50 cents pieces go?

buffbonzai 10 years, 1 month ago

I thought that 1 Euro and 2 Euro coins were a hassle until I got used to them.

Nobody uses cash anymore anyway, it's all check cards and debit nowadays.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 1 month ago

R_I: the weight of the issue depends on the system of measurement!

Also, declared buff: "Nobody uses cash anymore anyway, it's all check cards and debit nowadays."

I must be nobody. For many purchases, I prefer cash. It's far easier for me to moderate my spending when I use cash.

jayhawktownie 10 years, 1 month ago

the only bad thing to me about higher denomination coins is my tendency to spend them frivolously. I am more likely to value and hang on to notes, while I spent 1 and 2 Euro/pound coins like they were nothing.

paladin 10 years, 1 month ago

Panhandlers will benefit the most. Brother, can you spare a dollar?

Sen_Fudgepack 10 years, 1 month ago

Make it thick like the pound coin... You have to do something to distinguish easily from the other coins... Larger isn't necessarily better...

BTW, when are we going to get rid of the penny?? Talk about worthless...

Redzilla 10 years, 1 month ago

At last, a test of my theory that someone at the mint hates women. After two dollar coins featuring women that were designed to fail, let's see if the mint can design a dollar coin with a man on it that won't be mistaken for a quarter.

Oh, and strippers can just use spray on adhesive on their behinds. No more tucking the bill in the g-string, just slap that dollar coin on and stick it.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I think it's because Chuck Norris prefers paper dollars.

RonBurgandy 10 years, 1 month ago

It is just a pain to carry change. I really just don't like having change in my pocket and I am just not the type to carry around a change purse.

I do agree that the only real way that a dollar coin would work is to discontinue the paper dollar. I don't know why, but I am more likely to scrutinize my spending of a $1 bill than if I just had 4 quarters. Doesn't make much sense, but that's how it is for me.

sgt - I agree that the penny is worthless, at least not worth more than 1/100th of a dollar coin...

sgtwolverine 10 years, 1 month ago

I didn't speak to the worth of the penny, Ron, but it's always nice to have people agree with me anyway, so carry on. (Actually, I'm not sure how I feel about the penny.)

I was in Meijer the other day, and they had a coinstar machine. You know, dump in your coins, get a receipt and take it to a cashier. Anyway, on the front of the machine was a small sign that declared coinstar's counting fee to be 8 9/10 cents per dollar. So I was wondering: has anyone ever seen the 1/10 cent coin?

feeble 10 years, 1 month ago

Until vending machine industry makes units capable of taking dollar coins the norm, they'll likely not get much usage.

Uh, every vending machine (Coke/Pepsi, Snacks and Treats, stuff maintained by Treat America) that I've seen in the last two years supports the use of the dollar coin. This is in the Lawrence and Greater Kansas City areas.

RonBurgandy 10 years, 1 month ago

Darn werewolves and their amazing ability to play high school basketball...

purplesage 10 years, 1 month ago

It all has to do with not enough spots in the cash drawer which makes coinage the tender of choice in government vending machines ( like the USPS) and the casino. Come to think of it, the chances of getting somehting back out of the machine are kind of similar.

average 10 years, 1 month ago

I have no problem with brass bucks. I get them from the KU parking garage change machines and spend them regularly. I'd say four out of five vending machines take them, no issues. A couple of times I've exchanged them for bills for people with cotton dollars that the machines won't take.

All spends the same to me.

Ceallach 10 years, 1 month ago

Late Friday afternoon we received the wonderful news from KU Med that my daughter's body scan confirmed that no cancerous cells had migrated beyond the original site. The radiation focused where needed and she is currently cancer free. Regular checks will follow but no more radiation is planned at this time. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers through this very difficult time.


Ceallach 10 years, 1 month ago

On my trip to Canada to visit our own ms_canada I learned to appreciate the 1 and 2 dollar coins (I particularly like the "Loony" but I guess that is not a surprise to anyone:) They are not that bulky and I found them to be quite handy. In fact, they are less bulky than a wad of $1.00 bills, and certainly provide a slimmer profile than the cell phones so many people carry in their pockets. I also think they survive the washing machine better than bills:)

For your werewolf problems, don't worry about the silver . . just call Dresden.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 1 month ago

WOO HOO Ceal! That is GREAT news!

TOB, Thanks for the link. I'm still confused though. Any other suggestions?

sourpuss 10 years, 1 month ago

After experiencing Canada for some time, I vastly prefer coins. Canada starts their bills at $5, and they have $1 and $2 coins (the fabled Loonie and Toonie). I like them because at a vanding machine, you don't have to worry about finding a crisp dollar. I like them because when you have paper money, you can actually buy something. I like them because you don't have all of these fussy, identical bills clogging up your wallet and the coins don't tend to build up in your pocket because they are worth something and you tend to reach for them. And BEST of all, when you toss your change in a box at the end of the day, when you count it up later, you have over $100 and can treat yourself to something. Also, coins cost less for the government to upkeep (bills have to be continually produced as they wear out) and so that means less tax money being wasted to keep the paper money circulating. If all anyone can complain about with coins is that they fill up your pocket, well, I know lots of people panhandling downtown would love a $1 coin in their hat.

Also, the US has been notoriously bad about designing $1 coins that are indistinguishable from other denominations. This is NOT the fault of the $1, but the people designing it. No where else in the world has this poor design been a problem... they are quite distinctive, often a different color.

Ceallach 10 years, 1 month ago

no need, I always assume you are just happy to see me . . .

Ceallach 10 years, 1 month ago

andi, notice how well he blends into that group . . fake money, Dada days, guess that's just in case anyone thinks he takes his commissionership too seriously.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 1 month ago

I think they should just start making coins and forget the 1dollar bill. If it's going to save taxpayer dollars, then the whiners can just get used to carrying change around with them. We're talking about being able to use the millions saved on other things, like paying off Bush's debt.

lilchick 10 years, 1 month ago

You can still get $2 bills....just go to the bank! When getting your cash supply, ask for 20 bucks in $2 bills. My hubby's bank...well, mine too now, has gotten used to our oddity, and are actually waiting with it when we get up to the counter.
I work retail and enjoy getting $2 bills and dollar coins, although I'm known to buy out wheat pennies, silver certificates and other neato money that people don't realize it's worth. One time we got a free ice cream at Hardee's b/c the checkout chick argued with us that our bill was fake, manager came over apologized and offered us free stuff. Very nice.

George_Braziller 10 years, 1 month ago

Sourpuss you hit the issue dead on:

"Also, the US has been notoriously bad about designing $1 coins that are indistinguishable from other denominations. This is NOT the fault of the $1, but the people designing it. No where else in the world has this poor design been a problem... they are quite distinctive, often a different color."

They keep designing them like inflated quarters. Make them thicker, or larger, or octagonal or some how unique from common pocket change. British pound coins are a perfect example. If they had more of a presence of worth they would be better accepted by the general public (except for those who never like anything different than what they are used to.)

Ceallach 10 years, 1 month ago

Thanks to all of you . . . I'm so thrilled I can't get fussy about anything today. Not even the fact that we now have a self-equating Abraham Lincolnish candidate for president.

No promises for tomorrow though :):)

Linda Aikins 10 years, 1 month ago

People. People. It was 12:56 pm before anyone used the word "whiner." We HAVE to do better!!!

Went to Naughty but Nice. Saw my old boyfriend in there buying women's underwear. Some things never change.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 1 month ago

:o) :o) :o) :o) for you, Ceal!

I resist dollar coins because I'm worried they would fall out of my pockets when riding roller coasters. The bills, however, never slip.

Gootsie, you his size?

Linda Aikins 10 years, 1 month ago

Yep. Not mine! ;) Some surprises are truly that - surprises!

james bush 10 years, 1 month ago

Coins would be popular if made of gold!

dajudge 10 years, 1 month ago

Great news, Ceal. I know because I'm going into my 6th year of surviving. Those scans are no fun but they have improved the flavor of the barium drink. Sometimes I drop by LMH South and see if I can buy some with my dollar coin. Not much you can buy with a dollar anymore.

Ceallach 10 years, 1 month ago

judge, congrats to you! congrats! congrats!!!

Been there, drank that, ugh. Hers was scanning for iodine bound radioactive isotopes that attach to migrating thyroid cells (from what she said that also tastes bad).

Now see, if we had a US equivalent of the "toonie" two dollar coin in CA you could probably get a sip or two for that, even at LMH.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 1 month ago

What is the current price of gold? Is it time for me to sell those dragoons and pull most of my teeth?

SeaFox 10 years, 1 month ago

@ Blue73Harley: "The coins don't work well at strip clubs."

[insert "slot" joke here]

Topside 10 years, 1 month ago

Because I get an eveil glare everytime I hand a store clerk one. Its the same look I used to give when I worked retail. There is not spot in the register drawer for them (or $2 bills) so you have to shove them in somewhere. Then when you count down your drawer at shifts end they are a hassle. My solution... I would just give them back to customers as change as soon as I received them. Then customers would give me weird looks for getting them as change.

Dollar coins just become the "hot potato" of currency.

bunnyhawk 10 years, 1 month ago

the dollar coins are too close in size to quarters. They need to feel a lot different for people to embrace them.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 1 month ago

Use them in car washes. Or maybe have them filled with chocolate!!

SeaFox, good one! And good time to stop too! ;)

average 10 years, 1 month ago


That's exactly what you should do. Logically, where do twospots go? On top of the ones. Three times out of four, you need more than one single, so give the two to the next customer. Why's everything gotta be difficult?

bevy 10 years, 1 month ago

I love the dollar coins for use in the vending machines at work, since they so often refuse to take paper dollars if there is the teeniest wrinkle/fold in them.

Plus, my nephews and nieces and daughters think they are SUPER COOL when given as gifts.

ms_canada 10 years, 1 month ago

As some or all of you may know, we Canadians have had Loonies and Toonies for several years now. Hard to remember dollar and two dollar bills anymore and there were some squawks at first but............ Once, while in England and discussing money with some Brits, they asked "how do your blind people tell the difference in the bills?" Ours being all the same size and their bills all different plus having pound coins. Smart idea behind the different size bills, eh? Anyway, we canucks are quite used to our loonies, so called because of the loon pictured on them and our toonies because they are Two-nies. Five is our lowest denomination bill now. I wonder when fivies will come in

sunflower_sue 10 years, 1 month ago

das, no, I meant dragoon. I have some gold mounted cavalry units. They are too big to carry around so if it's a good time to be rid of them, I'm gonna hop all over that! :) Nice catch!

budwhysir 10 years, 1 month ago

If its money in my pocket, Im not picky what pocket I put it in. However, it probably doesnt cost as much to make a coin. And its probably alot easier to protect against fake coins than bills.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 1 month ago

If you're not picky about what pocket you put it in, budwhysir, then please put it in my pocket...:)

Lilchick, I like your idea of time I see a $2 bill, I'm going to try it at Wal-Mart...unfortunately, they aren't floating around as frequently as they used to be...

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