As a kid I enjoyed collecting coins until I learned I could lose those collected coins through a hole in my pocket. I also learned I could lose an older brother’s coin collection through a hole in my pocket. I also learned I could place the last remaining coin in my little brother’s pocket and everyone would believe he was to blame because he usually was to blame. The US Federal Reserve is tasked with developing new ideas for coins that will appeal to coin enthusiasts and earn revenue when those collectors remove the money from circulation, and whether those coin collectors keep those collections in a jar, or a display case, or a pocket with a hole in it is up to the individual collector and outside the specific responsibility of the Fed.
The government has spent decades trying to figure out how to convince the American people to use the $1 coin, but their strategy often begins and ends with ex-presidents, a source of inspiration that appears to be running dry as evidenced by the next series of coins under consideration:
1. Presidents wearing hats
2. Presidential dogs
3. Presidential dogs wearing hats
4. Presidents and their dogs shopping for hats
5. Presidents and their dogs recreating famous hat scenes from classic American films
(These ideas started as a joke, but to be honest I would collect every single one of these coins.)
To make these $1 coins popular the government needs to concentrate on the reasons people collect other items like stamps, baseball cards, or husbands. Allow me to make some suggestions for coins I feel would achieve greater popularity.
Famous celebrity couples: Collect Elizabeth Taylor and her seven husbands. The quantity of coins printed for each husband would be proportional to the length of time they were married. Richard Burton would get the most coins because he and Taylor were married eleven years while Nicky Hilton would get relatively few because they were only married for nine months. The scarcity of Nicky Hilton would make this a difficult set to complete and therefore drive public interest.
Famous coin collectors: Is there a Michael Jordan of coin collecting? I’m sure coin collectors must have a famous collector or collectors they idolize above all others. Let’s put those guys on a coin. The coin collecting community would go crazy for these.
Boy band series: Collect all the members of the Backstreet Boys, N’SYNC, and New Kids on the Block. But there’s a catch: No Justin Timberlake. Fans would search everywhere for JT, desperately hoping to complete the set. They would keep collecting more and more coins, and in a way this would be a tax on the type of people who annoy me.
Collecting: If you want to appeal to the type of people who collect, why not celebrate the human concept of collecting with a series of coins featuring stamp collections, baseball cards, and Cracker Jack prizes?
Famous coins: My friend Andrew suggested a series of coins commemorating old coins no longer in distribution. Or how about a series of $1 coins commemorating other current coins like the penny, dime, and quarter?
Horoscope: Every month a new horoscope is introduced. I would be willing to write these and would excel at making eerily accurate but obvious observations like, “You are very near a Wal-Mart.”
If the Federal Reserve has no interest in any of these ideas, at the very least please start giving out the $1 coins in those money sacks with the dollar sign on the outside. I would take enough coins to fill two sacks for that reason alone.