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Turn Your Bills Into...Coins?

Congress is renewing research into the conversion of the standard US $1 bill to a coin. Due later this month, the U.S. Mint will release a report summarizing their research into the value of the conversion from paper to coin.

This issue has come up before in Congress. When the Sacagawea dollar coin was originally introduced in 2001, the demand was extremely high. But, within a short time, people moved back to standard paper currency. Since 2001 however, the Government Accountability Office and lawmakers have begun a fervent search to find new ways to reduce expense by changing the money itself. This led to the introduction of the Presidential $1 coin.

Five years ago, The Mint began production of dollar coins and has produced approximately $2.4 billion, before production was suspended over a year ago. Proponents for the move to coin currency claim that this may save the government $200 million annually in the minting process.

One local business owner doesn't see the move from paper to coin currency as being a positive or negative influencing factor on small businesses. Dick Luther, owner of Joe Jo's Pizza and Gelato in Ephraim isn't sure if the conversion will actually happen at all…

The report from the U.S. Mint and Government Accountability Office will explain their findings into alternative and lower-cost metals to produce the proposed coin currency. Currently it costs two cents to produce every penny, and roughly 11 cents for every nickel. The focus of the report is on multi-plated steel and various other metals and is expected within the next two weeks.

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