Bi-metallic US Dollar

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by YoloBagels, Sep 7, 2020.

  1. YoloBagels

    YoloBagels Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,

    This is a pretty basic idea, but strangely enough I have never seen it discussed anywhere before.

    Why hasn't the US mint ever released bimetallic coinage for circulation?

    I read a discussion the other day about the US small dollar coin and how it failed. Someone mentioned how the euro was successful in having a 1 euro (near equal to a dollar) coin in circulation, yet the US dollar failed.

    Mexico, Canada, the UK, and European union are good examples of nations who have successfully bi-metallisized their coinage. Mexico even has it for their lower value coins.

    One of the main arguments against the small dollar coin is that it feels like a quarter and not a dollar. I'm sure the vast majority of us on CT agree with this being a problem. If the US had instead gone with a bi-metallic dollar, it would have likely felt like more than just another quarter (take the euro or pound as an example).

    Also in my opinion this change could lead to better designs and higher collector interest. Imagine completing the US presidential set in bi-metallic form, that would be much more interesting, wouldn't it?

    Please share your input if you have any, thanks.

    GeorgeM likes this.
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  3. Etcherman

    Etcherman Member

    The one euro coin circulates because the smallest folding money is the 5 euro note.
  4. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Bimetallic costs more, and GB has had huge issues with dollar coins being counterfeited to say the least

    As far as collector coins, it would be something to look into more
  5. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter


    The best way to get a dollar coin to circulate is to discontinue the dollar bill, regardless of composition.

    But your point is well taken, a bimetallic coin would have a definite visual distinction if nothing else.

    AFAIK, the only bimetallic coin the U.S. has produced is the Gold/Platinum Library of Congress commemorative.
    green18, brokrken, Kentucky and 2 others like this.
  6. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    I agree that it's the paper dollar which is the biggest obstacle to the dollar coin.
    I would like to see more collector versions of bimetallic coins (the Austrian Silver & Niobium coins as well as the Kazakhstan Silver & Tantalum coins are great examples of nice bimetallic coins).
  7. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Well-Known Member

    I think the composition of the bi-metallic coin would matter a great deal in how accepting the population is of it. Many of the countries with bi-metallic coins made them rather clunky and cumbersome, which has already been a big roadblock for adoption of the dollar coin (even during the Bland/Morgan era).

    A quarter sized coin with a clear difference from the quarter (and anti-counterfeiting measures) would probably have more utility.

    Something like an aluminum ring around a mylar center with an embedded hologram and color shifting ink (like the newer paper dollars already use) would be possible. But, people also associate the heftiness of a coin with it's value. Anything that weighs less than the half dollar would face that hurdle in being accepted.
  8. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    I'm not interested in them.
    johnmilton likes this.

    KBBPLL Well-Known Member

    I don't think bi-metallic has anything to do with acceptance. Australia and Canada were successful with $1 coins that weren't. You just have to get rid of paper. Add Thai 10 baht to the list of bi-metallic - there used to be 10 baht notes on my early trips there (20+ years ago), and you never see a 10 baht note anymore.
    daveydempsey and GeorgeM like this.
  10. NOS

    NOS Former Coin Hoarder

    I once had this problem when I put into a vending machine what I thought to be a quarter when it was actually a Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. The machine kept my dollar and did not give me any credit. This was circa 2000 before golden dollar coins were prevalent. I have not had this problem with the golden dollar coins. So SBA dollar coins yes but Sacagawea and Presidential dollar coins no.

    Considering that SBA dollar coins are not nearly as common these days I do not feel it is a problem that warrants a modification or revamp of golden dollar coinage. And it is worth noting that bi-metalic coinage has been adopted in some other countries primarily to make their coins more secure from counterfeiting.

    The counterfeiting of dollar coins is not considered nearly as robust, problematic, or profound as say the pre-2016 UK pound coins were so redesigning them and incorporating a bi-metallic composition is not seen as a priority to the government.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
  11. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Well-Known Member

    We don't have Dollar coins we have Pound coins.
    The first Pound coins were counterfeited so they changed them to the new 12 sided bimetallic version.
    The Two Pound coin is also bimetallic.
    I've only seen one counterfeit £2 and it was a poor effort, a local shop keeper saved it for me.
    GeorgeM and paddyman98 like this.
  12. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    I'm well aware, same difference for the point of the conversation. The point is the coins are MUCH easier to counterfeit than bills and the same thing is going to end up happening with the new ones
  13. Clawcoins

    Clawcoins Well-Known Member

    There was one kinda recently, but not really for Circulation.

    The 2000 Library of Congress $10 Bimetallic Gold and Platinum

    but I think the extra processing time and cost makes it not worth it for daily-use circulated coinage. Plus you have to remember, all the vending machines are used to certain metal/electrical characteristics. So you just can't introduce something new that "replaces" something existing.

    The USMInt gets input from the Vending industry, banking, etc before new coinage stuff.
  14. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Well-Known Member

    I disagree,

    The Royal Mint estimated that about 2.5% of 1.6 billion of £1 coins were fake, leading them to introduce the new 12-sided bimetallic £1 coin in March 2017.
    The dodecagon coin also has a hidden "high security feature" built in, making it much harder to counterfeit.
    They might try to fake them but they are not been passed.
    I handle a lot of cash daily and I've yet to see one.
    My daughter is a bank teller and has not seen a fake new £1 coin.

    The US dollar is the second most counterfeited world currency.

    According to, in 2015, one in 10,000 US dollars was forged. The $20 bill is the most commonly counterfeited banknote in the US, while overseas counterfeiters are more likely to make fake $100 bills.
  15. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    Most people that get a fake coin including tellers will never know. Bills in general are much harder to fake than circulation coinage that just needs to be good enough to pass once and then it’s done it’s job. You can put a lot more security features on bills and develop things that are super easy for the common people to use. The majority of people barely glance at coins.

    The USD is so targeted because it’s the worlds reserve currency and there are governments including ones under sanctions like North Korea putting huge resources into trying to fake it well enough to pass it off. The targeting of that has no barring on what’s easier to fake between bills and coins. Coins are easier and if the coin demonization gets high enough they’d switch the focus to that, the low value is the only thing keeping them away from coins currently.
    GeorgeM likes this.
  16. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Well-Known Member

    Perhaps it hasn't caught on in the US but banks over here have numerous detection devices for weeding out counterfeit currency and coins apart from the human eye, many shops and busnesses do too.

    The natives seem to have a good eye for their coinage, even pre decimal.

    Bimetallic coinage is quite succesful and used by millions daily despite what someone from foreign lands who does not use them says.
  17. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    If you think there aren’t fakes or that everyone is using detection devices or studying every coin passed to them I can’t help you understand
    GeorgeM likes this.
  18. John Burgess

    John Burgess Well-Known Member

    Americans do not want "dollar coins" we want "dollar bills".

    Unless they get rid of dollar bills, we are going to use dollar bills and not dollar coins because $10 in paper is lighter than $10 in coins and we already don't carry a pocketful of change here for the most part.

    And the private dancers prefer dollar bills also when folks make it rain. That's a whole line of work having it a lot rougher if we switched to dollar coins.

    the euro gets away with it because there's no other option below a 5 note.
    the main argument against dollar coinsin the U.S. is from BUSINESS. and this goes for the large dollar too, is that $50 in ones weighs under 2 ounces.
    $50 in "golden dollars" weights. 14 ounces, almost a pound.

    if you are getting business change would you rather pick up $500 in $1 bills or $500 in $1 coins given the option? it's the difference of about a pound and a half vs. near 9 pounds of weight.

    European registers have 8 coin compartments, the U.S. ones have 5 coin compartments sometimes 6.
    1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent, €1 and €2 yeah no thanks, I'll stick to bank notes.

    A question.... and off topic but in the realm, why the heck can't we copper plate steel cents like the ones from WW2. Fairly certain this brings the cost of a cent well below a cent again? literally the same thing we do now with zinc cents, but with a steel core, and not the "galvanized steel" of WWII?

    I guess a lot of our coins are technically bimetallic although not in the traditional sense of arranged in a ring format between the zincolns and the clad coins.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2020
    Evan Saltis likes this.
  19. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Well-Known Member

    You said,
    "Bimetallic costs more, and GB has had huge issues with dollar coins being counterfeited to say the least."

    You not only got the denomination wrong, we have not had huge issues with the new bimetallic coinage being counterfeited.

    You mentioned the other day on another thread in your defence of coin slabbing about the British mint issuing Slabbed Coins.

    Its the Royal Mint not the British mint and has been for 1,134 years and they don't issue graded slabbed coins.

    How can you help me understand when you can't even get the basic names correct

    Perhaps my time in another life as a police detective in the fraud squad and drugs squad dealing with scammers, forgers and counterfeiters was wasted.

    I should have just called you.
  20. baseball21

    baseball21 Well-Known Member

    So they don’t sell NGC coins? Hmmmm I guess you should let them know that. Someone must have hacked their website or taken them hostage since NGC coins are now being listed for sale by them. My fault for posting information must be some counterfeit website showing fake information...........
    John Burgess likes this.
  21. serdogthehound

    serdogthehound Well-Known Member

    Some coin over a quarter that will circulate makes sense. A quarter in 1964 as the purchasing more of around $2 today that a big difference. The question would be I think an effective half dollar v end the dollar bill
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