Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ever tried to stuff 15 one-dollar coins into your pocket?

I have. I'm getting quite good at it, actually, because I get a lot of practice. Every school break when I return to Boston, I need to recharge my CharlieCard to ride the T. (That's Boston's public transportation system, for all of you who don't live near the Hub of the Universe.) Invariably, I'm too lazy to use my debit card to add five bucks to the card. That requires punching in about four more numbers. So I always put in a $20 bill and stare as 15 one-dollar coins in change pour out of the machine.

I was reminded of this tradition by this article on the new Presidential coins.

Barry Stuppler, vice president of the American Numismatic Association, said that in order for dollar coins to be widely used they must be accepted not just by the public but by everything from vending machines to traffic meters.

"If commerce doesn't prepare for it, [the presidential dollar] will become like the Susan B. Anthony dollar," he said.

Accepting dollar coins everywhere: that's one possible solution. Or, every major American city could install crazy subway machines like Boston's...

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