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Not a big change:
$1 coins will co-exist with bills


The Patriot Ledger

QUINCY - Much as he likes the new John Adams $1 coin, U.S. Mint director Edmund C. Moy wants to make one thing clear: He’s not trying to replace all those dollar bills in your wallet.

“It’s not the intent ... to pit the (presidential) coin against the dollar bill,” Moy said in a telephone interview.


Edmund Moy
U.S. Mint director


"It’s not the intent ... to pit the (presidential) coin against the
dollar bill"
Unlike Canada and Western Europe, where the dollar and 1-Euro are available only as coins, “Americans now have a choice,” he said. “They should be able to use whatever form of currency is most convenient.”

The Mint’s chief executive will bring that message to Quincy tomorrow when he joins local officials, students, business owners and Adams descendants outside the Quincy Center MBTA station for the ceremonial launch of the nation’s newest regularly-circulating coin - the first to ever bear the image of the second U.S. president.

Plenty to like

Moy will also tell his audience there are plenty of reasons to like the Adams dollar and its predecessor, the George Washington coin.

For starters, more vending machines now take coins more readily than they scan paper bills. And when you’re at the machines, “a dollar coin weighs less than four quarters,” he points out. “You won’t have to carry a sack of quarters.”

The Adams dollar has been available in limited amounts since Thursday. The Federal Reserve has ordered 191 million. The Mint struck 304 million Washington coins before it started turning out the Adams coin.

The Mint will issue two more in the presidential series later this year, for Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and then produce four more in following years, including one for John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, in 2008.

The series will last at least through 2016. Production of each coin will be limited, ending when the next president’s is issued.

“Some work to do”

Moy said it’s too early to tell whether demand for the presidential dollars will rival the popularity of the state quarters, “but the first signs are encouraging,” he said.

“We know we’ve got some work to do,” he added, referring to marketing troubles with the odd-sized Susan B. Anthony dollar in the 1970s and the more recent Sacagawea coin. “We don’t expect all retailers to be interested in this. But we do want to be sure that people know the dollar coin is out there.”

About a dozen local restaurants, banks and other businesses didn’t need much convincing, and have already signed up to use the Adams dollar for customer change - among them, the Eatin’ Healthy sandwich and salad shop near the Adams National Historical Park visitor center on Hancock Street.

Having served numerous park visitors, owner Erin Connors said the coin could become a piece of local Adams heritage.

“It’s great that they’re doing this,” Connors said.

At least four financial institutions will have the coin by tomorrow - official sponsor Colonial Federal Savings Bank, the Quincy Credit Union, South Shore Cooperative Bank and South Shore Savings Bank.

For the first few weeks, bank customers and collectors will be able to buy $25 rolls of the Adams coin. The Federal Reserve typically supplies banks with mixed rolls that could include Washington and Sacagawea dollars.

A contingent of Colonial Federal staff will be at the event to exchange dollars for T customers and others, starting at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow.

Mint director Moy, Mayor William Phelan and Peter Boylston Adams, president of the Adams Memorial Society, will speak from 10 to 10:30 a.m.

The Adams National Historical Park will make it an all-day event, offering $1 tours until closing time.

“This is a nice event for the city,” said Colonial Federal President Robert Guarnieri. “With two presidents who lived here, this is the right place for the launch.”

Lane Lambert may be reached at llambert@ledger.com.