So the new $1 coins, featuring America's presidents much as recent quarters have featured the states, are about to roll out. The U.S. Mint has tried before to persuade Americans to abandon their paper dollars for coins. The two previous efforts, however, surrendered to feminist demands that the $1 coin feature a woman rather than a man. The Susan B. Anthony dollar failed in large part because it looked and felt too much like a quarter. The Sacajawea dollar, however, looked and felt nothing like a quarter. Yet it flopped as well. Was it because of a poorly chosen symbol? I have no idea. It may be that Americans are just too attached to their dollars bills, even though they are one of the least valuable forms of paper currency in the world. We'll see. For my part, I would have preferred a Reagan dollar.
The dollar coin flops because it is heavy. How many people have bought a book of stamps at a kiosk and cursed the plethora of dollar coins which the machine has spat at them? They weigh down your pocket or pocketbook. They cross the threshold of being valuable enough that you'd care if they rolled under the vending machine.
Still one more thing to take into account, cash register drawers. Cashiers go though more ones than any other denomination and to accomodate dollar coins cash register drawers would need to be significantly changed. That hasn't happened yet.
Linked at Basil's.