Which US coins are still open?

US Mint is trying to overcome Americans' strange fondness for paper money: Not in the mood for dollar coins

WZ correspondent Renzo Ruf

There is also a downside to its popularity: the average lifespan of a dollar bill is just 21 months - compared to 55 months for the $ 50 bill. The cost of producing a note, no matter how much it is worth, is estimated at 5.7 cents. With more than 3.7 billion one-dollar notes that the Bureau for Engraving and Printing produces annually, that adds up to a considerable amount.

2017 with Bush junior

Professionals in the government have been convinced for many years that the state could save millions if the notes were replaced with coins. Because coins have an estimated lifespan of 30 years. The US mint has therefore recently presented a series of dollar coins with the help of a large advertising campaign, which are now being put into circulation.

The coins show, how could it be otherwise, the portrait of the US presidents - the first series begins with the portrait of George Washington. Founding Fathers John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison will follow later this year. Four new coins are to be added to the series every year. If the timetable is adhered to, then in 2017 a coin will come onto the market that shows the current US President George W. Bush. The US mint plans to produce 300 million copies for the time being, at a cost of around 20 cents each.

One problem remains: in the past, similar attempts by the mint failed miserably. Numismatists pounced on the coins depicting a famous women's rights activist or an Indian, but they were not used in everyday life. No, says the cashier in the sandwich shop, puzzled, she has never seen a dollar coin. "Does that really exist?"

In order to achieve the calculated savings potential of between 200 and 300 million US dollars, the one-dollar bill would therefore have to be withdrawn from circulation. A decision that the US Treasury Department, the US Federal Reserve and Parliament are currently shying away from. Although the one-dollar coins would work on the subway ticket machines.