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CTDL 187: The cost of a dollar

We won’t mention how often I link to Chad’s blog on my personal site, but it has happened several times in the last couple months. And now I find that I agree with him on another subject (and one that “fits” CTDL). I’m also a big fan of the dollar coins over the dollar bills and he lays out a good reason for this preference.

The average life of a dollar bill is only 18 months. As such, new dollar bills have to be printed all the time to replace those that leave circulation (due to wear, et cetera). Ten dollar bills last about as long as one dollar bills.

It costs about 4.2 cents to produce a single US federal reserve note (the technical term for a “bill” issued by the treasury to be used as money).

Dollar coins (like the Sacajawea and the new Presidential dollars) cost a little under twice as much to make as dollar bills. On the other hand, the dollar coin has an estimated lifespan of thirty years.

That means that the cost of a dollar bill is about 2.8 cents per year, while that of a dollar coin is about one fourth of one cent per year. Put another way, dollar bills are costing us about eleven times as much in taxes as dollar coins, on a per-unit basis.

[From Chad Perrin: SOB ยป Capital Coinage]

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One Comment

  1. apotheon wrote:

    Thanks for the link — and, more to the point, for spreading the meme. Encouraging people to adopt the dollar coins over dollar bills is one of the easiest ways we can reduce problems like tax waste, inflation, and even environmental impact in our daily lives.

    I’ll probably hit some of those inflation and environmental impact issues in a near-future entry at SOB, by the way. At the moment, the working title for the essay idea percolating in the back of my brain is something like “Cold, Hard Cash”.

    Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

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