Mint to offer 'hard money' - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Mint to offer 'hard money'

December 29, 2008

A new form of currency is part of an effort to protect the environment and save the government money.

A dollar coin lasts 30 to 40 years. That's compared to paper bills that wear out after only a couple of years. And, there's another advantage with coins.

"They're 100% recyclable. So when their service life is finished, we just melt 'em down and turn them back into new coins," says Greg Hernandez of the U.S. Mint.

That, he says, saves the nation billions of dollars.

So the mint has launched a pilot program in four cities to promote the presidential dollar coin.

Retailers are helping promote the coins. Outside their door is an information booth and a government truck that dispenses the new dollars.

It's hoped consumers will also spend the coins; unlike in the past, with the Sacagawea dollar that never quite caught on.

The presidential series began last year with George Washington.

Four different coins will be introduced each year depicting the presidents in the order they served.

It's an alternative to the greenback, with an environmental value that goes beyond dollars and cents.
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