Searching for savings in a tough economy, the White House decided that the U.S. Mint would scrap automatic production of millions of dollar coins bearing the image of deceased American presidents at a saving of $50 million a year.
The U.S. Treasury estimates there are almost $1.4 billion worth of dollar coins sitting in the vaults of the Federal Reserve, with 1.6 billion more coins scheduled to be minted over the next five years.
Forty percent of the coins end up being returned to the Federal Reserve because nobody wants them.
The surplus was created by a 2005 Act of Congress which instructed the Mint to produce 70-80 million coins per deceased president, of which there are currently 38.
Moving forward, the U.S. Treasury is going to make as many coins as collectors demand and they’re going to charge a premium for the coins so it is cost effective.
Presidential Dollars will still be available from banks at face value to meet the demand from circulation, however, only the older releases will be available.
The United States Mint has not yet announced the date for the start of sales of the Chester Arthur Presidential Dollars. Michael White of the United States Mint Office of Public Affairs stated, “We anticipate the first 2012 $1 Coin products to be available within the next several weeks.”
As of today, the release dates of the Chester Arthur rolls and the 2012 presidential coin sets are all listed as “to be determined” under the Mint’s list of release dates. Until that changes, you’ll have to periodically check the Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov for updated release news.