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U.S. Coins: Replacing the $1 Note with a $1 Coin Would Provide a Financial Benefit to the Government

GAO-11-281 Published: Mar 04, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 04, 2011.
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Since coins are more durable than notes and do not need replacement as often, many nations have replaced lower-denomination notes with coins to obtain a financial benefit. GAO has estimated the annual net benefit to the U.S. government of replacing the $1 note with a $1 coin four times over the past 20 years, most recently in April 2000. Asked to update its estimate, GAO (1) estimated the net benefit to the government of replacing the $1 note with a $1 coin and (2) examined other effects stakeholders suggested such a replacement could have. To perform its work, GAO constructed an economic model and interviewed officials from the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, the U.S. Secret Service, outside experts, and officials from Canada and the United Kingdom. To determine the effects on stakeholders, GAO interviewed officials from industries and organizations that might be affected by changes to currency.

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Comparative analysisCost analysisCurrency and coinageEconomic growthForeign currencyForeign governmentsMonetary policiesMoney supplyNational banksPrinting costsCost estimatesSavings estimates