Fed still holds 21-year surplus of dollar coins
By Paul Gilkes ,Published: Feb 16, 2021, 11 AM
Federal Reserve Bank and contracted security vaults have sufficient quantities of $1 coins in inventory to satisfy commerce demands for almost the next 21 years, according to the Fed’s December 2020 report to Congress on the Presidential $1 Coin Program.
The totals incorporate Anthony dollars struck in circulation quality for commerce release along with Presidential dollars, but do not include the coins that the U.S. Mint has issued directly into general circulation.
According to the Fed’s report, the Mint indicated that 77 million Native American dollars were issued directly into circulation in 2011 and 1.4 million in 2012. The Mint discontinued the Direct Ship Program in early 2012.
The Presidential $1 Coin Program began in 2007 with release of the 2007 George Washington Presidential dollar.
The legislation authorizing the Native American dollar production required that, of all $1 coins produced for circulation release, 20% be Native American dollars.
According to the Fed’s report on dollar coin inventory, $1 coin totals decreased by 41 million coins over the past year, to 1.064 billion coins as of June 30, 2020.
However, “Inventories are about $996 million more than the Reserve Banks held before the start of the Presidential $1 coin program,” according to the inventory report.
“Assuming current levels of demand continue, Reserve Bank inventories will decrease slowly over time. We estimate that Reserve Banks hold sufficient $1 coin inventory to meet demand for nearly 21 years,” the report says.
With Federal Reserve and contracted vaults overflowing with dollar coins on Dec. 13, 2011, then Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner suspended circulation production and release of Presidential dollars, and Native American dollar coins as well.
The 2011 James A. Garfield Presidential dollar was only the 20th of 40 Presidential dollars produced for the program but the last executed for circulation release.
Starting with the Chester Arthur Presidential dollar and the Native American dollar of 2012, dollar coins produced in circulation quality at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints were offered as numismatic products only, at premiums above face value, in bags, rolls and boxes. None are officially ordered for circulation.
Circulation-quality Presidential or Native American dollars entering circulation since 2012 have likely been put there through a collector’s release of unneeded or excess holdings.
The last Presidential dollar struck in circulation quality as a numismatic product is the 2020 George H.W. Bush Presidential dollar.
The original Presidential $1 Coin Program ended in 2016 with the Ronald Reagan Presidential dollar.
The Bush dollar was added to the program under an extension authorized by provisions of Public Law 116-112, signed by President Trump on Jan. 27, 2020.
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