By Jennifer Phonexayphova

Killeen Daily Herald

Americans will have a brand-new coin to jingle in their pockets beginning today when the U.S. Mint officially releases a new dollar coin.

Several local people who deal regularly with currency have their doubts that the new coin will make any better of an impact than the Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea dollars, which were never popular with the buying public.

Collectors, however, seem to be delighted with the new coin which will feature U.S. presidents.

"If people collect these dollar coins like they have been with the state quarters, we'll be busy up until next year," said Stan Passman, owner of Silver Eagle Coins and Collectibles in Killeen.

Passman said coin collecting became the No. 1 hobby for many of his customers when the state quarter program was initiated, and he anticipates these coin enthusiasts will surely welcome the new dollar.

While another coin will entice many collectors, whether it will receive such a warm reception in the marketplace is another story.

John Cocannouer, store manager for the H-E-B in Harker Heights, said he doesn't see any advantages to having another coin being introduced as tender.

"People would much rather get three dollars back in bills," he said. "Not too many customers want their change back in coins."

From the store's perspective, Cocannouer said that since dollar bills are passed so frequently at the cash register, it would be more time-consuming to count money. It also would be more burdensome getting change orders at the bank, he said.

Janie Pena, head teller at Union State Bank in Killeen, agreed that local businesses requesting change orders from banks prefer dollar bills because they are easier to handle and are less bulky.

However, she said that at this point it is too early to speculate how the new coins will affect banking as a whole.

"I can say that we have a lot of customers that are looking forward to it," she said, adding that most are looking at it from a coin collector's perspective.

Don Harris, a vending service operator who also is a coin collector, said he, too, is excited to start a new collection.

"I've been collecting the state quarters since they came out, so I'll probably start collecting these as well," he said.

Harris is the branch manager for Automatic Chef Canteen in Killeen, a vending service that services all of Central Texas.

From a business perspective, Harris said the new coin shouldn't carry much of an impact in the Killeen area for his business.

"Our machines still use quite a bit of the existing dollar coins, and at bigger locations like Temple and Waco, or in factory settings, we have machines that dispense dollar coins already," he said. "A different one won't make much difference for us."

Harris also said that people do frequently use dollar coins as tender where the option is available.

The size, weight and metal composition of the new coin will be identical to the Sacagawea Golden Dollar, but the similarities end there.

The faces of the coins will

begin with George Washington. Every three months, a new president's face will enter circulation.

Adams, Jefferson and Madison also are slated for release this year, and subsequent presidents will follow in the order in which they served.

Perhaps what is most unique about the new dollar coins is that the coins' edges will feature the inscriptions. The mint mark, "E Pluribus Unum," "In God We Trust" and the year of minting or issuance will be showcased on every coin.

From a coin collector's standpoint, this new dollar is something to look forward to.

While countries such as Canada have done away with smaller bills and have opted to replace them with coins, Passman said unless the United States does the same, people will continue to favor dollar bills over coins.

"People are often reluctant to change, and it's just easier to carry dollar bills that fold in your pocket, rather than a bunch of heavy coins," he said.

Contact Jennifer Phonexayphova at or call (254) 501-7553

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