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New coins to roll out ex-presidents
Report: U.S. mint expected to release new series featuring portraits of former chief execs in 2007.
December 16, 2005: 8:24 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Coin collectors can look forward to a new series of gold-colored dollar coins depicting portraits of former presidents, according to a report published Friday.

USA Today, citing legislation sent to President Bush on Thursday, said the U.S. Mint will produce four coins each year beginning in 2007 in the order in which the presidents served.

Keeping with tradition, the report said no living presidents will appear on the coins, and the Statue of Liberty will be on the reverse side of the dollars. Grover Cleveland will be on two coins because he served non-consecutive terms, the newspaper said.

The Mint will also make commemorative coins in 24-karat gold, the highest quality ever used, of the presidents' spouses, according to the report.

The new coins could become popular collectors' items, the newspaper said, as well as entice people to use change instead of dollar bills. Additionally, they could save the government approximately $500 million a year simply because they last longer than paper dollars, the newspaper said, citing a 2002 report from the Government Accountability Office.

Could the dollar coins eventually replace the paper dollar? Some are betting against that happening. Rep. Mike Castle ( R-Del.), who led the effort for the presidential dollar coins, told the newspaper that it's unlikely the new coins will knock down the paper version.

However, similar to the state quarter program that generated about $4 billion for the Mint, Castle said the dollar coins will be great for collectors and can act as a history teaching tool.  Top of page

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