How to make the dollar coin catch on

New George Washington dollar coinVisited the U.S. Mint the other day to see how the presidential dollar coins are being made. Collectors seem to be excited about new features, like four new presidential portraits a year, and writing around the rim. But will the coins wind up in cash drawers and pockets? Skeptics say there’s only one way: No more dollar bills. Two of my ideas: Offer the coins at a discount. Ninety-eight cents to get them, an instant earnings of 2 percent. (Get a roll of 50 plus a bonus coin for $50.) Since they save the Treasury money in the long run (coins outlast paper), the discount might pay for itself. Or, if that’s gimmicky and/or illegal, offer other bonus premiums, like a coupon good on postage stamps. Or, here’s the wildest one: Redesign the dollar bill to be so ugly no one will want it. How about pink with lemon and lime spots? Or put pictures of the New Jersey Turnpike on it. Ugly spotted dollar with Jersey Turnpike art

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