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What prompted the Presidential Coin Act of 2005?

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Quick Answer

The success of the 1999 State Quarters program prompted the 2005 Presidential Coin Act. In 2005, the Treasury announced it had earned over $5 billion in seigniorage profits from the State Quarters program due to large numbers of coins being removed from circulation by collectors and low production costs.

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Full Answer

A concurrent Government Accounting Office study estimated an additional $5 billion in savings over a 30-year period if the government stopped producing dollar bills. This news came amid growing concerns over the size of the federal deficit and the skyrocketing costs of the war on terrorism.

Under the Presidential Coin Act, four $1 coins bearing the likenesses of successive U.S. presidents would be issued every year. Congress hoped this program would repeat the success of the State Quarters program. However, the coins failed to gain widespread use, and the program was discontinued in 2011.

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