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Lawmaker proposes new coin design to cut deficit

Hard currency is still a common way for shoppers to pay for their purchases, and if a new bill manages to make its way through Congress and get presidential approval, some American coinage could get a makeover. As such, business owners will find no reason to set aside their coin counting machine just yet, especially as excited consumers may be eager to pay with newly designed change.

Coin changes could be coming
The American Liberty Coinage and Deficit Reduction Act of 2013 seeks to create and circulate new commemorative Liberty coins, a strategy that could increase seigniorage and thus contribute to deficit reduction over time. The program would call for a new Liberty-themed design for dimes, quarters and half dollars. The newly struck coins would depict an American bald eagle; fasces emblematic of civil governance; the torch of knowledge; or American values such as freedom, independence, peace, equality, strength and justice. These special designs would appear on no less than 40 percent and no more than 50 percent of new circulating coins as soon as 2015.

Liberty-focused dimes would be struck every other year starting in 2015, while quarters with a new Liberty theme would be released each year. Half dollars with new designs would be struck for a 10-year period and issued as a noncirculating collector's piece.

The bill would create new coin designs contingent upon government deficit reduction. Sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), the bill would only call for new coins to be developed if it was determined the project would result in a deficit reduction of at least $100 million over the next 10 years. The Department of the Treasury would be responsible for completing a study that would judge this if the bill is approved by Congress and signed into law.

Question to how far the bill will go 
The bill's chances of survival are weak - Gov Track rates its chance of getting past committee at 27 percent and its chance of being fully enacted at a mere 4 percent. However, these low prospects won't necessarily stop the legislation from becoming law if its sponsors can convince other lawmakers it will prove beneficial in the long run.

But no matter what the outcome, it will remain imperative for merchants to stay up to date with the latest coin counting machine and other currency management tools. By changing strategies to enhance the shopper experience, businesses will see a significant benefit and could see efficiency continue to rise.

July 25, 2013