Local News

The Smart Money is On Sacagawea Golden Dollars

Posted March 14, 2000

— The new Golden Dollar coins are not supposed to be rare, but collectors and others are having a hard time finding them.

Bank branches are supposed to be stocked with the coins by now, but customers who ask for them at a First Citizens Bank branch will likely hear, "They're on order. They're coming."

Most branches have not received their first shipment yet, but it is not for lack of trying.

"We just don't have them. We're trying to get them in, but we just don't have them in," says Justin Merrick.

The coins first became available at local Wal-Mart stores in January. The initial sales were the government's way to get some valuable exposure before releasing the coins to banks in February.

The marketing ploy worked -- very well. The U.S. Mint was forced to double its production.

Several weeks later, some banks that do have the coins are selling out because the Federal Reserve is rationing them.The most it will ship is 2,000 at a time, and that goes quickly when so many people are requesting them.

"It's anywhere from gifts for their grandchildren to giving to their employees and even to customers," says John Anthony of Capital Bank.

Capital is one bank that says it has enough to go around for now. Other banks are counting on getting their share of the golden coins by the end of the month.

The Golden Dollar coins are still available at Wal-Mart stores. Andthey can be ordered onlinefrom the Mint.


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