In recent years, at least seven countries including Britain, Canada, and Australia have replaced their lowest-value paper currency with coins.

This trend argues strongly for a bill introduced by 50 members of the U.S. House and Senate to replace the one dollar bill with a coin.Though the bill revives memories of the ill-fated Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, it still makes sense. The trouble with the Suzie, which bore a likeness of the famed feminist, is that it was the same size and color as a quarter, and was constantly confused with the 25-cent piece. No wonder it was withdrawn from circulation.

By contrast, the proposed new dollar coin would be gold in color and would be made mostly of copper, which would boost the western copper industry.

The proposed new dollar coin also would save the taxpayers some money. A dollar bill lasts only a year or two in circulation, compared with two decades for the average coin. The Treasury could save more than $50 million a year by having a dollar coin instead of paper.

Besides, inflation has eroded its value so much that a dollar bill has virtually been relegated to the status of small change anyway.