Because the average U.S. dollar bill wears out in 18 months, it is expensive to keep printing enough currency. In contrast, a dollar coin lasts for nearly 20 years. With this in mind, a new dollar coin was introduced 11 years ago.

Public rejection was total. The Treasury has 500 million Susan B. Anthony coins that it doesn't know what to do with.Given that background, why would anyone want to promote the idea of a one dollar coin again? Yet that is what is happening in Congress. And despite failure of the Anthony, a dollar coin still makes good sense.

Replacing dollar bills with coins would save the Treasury $150 million a year to start and the savings would increase each year.

A dollar coin would make it easier for vending machine companies, transit systems, convenience stores, parking meters, and other uses. Most vending machines made since 1979 could be easily adjusted to handle a dollar coin.

Why did the Susan B. Anthiony dollar fail so miserably? Essentially, it was a good idea and a bad design. The Anthony dollar looked and felt like a quarter and was easily confused with that coin. And printing of paper dollars continued.

Most Western countries are phasing out small denomination bills and replacing them with coins. Last year, Canada introduced a gold-colored dollar coin that has since won wide acceptance. It is getting rid of its paper dollar

The U.S. proposal would result in a similar gold-colored coin, with smooth edges, unlike the ribbed-edge quarter. But it would be multi-sided instead of being perfectly round, also