Have you seen any dollar coins in circulation lately? The U.S. Mint began making coins of this denomination with the imagine of the Shoshone woman Sacagawea in 2000. (Recall her claim to fame was as a guide for the Lewis & Clark expedition.) Using coins rather than dollar bills would be a significant savings, since metal lasts longer than paper. But for about the third time in my lifetime, the idea didn’t catch on. So where did all those coins go?
Would you believe Ecuador? According to the Miami Herald, what has been shunned in this country has been embraced by Ecuadorians. Sacagawea is considered a kindred spirit among these Native (South) Americans. While us Notre Americanos prefer paper money, coins are actually the legal tender of choice much further south.
Ecuador is one of a number of countries that use U.S. dollars as their currency (http://www.investopedia.com/articles/forex/040915/countries-use-us-dollar.asp). Their money used to be called the sucre, but an economic crisis with hyper-devaluation led them to adopt dollars 17 years ago. After that unpleasant experience, Ecuadorians simply don’t trust paper money. Coins are harder to counterfeit and feel more substantial.
Put that experience together with an image Ecuadorians can identify with and Sacagawea has found a welcome 21st century home.
Read the complete article at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article138837363.html .