Here is what the 2004 U.S. nickels will look like.
Personally, I think we should get rid of the penny and nickel, and drop a digit in currency calculations. As the price of the penny rises in proportion to the cost of making that penny, we're eventually going to have to do this anyway.
If the penny and nickel are gone, we would also need to get rid of the quarter for obvious reasons. And as long as we're messing with our pocket change, we may as well do all these changes at once:
- Remove the penny (cent coin). It costs a lot to make and people don't use them often. They can't be used in vending machines, we already have currency with Lincoln on it (the $5 bill), and a penny is worth only a fraction today compared to 1793 when it first came out.
- Remove the nickel. People are afraid businesses will cheat customers out of 2.5 cents of every transaction. It's a stupid, trivial issue, but the U.S. is a nation full of stupid, trivial people. (But not exclusively in any sense.)
- Replace the quarter with a Washington 20-cent piece.
- Remove the dollar bill. It's a pain to use a crumpled dollar bill in vending machines anyway, and we already have its replacement (the Sacagawea). The Sacagawea has so far failed to catch on because we still have the dollar bill, and because it takes time and money to replace vending machines, cash drawers, etc. (This is why we should make all the changes to our currency at once.) While we're at it, we might as well replace Sacagawea with MLKjr as per H.R. 1016, the " Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1 Dollar Coin Act." MLK did more for the country than Sacagawea did anyway.
- Create a $2 coin with Jefferson, to replace the $2 bill with Jefferson.
So in the end we would have:
- (coin) Roosevelt 10c
- (coin) Washington 20c
- (coin) Kennedy 50c
- (coin) MLK $1
- (coin) Jefferson $2
- (bill) Lincoln $5
- (bill) Hamilton $10
- (bill) Jackson $20 (Is Jackson worthy of being on the currency anymore?)
- (bill) Grant $50 (Ditto for Grant.)
- (bill) Franklin $100
Notice the 1-2-5 trend? It's simpler than the irregular system we have in place now, and is similar to the Euro currency system (except without the 1 and 5 cent pieces).