Have you ever found a quarter in circulation that was painted red, yellow, or some other color? Do you wonder why someone would take the time to color a coin? More likely than not it was painted that way by a bar owner or the owner of some other establishment that has a jukebox. When business is kind of slow, the proprietor of the bar will use several of his painted quarters to play music in the jukebox, hopefully livening things up and getting people in a party mood so they'll put their own coins in the jukebox. When the owner of the jukebox comes around to empty the coin box, he can then easily sort out the painted quarters and give them back to the bar owner.

A similar thing happened in the early 1990's with the Anthony Dollar. The owner of Hart's Coin Laundry in Chicago invested in Anthony Dollar slots for his machines. Using a dollar coin would be much easier than handling several quarters, however his customers kept mixing up the two denominations. The owner came up with the idea to use dykum on the Anthony Dollars. Dykum is an extremely durable dye used to color metal. Five hundred were dyed with dykum blue. The "blue dollars" made it easier for his customers, as well as himself, to visually seperate the dollars from the quarters.

One of the key members of the Coin Coalition, NAMA (National Automatic Merchandising Association), polled its members several times during the 1990's concerning ideas and attitudes towards the dollar coin. The owner of Hart's Coin Laundry sent several of the "Blue Anthonys" to NAMA, who then forwarded them to the Coin Coalition. The Coin Coalition used examples of the dykum blue dollars in their lobbying of Congress as additional support for one of the Coalition's goals, i.e. a new dollar coin of a different color. The rationale being that since dollar coins and quarters were easily confused, a different color would make it more likely the public would accept the dollar. Obviously, they didn't want a blue coin - they wanted a golden color coin. However, it did support their argument that people were more likely to use the dollar coin if they could visually tell the difference.

A similar experiment was tried in New York City with dykum red used on the Anthony Dollars. No further information is available on that experiment.

The information on this page is generously provided by Small Dollar researcher and enthusiast Phillip Barnhart.

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