Talk about an edgy idea.

Hold up one of the new dollar coins, which debuted two days ago, and you'll see letters and numbers around the rim: "In God We Trust . . . E Pluribus Unum . . . P 2007."

The P, of course, is for the Philadelphia Mint, the world's biggest.

Other features to inspire interest and acceptance: a big "$1" on the back (other coins spell out amounts). Presidents on the front, a new one every three months. The Statue of Liberty on the back.

Both debut images are by Philadelphia designers. George Washington was Joe Menna's very first coin design. Don Everhart's Lady Liberty will be on the reverse for 10 years.

Also, the size matches the Sacajawea dollars, a nod to vending machines.

To add the congressionally mandated edge-lettering, engineers had to devise new machines that roll the coins over dies. (That happens after each coin's designs are struck by a coin press' slam sandwich.)

Banks that asked for the coins should already have them.

Time will tell whether the coins become common in pockets and cash registers. The Mint has dreams:

"I even suspect the tooth fairy will love leaving these beautiful coins under pillows," Washington-based director Edmund C. Moy stated.

For a slide show from the mint: http://go.philly.


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