The US has tried for years to persuade Americans to use a one dollar coin, which lasts much longer than a paper bill, with little success. Not since silver dollars made of real silver went out of circulation have Americans wanted to use a dollar coin. In my own day I can remember the Eisenhower dollar, the Susan B. Anthony dollar, the Sacagawea dollar, and currently, the Presidential series of dollar coins, of which in the two or three years it's been coming out, I've encountered three.
The only way Americans will accept dollar coins is if they stop printing dollar bills, and in a democracy where people vote for all sorts of niche issues, banning the bills — as our Canadian and British cousins did when they introduced dollar and pound coins — just isn't in the cards. (The first time I went to the UK after the pound coin came in, I think I was tipping with them for days thinking they were 50p coins. The establishments presumably thought I was a big tipper.)
Well, here's an article at Bikya Masr on the same phenomenon in Egypt. One pound and one-and-a-half pound coins were not only rejected by customers in favor of paper, but also by shopkeepers, taxi drivers, etc. (Change has always been a problem in Egypt: ma fish fakka — there's no change — is the plea of many a taxi driver.) When I first went to Egypt in 1972, the smallest coin was the ta‘rifa, or half a piaster, but in those days the pound was a fair amount of money. Today, half a piaster would make no sense, as it wouldn't buy anything at all.
Now, they're minting the coins but not printing the bills. An authoritarian government like Egypt or even a rather paternalistic state like the UK or Canada can pull that off, but I still doubt that you'll see Americans do it any time soon. We're too contrarian, and the politician who stops printing dollar bills is dissing George Washington, of all people. Americans like their dollar bills.
Anybody want a Sacagawea dollar?