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Anyone else read this? "Big Changes afoot at US Mint"

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Big Changes afoot at US Mint


While its not hard to imagine that it would cost more to produce the US one Cent coin than it's worth at face value, if I am reading this article right, it looks to be simular to the other coins that the US Mint produces.


My personal feelings (which may not be correct), would be that either the mint will lower the numbers produced of each coin or may just discontinue producing certian coins or could make drastic changes to the sizes (dementions) of all coins being produced in order to compensate for the rise in material and wage cost involved during the production of US coins.


What are your thoughts? Could US coins become an "endangered species" of sorts? Or do you feel that they will just make changes to the coins allowing for further production?



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Well, with regard to the cent, this is an obvious place for change or stopping production all together. Vending machines in general do not accept cents (save a few gimmick vending machines for candy, trinkets, and what not). Not to mention, in terms of circulation coinage, the number of cents produced is almost two times more than the sum of all other denominations combined. In other words, for every 100 circulation type coins produced at Philadelphia and Denver in 2010, 64 of these coins were Lincoln Cents!!!! That is crazy!




2010 Lincoln cent mintages, P&D combined

1 cent (penny) ~ 4 billion


Mintage for all others 2010 coins (P&D):

5 cent (nickel) ~ 490 million

10 Cent (dime) ~ 1.1 billion

Quarter dollars ~ 350 million

Half dollar ~ 3.5 million

Native American $1 ~ 80 million

Presidential $1 ~ 320 million

Total all non-cent coins: ~ 2.25 billion


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CTC will provide recommendations, then Congress wil do what it wants. The Mint and BEP will be stuck taking the flack.

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Judging by the mintage figures you list, the US Mint has already substantilaly decreased these numbers from what I recall was produced before. And I will guess that one big reason is because a lot of "cookie jars" have been raided in the last few years due to the economy. So demand for new coinage could have decreased.


Personally, I do not carry any change around with me and I avoid trying to get any back. Recently, I got rid of three bags that I had accumulated, some over the last 15 years. I always carry some cash around with me just in case but mostly use a credit card and then pay it off at the end of the month.

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Lincoln Cent production has been decreasing steadily since about the year 2000. I created the following figure to show the mintage trends for non-proof Lincoln Cents from 1959 through 2010.



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Yes, I've read it and it says almost nothing that hasn't been said or known for years. The cent and five cent cost more than their face value to make, people aren't using the half dollar and dollar. The closest to anything new there is the 1.3 million dollar contract with CTC to do the same thing the mint already has the authority to do and which they probably have been doing for years, research new alloys. (This was announced eight days ago.) They are basically paying a private company to repeat their research. And in another two years we will tell congress what we have determined. So at least two more years of the status quo making coins for more than their face value.

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