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In the US does the US Mint ever remove coins from circulation?


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It seems from what I've been reading coins pretty much stay in circulation forever, that is until they are melted down for other uses or removed from circulation by a collector. So I was curious if in the US Mint's eyes do coins have a "useful life expectancy" in which the mint can actively remove old coinage from circulation and melt it down for new? I was also curious if there has ever been legislation in the past requiring the removal of old circulating currency when new currency came out?

 

Thanks!

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Coins do not get removed from circulation untill they are wore out, it works the same way as paper money. Coins do have a life expectancy set by the mint. But they are only removed after a certain amount of wear.

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Life expectantcy is 30 years, but only worn/damaged coins are removed.

 

Gold coins were removed. Banks were ordered to take them in, not give any back out, and send them back to the fed reserve.

 

And, as with any goverment statement, "no coin issue will ever be removed from circulation....unless we change our mind".

 

Fatcat

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Most of the silver coins were removed from circulation by regular people as the country was facing a coin shortage when the clad coins were introduced. Lots of people removed a lot of coins from circulation once the silver value exceeded face value in the 1960s, and it happened a whole lot faster than with copper pennies. By 1970 the only silver left were 40% silver halves which didn't exceed face value until the price moved higher.

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I doubt the government ever has to recall coins. They purposely produce coins that people will hoard, save or just destroy. It would never be necessary to recall a coin and the expense to have someone inspecting coins for wear is just not thier thing. People buy and hoard coins every day by the millions. Others just pull out of change what they need for a collection. Others buy them from shops, shows or that little, dirty, odd dressed person that approaches us in parking lots and alleys. More coins are destroyed by people melting them down for the metal, thrown in rivers, lakes, oceans for the fun of it. Then naturally many people throw some in a vat of wet concrete since it is supposed to be good luck.

Some coins are just lost in forest, parks, beaches, deserts. Although the Mint continuously produces millions and billions of coins each year, not to many survive our system of coin elimination.

Meanwhile back to my smelter.

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Although the Mint continuously produces millions and billions of coins each year, not to many survive our system of coin elimination.

As I was reading on here more and more about coins this very thing occurred to me as how the US Mint continuously produces millions and millions of coins each year while we can still find in circulation coins from 50+ years ago?

 

The Canadian government is actively working towards removing all older 5¢ coins from circulation, they are worth 14¢ in melt value.

 

Never say never. The Feds did it with gold in 1933.

 

Interesting to hear Canada doing this.

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I had been wondering myself about the melting down, or rather non-melting down of the U.S. currency for a while as I had occasionally read a post by someone mentioning they had found an old coin dating early 20th-C in the change they had been given (?!)

I was slightly taken aback by this as we have a habit of taking in old or outdated coins and melting them down over here in the UK. Looks like people dig into their grandpa's old cash storage now and then and spend the little old coins at the local shop, which ends up being given by the cashier to a certain person who happens to be a collector, or it is otherwise just re-spent until it ends up in the pocket of someone who will cherish it more..

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I searched $100 in nickels this week, the earliest I found was a 1938, another 1939 and several in the 1940's. The best find was a 1945-P that is silver and worth about 85¢. The '45-P was in the very last roll of 50 rolls in the box. Nickels are the best denomination to find earlier dates, since the composition and design was the same from 1938-2003 and there are still not enough of the 2004+ coins in circulation yet that people save the old ones. Lincoln cents are a close second, I searched $25 worth and the earliest of 13 Wheats was a 1942-D.

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For the main part US coins have never been removed from circulation in this country and destroyed. There are numerous exceptions such as the Pitman act of 1918 that destroyed millions of silver dollars, the demonetization of the trade dollar, and the treasury recall of circulating silver in '68/ '69. Most had already been removed by the public. The mint also had always pulled out damaged and excessively worn silver for redemption and this did account for a significant amount over the years.

 

Still the government doesn't pull out mutilated coin. Most of this ends up in the garbage stream because of the high costs borne by the owner to redeem it. Counting houses probably redeem anything that won't go through their automatic counters but these are set so just about anything will go through. Municipal incinerators often retriev coin after they've been burned and ship them for redemption (New York, I believe), by the truck load.

 

A lot of our old quarters are getting very worn. It might not be many years until they have to be separated out. They started making new quarters on 1% thinner planchets in 1999 probably to keep the range in weight of quarters from growing too large.

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For the main part US coins have never been removed from circulation in this country and destroyed. There are numerous exceptions such as the Pitman act of 1918 that destroyed millions of silver dollars, the demonetization of the trade dollar, and the treasury recall of circulating silver in '68/ '69. Most had already been removed by the public. The mint also had always pulled out damaged and excessively worn silver for redemption and this did account for a significant amount over the years.

 

Still the government doesn't pull out mutilated coin. Most of this ends up in the garbage stream because of the high costs borne by the owner to redeem it. Counting houses probably redeem anything that won't go through their automatic counters but these are set so just about anything will go through. Municipal incinerators often retriev coin after they've been burned and ship them for redemption (New York, I believe), by the truck load.

 

A lot of our old quarters are getting very worn. It might not be many years until they have to be separated out. They started making new quarters on 1% thinner planchets in 1999 probably to keep the range in weight of quarters from growing too large.

:ninja: Interesting, thanks for sharing! I didn't realize that about the 1999+ quarters.

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  • 8 years later...

Look at this from the perspective of a business owner. If the customer no longer wants or uses the product, then stop spending money to make more and remove it from use. If the product is worn out, fix it or replace it. The US Treasury charges the US Mint with keeping our money supply secure, up to date, produced as cheaply as possible, relevant to the customer's needs and distributed to banks. To that end, ALL coin and bill denominations are always under review by the U.S.Mint. Back in 1857 they decided that the 1/2 cent piece was no longer needed, so it was removed from circulation.

 

All countries around the world use pretty much the same procedure when the decision is made to remove a coin or bill denomination from circulation. The congress is ultimately the decision maker to stop using a coin after a seemingly endless mind numbing, exhaustive analysis and review period. Once the decision is made, they issue a public announcement to turn in all those coins or bills to a local bank to be exchanged by the bank for some other coin or bill that will be continuing in circulation. During the "exchanging" period, collectors usually jump in and snap up a sizable portion. Come deadline date, there are virtually none left in circulation.

 

Here in the U.S.A., the next coin under review and consideration (debated on capital hill by President Obama and various congressman) is the 1 cent coin (aka the penny). But the penny pressing souvenir machines (found all over the world in tourist shop) political lobby is a very powerful lobby on capital hill. They know if the coin is removed from circulation all those thousands upon thousands of machines will be worthless. They are the second most powerful lobby behind the gun control lobby. .... ahh... you know I am joking about this lobby ... right?

 

So, all of the UK (Canada, New Zealand, Australia, et al) has removed the penny from their currencies with not even a ripple. The machine lobby was not as success there, I guess.

 

Please offer you opinions and input at PennyFreeBiz.com

PennyPress4.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Until the coinage act of 1857, foreign coins were allowed to freely circulate in the US.

Afterward, you could turn these coins in for an equivalent amount of US coins.

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UK still has the penny.

even the copper ones, the 2p is worth 3p

oddly enough in the UK, the Double florin was never was actually made non-legal tender so in theory is a 20p coin.... worth far more in silver content of course.

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