2009 CIRCULATING COIN PRODUCTION FALLS
TO MULTI-DECADE LOWS
Fewer U.S. coins of most denominations
are likely to be struck during 2009 than at any time in decades. On
April 23 the U.S. Mint announced that it has ceased striking five and
ten cent pieces for the remainder of the year. The announcement advises
that the only circulation quality coins still to be struck this year
are territorial quarters, Presidential and Native American dollars, and
the three remaining circulating commemorative Lincoln cents.
Through April the
striking 1.556 billion coins of all
denominations, excluding bullion and non-circulating
commemoratives. Extrapolating this figure through the end of the
year, total production would be about 4.5 billion coins. That compares
to 10.14 billion during 2008 and 14.44 billion during 2007. The
dramatic decline is the result of reduced demand for change due to
the recession and, to some extent, stashes of coins being returned to
A total of 79.2 million
nickels and 146 million dimes were produced through April. If
these figures are
final, they'll be the lowest mintages for the two denominations since
1951 and 1956, respectively. Nickel strikings are approximately
evenly divided between the Philadelphia and Denver facilities. Nearly
twice as many dimes were struck in Philadelphia as in
The final mintage for the first of four 2009 pennies with reverse
designs commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham
Lincoln is 634.8 million pieces, of which 350 million were struck in
Denver and 284.8 million in Philadelphia. If similar numbers of
the remaining three Lincoln cents are struck, the combined mintage of
about 2.5 billion would be the lowest for the one cent coin since 1966.
million and 139 million, respectively, mintages for 2009 District of
Columbia and Puerto Rico quarters are well below any of the state
quarters issued during the prior ten years. The 98.4 million
William Henry Harrison and 87.1 million John Tyler dollar coins struck
through April mark the first two instances of Presidential dollar
mintages below 100 million (the Puerto Rico quarter and Tyler dollar
figures may not yet be final). By law Native American dollars must be
20% of total dollar coin production.
However, there's no sign of these coins being released into
circulation in significant quantities.
Collectors continue to report difficulty obtaining the Lincoln
"Birthplace" cent. Given the low mintages and halt in production
reported by the Mint, the same will likely be true for 2009 Jefferson
nickels and Roosevelt dimes.
U.S. MINT SHIPS NUMISMATIC
PRODUCTS AT SNAIL'S PACE
The U.S. Mint reports on its web site that it is experiencing shipping
delays on all orders due to "fulfillment issues." The notice
states that orders are taking 4-5 weeks to ship. Our most recent order
for various products was placed over 6 weeks ago. Although some of
those products were reported at the time to be "in stock and reserved,"
none have yet been shipped. Conversations with other Mint customers
confirm longer than usual delays, with some reports in the range of 3
Earlier this year, numerous complaints about 2009 Ultra High Relief $20
Gold coins being left at customers' addresses with no signature
required appeared in hobby publications and online forums. That
practice has apparently been modified. We found it amusing that we
didn't have to sign when the coin we ordered in January arrived but did
have to sign for the booklet about the coin that was shipped separately
a few weeks later.
If you're interested in 2009 U.S. Mint products, such as commemorative
quarter proof sets and Louis Braille commemorative silver dollars, be
prepared for a possible long delay if ordering directly from the Mint
and limited availability from dealers.
Our already competitive prices have been further reduced on 80 selected
"slabbed" collector coins of various denominations. Each coin has been
graded, authenticated and encapsulated in a tamper resistant holder by
one of the major independent coin grading companies (most by PCGS or
NGC). The selected coins and sale prices are posted on our Current
Special page. Digital photographs of most of the coins can be
viewed online by clicking the coin descriptions. This sale ends May 29,
and individual coins will be removed as they're sold, since only one
each is available in most cases.
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