Where are all the circulating coins made in the last 30-40 years ?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Doug21, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Doug21

    Doug21 Coin Hoarder

    Modern coins basically don't wear out ( maybe Zincolns corrode away). I've never seen a really worn out Jefferson nickel) copper-clad coins are Tough, they wear a lot better than silver.

    I'm estimating that they coined at least 5 billion Zinc cents annually since 1982, call it 150 BILLION coins....where are they ? Their can't be that many in coin collections. I can see the copper and wheats being under 1% of circulating pennies

    Nickels don't wear out ( at least not easily) so I think basically every one made in the last 50 years should be still circulating....if it isn't Unc it ain't worth more than melt How many nickels made since 1962....I'll guess 50 BILLION. Billions and Billions of dimes and quarters

    All clad coins should still be here, I've never seen one that looked like an AG Barber dime.

    Do these coins ever get retired by the mint as too worn ? I can't see that accounting for much of the apparent loss of coins. Nothing above is really melt material yet.

    Does everybody have like multiple 5 gallon jugs full of coins ? Do these coins just get lost ?

    I can't understand what happens to these billions of coins that should easily last 50 years in circulation, unless they become meltable for profit in theory ( copper cents) or a major design change causes hoarding ( lincoln memorial vs. Wheats).

    I want to know where all these coins went to ! I know pennies get thrown away like trash. I trash 5 cent deposit cans/ bottles....way too much hassle.
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  3. Kirkuleez

    Kirkuleez 80 proof

    I am guilty of the multiple 5 gallon bottles hording of coins. About every ten years or so I cash them in. My bank tellers hate me when I do this, but I take a nice vacation on the proceeds. Last time I did it, I took a cruise to Alaska. One of my best friends just bought a new car with his change. Apparently he had been saving it for nearly twenty five years.

    The real reason is that our money is worth so much less than it once was. People don't use their change, so the government must produce coinage in insane numbers to keep the banks supplied. We see plenty of high grade coins because they have not circulated very long and they will not. Eventually, they will end up in the old piggy bank.
  4. Doug21

    Doug21 Coin Hoarder

    I don't think too many people save up their change until they have enough to buy a new car, or a cruise....well maybe the vacation !

    I can kind of see having two barrels, one for pennies and one for real coins and perhaps accumulating literally bags of pennies, but not so much with "silver". Too many people are broke these days, so not many will sit on $1,000 in nickels, dimes, quarters, etc.

    I try to spend the "silver" but the "copper" is a hassle, that's why I'd love to see the cent axed and go to rounding.
  5. softmentor

    softmentor Member

    Well, there are over 4 million retail businesses in the US, many of those have a lot more than one location. Each has at least one cash drawer, most have more than one, and all have coin.<br>Imagine Mcd's alone, 8 cash drawers and lots in the safe to bring out. I'm guessing here, but they could easily have over 10,000 coins on hand at any one time just for daily business. coin laundries, arcades,&nbsp; others probably have at least 10 times that. There's coin counting machines in the markets, vending machines, public transportation ...<br>There are over 7000 banks and S and L and other financial institutions with huge amounts of change (LOTS of boxes) could easily average half a million coins each. 7,000 x 500,000 = 3,500,000,000 just sitting in banks on any given day.<br>and there are over 300,000 people in the US, almost all of whom have a hand full of change in a pocket, purse, car, and many of whom have a bucket or jar or bowl full. Statistically the average person handles $800 in spare change per year.<br>it adds up.<br>And the population grows every year, that means more banks, stores, and everything else every year. cha ching<br>and of course there ARE those COLLECTORS!! :p <br>
  6. Doug21

    Doug21 Coin Hoarder

    I respect your opinion, but we are talking about nearly 30 years of cents and almost 50 years of copper-nickel stuff to draw from.

    I say argue that current coins like a nickel easily last 50 years....show me a Jeffy that looks like an AG v-nick.

    After awhile the Laundromat quarters kind of stay there, I'm sure the change machines are replenished via the washers and dryers, maybe a bit of quarter leakage as excess Q's leave, not huge.

    It's clear to me that pennies are simply trashed by many, esp. teens. I won't bend my fat (__*__) over to pick up a penny.

    Population/ business growth is not huge so I reject the concept of businesses holding the coinage !

    Where are the 1965- 1985 nickels, dimes, Q's ?

    They should be really common....

    Mid 60's clad stuff had huge mintages

    1964 nickels were enormous, still around, but less common.

    The US mint should encourage and love coin collectors ( like the RCM), but not penny and nickel hoarders !
  7. TheCoinGeezer

    TheCoinGeezer Senex Bombulum

    I get 1964 nickels in change all the time.
    Older clad coins (pre-1980) don't seem to show up as much. Don't know where they are going though.
  8. Zlotych

    Zlotych Member

    They are under the passenger seat of my car.
  9. saltysam-1

    saltysam-1 Junior Member Supporter

    I think they may be in the global market. US currency is even used in some countries as their own. As an example, they say that most of all $100 bills are not circulated in the US. I would think that this has possibly taken a good chunk of change out of the US as well. Remember, the gobal market as we know it, didn't exist like it does now; 25 years ago.
  10. BUncirculated

    BUncirculated Well-Known Member

    They're circulating ;)
  11. softmentor

    softmentor Member

    If I understand your point, this should make the question and the problem worse

    http://www.fleur-de-coin.com/coinfacts/unitedstates_3.asp

    There is approximately $8 billion worth of coins circulating in the US today. The U.S. Mint produces nearly 30 billion coins for general circulation each year (28 billion in 2000 and 21 billion in 2001)

    This would seem to say that there is more minted every year than is in circulation! Where did it go?

    The story form 2009 I think tells the story. When the economy got tough in 08, people started spending (putting back into circulation) so much coin, that the mint in 09 stopped minting very early. People have coins piled up. In their cars, in their pocket, but especially at home. Big jars, cans, hoards of the stuff.

    Collectors too, keep lot of it. Take this story for example
    When the Sacajawea dollar coin was launched in 2000, a half billion coins were issued within 14 weeks of the first ones rolling off the mint presses. It took the Susan B. Anthony dollar 14 years to reach that much circulation. The "Sackie," with its golden patina, was hoarded by collectors at an average rate of 13 coins per person in the United States when it was first issued.

    Also remember the 1965, 66, and 67 coins did not have mint marks? This was because the government didn't want collectors takeing a lot of coin out of circulation while they were rebuilding circulation quantities after the 1964 silver grab.

    Hording, or holding onto a bunch of coins is common. All that coin is siting on the dresser and in a can at you neighbors house. Every once in a while someone returns it to circulation which would explain why there are still older dates to be found and why the wear and rub has not been more that it has.
  12. 10gary22

    10gary22 Junior Member

    I recall reading someplace that an estimated 15% of the cents are damaged beyond use every year ? This is when I was trying to learn why there were not millions and millions of the 1988 D RDV006 and 1992 & 92 D CAM's. I do know that it's not uncommon to see a cent on the ground. They aren't worth toting around to a lot of people. And through roll searching, I've seen a ton of rotted Zincolns. Once that deterioration starts, it goes quickly. I believe in damper climates those cents die more quickly than we realize. Go figure ?
  13. camlov2

    camlov2 Member

    I just damaged 15-20 cents this week for my son. He likes the elongated cents you can create at theme parks. At this point I will support any type of coin collecting he wants to do. I would like to pick up some older ones to widen his interest but haven't found and nice ones in local shops.
  14. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    You would be surprised how few coins being tossed aside into drawers, jars etc or just lost it takes to remove ALL of the coins from circulation. The population of the US is roughly 300,000,000 people. If you assume there is an average of four people per household that is 75,000,000 households. Now if each of those households on average tosses a SINGLE coin into a jar, or loses it, or destroys it on average each WEEK what does that do? Would you believe that will remove 3.9 BILLION coins from circulation per year. Now think about this, is that figure of one coin per week really a reasonable estimate? Or is it probably VERY low? One coin per household works out to one coin per person per month. The entire annual output of the mint only amounts to about 15 coins or so per person per year. At that rate it doesn't take much tossing aside of coins to remove the entire annual production from circulation.
  15. Phil Ham

    Phil Ham Hamster Supporter

    And then you have the people like me that never return a single coin to circulation. I think you've hit the nail on the head with your post.
  16. softmentor

    softmentor Member

    And if the stat I quoted above is correct, then you, and others like you, are putting $800 of coin out of circulation every year.
    As for me, I have put 2 1/2 boxes of 1c, and 1 1/2 boxes of nicks, 10 rolls of dimes, 5 rolls of quarters and 2 rolls of small dollars, out of circulation this year so far. Probably will do another 2 boxes of nicks at least before the years end.
  17. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Even if you don't do the other two boxes of nickels that is 10,000 coins or your personal allowed quota for the next 833.33 years.
  18. softmentor

    softmentor Member

    Yea, I'm kind of exceptional that way :rolleyes:
    Call me the quota-nator LOL
  19. Vess1

    Vess1 ANA# R3152287

    I've got a change bank I use that has tubes for nickels, dimes and quarters. As they stack up,the dollar amount is listed along the opening to see what the stack is worth. Cents I throw in a bag. When I walk in the door, I hang up my keys and empty my pocket change into it every day. When the bank is full, I dump it into the bag and start filling it up again. I usually cash it in once a year and it usually goes to the next coin show. I've been thinking about saving a few years worth for the heck of it and getting something nice.

    It's not uncommon for me to have $50 to $100+ of pocket change around here. If you really want to go in-depth into this, you could list paragraphs of where change goes and sits. Or gets lost. I took a car door apart the other day and a quarter fell out. Think how many vending machines there are. Think how many rolls are sitting at banks going unused. I metal detected my yard and found state quarters that were a couple inches deep! How much coinage is in the ground? In couches? Wishing wells and ponds? How many have fallen in rivers? It's hard to comprehend how vast the US is but when you do, it's understandable where it all goes. Besides that, so much new comes out every year, that the old doesn't need to circulate much. I get 1964 nickels all the time that look pretty nice. I got a 1985 Lincoln the other day that was full of luster about like a 2009.

    The economy is bad for some people but it isn't for everybody. For the vast majority, nothing has changed. Even if there is 20% real unemployment, 80% of the people are employed. That's an overwhelming majority that probably hoards change to one extent or the other. My pockets are full enough as it is. I can't imagine adding a handful of change every day. All it would do is fall out anyway.

    If I have change from a previous transaction, I'll spend it at the next store if I need to. Once I get home though, it goes in the change bank and sits for a year or so. It's a habit and I figure if I do it, there's probably 10s of millions of people who do the same thing. There's probably billions worth hoarded at people's homes. Just look at the people who have basements and storage sheds full of wheat cents themselves. It makes sense to me.

    Look at the mintage figures for 1965-1967 quarters when they were trying to replace all the pre-64s that were disappearing. Just as one example. You'll understand why you can practically get one of those dates in change almost every day, to this date. I know I do.
  20. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    The coins are gone. They are not sitting idle anywhere. It's true that cents often sit idle for decades and this is why you see lots of AU's all the way back to the early '70's and from before 1965 and to a lesser extent this applies to nickels. But when was the last time you saw a nice attractive XF 1971 nickel? It was likely about 20 years ago because even nickels don't sit idle often or for very long. But the dimes and quarters almost never sit for more than three years and usually in government storage. But the government rotates their stocks so those in storage the longest are sent back out first.

    This is why you won't find nice AU 1968 quarters. If coins really were getting set aside for long periods then a few coins would have spent most of their time in storage like the old coins used to but this no longer happens except in a very few very isolated cases.

    There is a steady attrition of coins as they are inadvertantly destroyed or lost. These coins are gone forever in almost every single case. They get sucked up by vacuums or recycled with old cars. Already around half the old clad is gone and won't be back. Virtually ALL the rest of the clad is in typical condition in circulation. Only the tiniest percentage is in coin collections as can be seen by the lack of these coins coming into coin shops. A coin dealer will see a hundred silver Roosevelt dime collections for each clad one he sees because that's about the percentage in existence.
  21. lucyray

    lucyray Ariel -n- Tango Supporter

    Guilty! They go to the bottom of my purse; and into every sweater or jacket I own. A jar near the laundry area holds any strays that show up there.. When the purse gets "heavy", I dump out the change and it goes into another mason jar or vase I'm saving. I have "someday" intentions of turning in the change from all my tins, jars, cups, vases, and little trinket boxes, (oatmeal containers are a favorite), but "someday" just never shows up. I think to myself that they'll hate me at my local bank if I walk in with all of that change.

    If I ever really learn how to search that change, well, I might turn it in...but, old habits do die hard.

    Lucy
    (hoarder?)

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