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Getting Coins from Banks Hard All Over
January 31, 2011

Collectors around the world have many traits and experiences in common. One experience that has become all too familiar to American collectors is also being shared by the British.

Trying to get new coin designs from local banks has gotten very hard in recent years. In many parts of the United States, you would never have known that there were four different designs on the reverse of the Lincoln cent in 2009.


Banks have cut back on their traditional role of supplying coins to circulation for face value, cutting out the denominations not demanded by their regular commercial customers. This has limited the distribution of the Presidential dollar series for example.

The problem with the 2009 Lincoln cents series was the armored car services that distribute cents to the banks simply delivered what they had on hand rather than providing new coins. When the recession hit, it left them holding large supplies of 2008-dated cents and these were delivered ahead off the 2009 coins.

Britain is experiencing a similar problem with the 50-pence coin. The recession reduced coin demand. This backed up supplies. It is very difficult if not impossible to find the new commemorative designs from the banks, which are still swimming in supplies of 2008-dated coins.

If misery loves company, then American collectors should feel a little better knowing their counterparts across the Atlantic are having the same difficulties in getting new coins from their banks as we are getting them from ours.


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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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