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Where's That First 2011 Cent?
February 14, 2011

Have you received a 2011 cent in your change yet?

So far, no one has reported receipt of such a coin to me – or 2011 nickels or 2011 dimes.

There have been reports made of the 2011 Gettysburg quarter out there. Kudos to the Mint and the banking system for getting them into use early in the year.

In more normal years, it is usually the cent that makes it into the public’s hands first in early January, but I don’t think anyone would argue that the American economy has yet returned to normal after the stock market crash set off by the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and the Great Recession.

However, we are probably getting there. There were an awful lot of people out shopping yesterday in these parts. Was it due to the fact that warmer weather had returned after a week of severe cold, or were there a lot of last minute shoppers looking for something for their sweetie the day before Valentine’s Day?

Probably both.

Whatever the reason for the expenditures, it should help increase the demand for new coinage and my first report of a 2011 cent should occur shortly.

One thing surprised me yesterday. I stopped off for a bite at a McDonald’s in nearby New London. I tendered a $20 bill and it was immediately fed into an electronic “Cashscan” machine to see if it was fake or not.

I am not aware that there has been an outbreak of fake $20s around here. Perhaps all McDonald’s now have them.

It is the first one I have seen.

It makes me think.

Up until now I have had a mental compartmentalization of electronic transactions using credit or debit cards and cash. With this device, they seem to be merging.

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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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