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More Coins Mean Better Times
April 08, 2010

If rising coin production signals good news for the economy as I have observed over the years, then the March production numbers of the U.S. Mint confirm that conditions are on the upswing.

The Mint nearly doubled its output in March as compared to February, from 194.4 million coins to 384.42 million pieces.

Collectors who have been scrambling to try to find examples of the four 2009 cent designs and then the new Union Shield design that was introduced this year can probably relax about the 2010 design.

Production of the 2010 cent doubled in March to 294 million pieces between the Philadelphia and Denver Mints and for the first three months of the year 572 million Union Shield cents have been struck.

If the March monthly pace were maintained for the rest of the year, more than 3.2 billion cents would be produced. If the quarterly pace is used instead, the the annual total would be approximately 2.3 billion pieces.

Either number would likely make it fairly easy to find examples in change. Also, as reports to me about 2010 cent finds around the country multiply, interest in the coins will probably drop.

That is the paradox. If you can’t find them, interest is high as is indignation. If they are everywhere, interest turns to the next hot item.

In any event, let’s hope the pace of coin production keeps rising because that means all of us will likely have a few more dollars of income to spend on our favorite hobby.

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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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