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Coin Production Points Up for Economy
June 03, 2010

Time to break out the party hats to celebrate the end of the recession?

Could be.

Mint circulating coinage production in May jumped 45 percent over the April total.

These coins aren’t coming off the presses to go into storage. There is demand for them in the general economy.

Already the Mint has struck more dimes than in all of last year.

Cent production looks to be on pace to exceed last year’s and there is only one design, not four.

Nickel production is still lagging last year’s pace. With seven more months to go in the calendar year, it is too early to conclude this will be a speculator’s dream coin even though the total of 29.28 million pieces struck only at Philadelphia is well below the combined 86.64 million nickels turned out by Denver and Philadelphia in 2009.

Quarter, half dollar and dollar production is nothing to write home about yet, but only the quarter is actually used by the economy. A case can be made that the billions of state quarters out there are finding their way into circulation so current lower production isn’t an economic indicator as much as cents and dimes might be.

Of course others might argue the opposite.

Either way, it is the general coin production upward trend that is the economic good news. A growing economy will put money in the pockets of many collectors and some of that will find its way into the 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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