US Mint Survey to Inquire about Low Denomination Coins

by Darrin Lee Unser on July 29, 2014 · 10 comments

survey

An upcoming US Mint survey will focus on the use of low denomination US Coins

A survey will soon be conducted for the United States Mint to hear about the public’s use and perception of U.S. circulating coinage.

Special emphasis will be directed toward the use off low denomination coins, according to a U.S. Mint noticed published earlier this month on the Federal Register. Collected information will be used by U.S. Mint and other Treasury Department officials in analyzing options and proposing recommendations for possible changes to U.S. circulating coins.

Under the Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010, Public Law 111-302, the Secretary of the Treasury is required to present a biennial report to Congress outlining recommendations on possible changes to circulating coins including their composition.

To that end, the pending survey is expected to include the following topics:

  • use of coins as payment,
  • general payment preferences,
  • general awareness concerning low denomination coins,
  • attitudes regarding potential changes in coinage,
  • the use of rounding retail transactions, and
  • demographic characteristics.

A national random-digit-dial (RDD) survey of 1,000 U.S. adults will be completed to gather the information. Seven-hundred individuals will be surveyed via traditional land-line telephones with another 300 surveyed via cell phone.

Interviews will be conducted in both English and Spanish with about two minutes spent to screen individuals for eligibility. The main survey is expected to take another ten minutes.

Details about the survey was published July 8 on the Federal Register. Under current law, the proposed collection of information must first be printed in the register to allow a 30-day window for public comment. Those with comments on the proposed survey in respect to its necessity, its estimated burden on the public, and possible improvements are directed to contact the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for Treasury, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Boz July 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Don’t need circulating pennies or dimes anymore. Just reverse proof and dome shaped ones for flippers on ebay. For those who still use cash registers, take away the slots and convert them for dollar coins and two dollarbills.

The quarter is worth what a penny used to be. So keep it for gumball machines.

The nickle might be worth some discussion. But we could probably get by without it as well. Round up or down to the nearest 1/4 dollar.

Richard July 29, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Nickels, dimes and quarters are still useful, but we sure could say good-bye to the half. (This would be a good year to end it, with the anniversary coinage.) the cent of course is becoming useless, and it is time to retire the dollar bill. Unfortunately political and industry pressure will probably keep the same designs/denominations for now.

Ilovesilver July 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm

we ( Los Angeles) still need all type of coins,
I saw a lot of Seniors , helpless ppls pick up some coins from the street to buy Low-end foods
May be we should make $5 , $10 and $25 coins etc . helping reduce use of Globe resource – Paper money only last 2-5years, but the coins can last forever,

Munzen July 29, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Yes, definitely join the rest of the civilized world and get rid of the $1 bill! I’m conflicted about the $2 denomination though. It’s an absolute must-have to fill the gap between $1 coins and $5 bills. OK, most other countries use $2 coins but if we have to use a (hopefully redesigned) $2 bill just so the nay-sayers can have their “foldin’ money”, so be it.

I have to differ about the half-dollar. The denomination circulated regularly until the Kennedy half vanished into drawers as a keepsake and melting pots because the Mint insisted on retaining silver-clad composition for 6 extra years. Maybe it could be downsized and/or made multi-sided – why use 2 quarters when one half could do?

And speaking of quarters, so long as we have that denomination instead of 20¢ pieces, it’ll be difficult to eliminate the nickel without causing a lot of problems with rounding an change-making. Unfortunately the quarter is too fundamental to the way people make change for it to be replaced. Plus you never know, someone may want change for a Spanish milled dollar.

Boz July 29, 2014 at 8:34 pm

The half dollar was discontinued years ago except for the ebay flippers. If we are going to keep all the bins in the cash register, a two dollar coin might be a good idea. A great time to re-proportion all coinage too. Never did understand why the dime was smaller than the nickel, and virtually the same size as the penny.

A clad version of the new 2014 platinum would also be nice for our new $100 coin. The way things have been going, the $100 coin in 2014 has the buying power of a $1 bill from 1914.

The new platinum design has my vote to replace whatever is up next, whether it be a redesign of the nickel, dime, or half.

Robert Smith July 30, 2014 at 7:00 am

Put silver back in dimes and quarters and copper back in cents. Nationalize the Federal Reserve and give each tax payer shares in the Federal Reserve a bullion 401k account off Fort Knox and 33 Liberty St. Take Federal Reserve Note off of our dollars and return to silver certificates and gold certificates.

Vachon July 30, 2014 at 2:28 pm

@Boz : I agree. Everything below the quarter-dollar should be dropped and since ATMs require, in the majority of cases, users to withdraw in increments of $20, I would suggest the $20 bill is our modern-day dollar. The $1, $2, $5, and $10 bills ought to be phased out and replaced with coins so our coinage will have actual purchasing power again.

If anything, it would help the hobby because young people in my observations as a cashier see no value in coins and in some sense they are right. They have so little value that, with the rough exception of quarters, they’re not worth the effort of counting out. People have come to view coins as non-interest bearing metallic savings accounts cashed in later for paper money rather than money to be spent.

Back in our grandparents’ day, finding even a nickel on the ground meant you could buy something. A handful of change is unlikely to buy anything now. It’s a shame really. We could get by fairly easily on a quarter-dollar base economy. Product sizes would adjust accordingly.

The half dollar could be circulated again if banks were forced to only order fractional dollars and receive their order as 50% quarters and 50% half-dollars. In a few months, it would be like the half dollar had never gone away. People will accept them I’ve noticed, if you give them out. The trouble is finding a reliable supplier.

Vachon July 30, 2014 at 2:31 pm

@Munzen : One radical idea, if the cent and nickel were eliminated but not the dime would be for Congress to revalue the dime as 1/8th of a dollar so that two dimes equal a quarter thus taking care of the change issue. I know the etymology of “dime” comes from the word “ten” but the word dime for today’s money needn’t necessarily be ten cents. It could just be a fancy word for an eighth of a dollar 🙂

tom thumb July 30, 2014 at 6:36 pm

eliminate the one dollar bill and start using all those presidential dollars that are in storage. save on paper, printing, and storage. and they will last 30 years.

Mike Lo August 7, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I agree that the cent, nickel and dime have lost its buying power. But do not eliminate them. Mint them for collectors and in proof only which would make a profit for the Mint. Create a $2 coin as well as $5, $10, $20 coins which also you would include in a collector proof set. Drop the $1 bill as well as the $10 bill, keep the $2, $5, $20, $50 and $100. Re-issue the $500 bill (there is a 500 Euro) to allow for easier cash payments. Yes, people still use cash.

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