The United States Mint has announced March 18, 2015 as the date for a second stakeholder meeting to continue its mandate in researching cheaper compositions for circulating coins.
U.S. Mint FY 2014 figures show production and distribution costs total 1.7 cents for a penny; 8.1 cents for a nickel; 3.9 cents for a dime; and 9 cents for a quarter.
Under the Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010, Public Law 111-302, the Mint must research less expensive metals for use in circulating coins and report their findings in biennial reports to Congress.
Two reports are already out, with the most recent one published in December. This latest report includes a production costs analysis, feedback from coin industry stakeholders, the alternative metals study phase II technical report, and estimated costs of current and alternative metals.
The U.S. Mint describes coin industry stakeholders as members of businesses, industries and agencies who would be affected by coin composition changes. Based on the Mint’s announcement, the purpose of the March 18 meeting is:
"To invite individual members of stakeholder organizations to share their perspectives on how the United States Mint would validate the acceptance of alternative metal compositions presented in the most recent report to Congress prior to circulation.
The alternative metal compositions include those with a similar electromagnetic signature (EMS) and weight characteristics that fall within the acceptable tolerance range of the United States Mint’s current circulating coins as well as alternative metals with different EMS and weight characteristics than current circulating coins.
This input will support the Secretary of the Treasury in understanding the balance of interests and impacts to the public, private industry stakeholders, and the Government. Conducting a second stakeholder meeting is one component of the United States Mint’s continued outreach program to ensure to the greatest extent practicable, that any new coins work without interruption in existing coin acceptance equipment without modification and additional costs to industry stakeholders."
Attendance to the meeting is by invitation only, and held at the U.S. Mint’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Those interested in attending should contact Leslie Schwager at OfficeofCoinStudies@usmint.treas.gov or call 202-354-7291.
There is a deadline of March 16 to request an invitation and obtain additional meeting information. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.