Bills Aim to Allow U.S. Mint to Alter Coin Compositions

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New legislation would allow the U.S. Mint to alter coin composition and cut production costs
New legislation would allow the U.S. Mint to alter coin composition and cut production costs

New legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate that seeks to give the United States Mint the authority to change the metallic composition of circulating coins.

The bills, H.R. 2817 and S.1228, have identical language and each is cited as the "Coin Metal Modification Authorization and Cost Savings Act of 2023." The objective of these bills is to modify the materials used in certain coins produced by the U.S. Mint, with the aim of reducing production costs while preserving their integrity.

According to the U.S. Mint’s latest annual report, the cost to produce and distribute coins for circulation is 2.72 cents for 1-cent coins, 10.41 cents for nickels, 5.03 cents for dimes, and 11.11 cents for quarters.

H.R. 2817 and S.1228 specify any composition changes must:

  • Minimize the costs for taxpayers in the United States;
  • Be seamless, meaning the coins have the same diameter and weight as before and that they are designed to work interchangeably with most coin acceptors using electromagnetic signature technology; and
  • Minimize any negative impact on the public and stakeholders.

In accordance with the Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-302), the U.S. Mint has been conducting research on alternative coin compositions for several years and has submitted six biennial reports to Congress on the matter. The most recent report was submitted in April 2023, and stated:

"Since FY 2020, costs of supplies and materials for the production of the Nation’s coins have increased significantly. The average price of copper, nickel, and zinc, which are the primary metals in each coin, have increased each year, resulting in an overall increase in the cost of metal for each denomination. The average daily price for copper per metric tonne increased 57.5% from FY 2020 to FY2022, while nickel and zinc have increased 81.2% and 61.7%, respectively."

Lincoln cents consist of a composition of 2.5% copper with the remaining balance made up of zinc. Five-cent coins are minted with 25% nickel and the rest composed of copper. Similarly, dimes, quarters, and half-dollars each contain 8.33% nickel and the rest is copper. In the report, Mint officials request the authority to use alternative metals.

In the report, Mint officials request the authority to use alternative metals.

"The Mint recommends granting authority to the Department of the Treasury, specifically the Mint, to act on R&D for seamless solutions that reduce costs and have minimal adverse impact as possible on the public and stakeholders.

Alternatively, the Mint recommends granting them the authority to use 80/20 cupronickel for the 5-cent (nickel), 10-cent (dime), 25-cent (quarter dollar), and 50-cent (half-dollar) coins.

"Based on 2022 production levels, this could increase revenue by approximately $12 million per year, and it is the one alternative metal that has completed its full research," the biennial report said.

In order for a bill to become law, it must be approved by both the House and Senate, and then signed by the President. Similar legislation to H.R. 2817 and S.1228 was introduced in both the 116th and 117th Congresses but failed to make progress.

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Tom

And the 2 coin reverse proof Morgan/Peace no longer available under subscription.

and the first one offered on EBAY, 2023 Uncirculated pre sale Morgan, $185 + $10 shipping, but if you buy 3 you can get them for 166 a piece. such a deal.

Seth Riesling

Tom

Thanks for the laugh! (Such a deal! Lol). That is hilarious on the part of some scammer on eBay for sure…these $1 silver coins will all be common coins with high mintages because the Mint wanted everyone to be able to get them. Kudos to the Mint on that, after so many people bitched about the sellout of the 2021 silver dollars in this program.

Happy Coin Hunting!

NumisdudeTX

Duane D

$12 million. Much ado about nothing. The single state of Pennsylvania just announced a $3 million grant to a well endowed university. Meanwhile the Feds borrow $ trillions, and print trillions more in currency unbacked by any loan, or our gdp. $12 million would not pay the interest on the interest on the loans we are laying on our grandchildren’s backs. Rest in peace! You have sold your children and grandchildren into slavery!

Last edited 2 months ago by Duane D
Seth Riesling

The Mint has researched this problem for about 12 years now & they have done a good job in finally finding an alternative metal alloy to reduce production costs. Congress needs to pass this legislation & send it to President Biden for his signature ASAP. Get it done!
We taxpayers have footed the bill for the losses in coin production since about 2006.

NumisdudeTX

Antonio

A day late and several billion dollars short. 🙁

Vachon

It “amuses” me that a 50% profit on dimes and quarters is insufficient for the Mint. It would seem to me coins 10¢ and above can be left alone. The cent can no longer be made & distributed profitably no matter the composition and the nickel would need something drastic done Since Jarden Zinc will fight tooth & nail to prevent cent abolition, maybe make the nickel a 75/25 cupronickel plated zinc coin? I say this only because those in charge are not yet ready to admit that anything less than a half-dollar is not meaningful in the economy (and… Read more »

Seth Riesling

Vachon,

You have posted very well exactly what Congress needs to hear… maybe if they ever have public hearings on this important issue, with your recommendations, you could testify before the committee.

NumisdudeTX

Seth Riesling

This sad circulating coinage situation is nuts I say! – “Deez nuts,”…”are you nuts?” “bust a nut,” “nuttin’ honey,” “nut house,” “nuts.com”, “Nutty Buddy bars,” etc.
The state tree of Texas is the Pecan tree, so our nut is the pecan…pecan pie, pecan pralines, glazed pecans, honey-roasted pecans, a pecan log from Stuckey’s with an 8-gallon gas purchase…etc . Fun times!

NumisdudeTX

Seth Riesling

Kaiser, The cedar trees are the Boogeyman in Texas, especially in the Hill Country & the pollen blows into the cities & literally lays down a thin film of the light yellow pollen on cars. Allergist doctors are wealthy here for sure!! By the way, Lost Maples (an area with tons of maple trees that are not native to Texas) is an area of Texas that geologists & other scientists say the last Ice Age glaciers brought down from Canada & deposited them here in that area of Texas when the glaciers melted. They are famous here for their Fall… Read more »

Seth Riesling

Too funny! LMAO

NumisdudeTX

Dazed and Coinfused

Mercury dime, now made with real mercury. Gold replaced by pyrite. And probably an aluminum coin

Dazed and Coinfused

I would be interested in bush coins, but have to pass on the Nixon ones. Tricky one that guy.

Dazed and Coinfused

Under biden coins will soon identify as paper money.

Dazed and Coinfused

No biggie, I wear noise canceling headphones when I smoke