Spending money


September 17, 2021

We are entering the age of no cents. There is a possibility that the government may quit minting the penny. It costs nearly two cents to produce and millions are discarded yearly. Many people won’t pick one up if it is lying face down, considered bad luck. 2020 was frustrating to coin collectors as fewer were in circulation to sort.

Banks experienced shortages due to the Covid crisis as well. People were spending less in person, turning to plastic in hopes of avoiding the transfer of the virus. It has not been proved nor disproved that the virus could be spread by coins or, for that matter, paper money, but it's wise to err on the side of caution. I started sanitizing my pocket change, paper money and checks as well as receipts from our businesses with a 70% alcohol spray. Ultraviolet light works too. Don’t spray a Wal-Mart receipt: it dissipates the ink!

The U.S. mints produced 24% fewer coins in 2020, also a factor. Interesting fact: the number of coins minted annually peaked in 2015 at 17.0 billion for all denominations. Yes, billion. It dropped to 14.8 billion last year. Sounds like enough but stuff happens to coins and currency.

Hoarding cash became more popular during the pandemic when people feared a monetary crash.

It still makes sense to look at coin dates. Key dates pop up unexpectedly and if you find a 1943 copper penny, it’s worth up to $1.7 million. Only a handful were produced; the rest were steel.


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