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2016 coins could signal better times

New 2016 cents are finding their way into circulation.

That is a smidgen of good news not just for collectors but also for Americans who depend in part or entirely on the health of the financial markets.

I had an email yesterday from Kurt Bellman in Pennsylvania.

He is the first to report the finding of four 2016-dated coins in circulation.

I expect other reports will follow.

He said he got the the new cents Jan. 19 at the Wawa convenience store in Reading, Pa.

“This is the earliest I’ve ever seen current year coins in circulation except for the 2000 Wal-mart Sacagawea effort,” he wrote.

He added, “The irony is that I was at the Wawa to pick up a quick bite before a Daniel Boone Coin Club meeting in Reading.”

The earlier in the year coins appear in general circulation, the healthier the economy is.

Coins only enter circulation when merchants need them. They need them when they are doing business.

They order coins from the banking system via armored car companies.

The coins sent to the merchants might be old coins or new coins.

When consumers are feeling pinched, they tend to get their coins right back into circulation as they make every penny count and the banking system will use these instead of ordering new ones.

This happened in 2009 to a degree not experienced since the 1930s Depression.

Mintages of new coins plunged.

Some collectors still have never seen some or all of the 2009 dates in their change.

In good times, consumers are more cavalier with their coins.

They are taken home. They are put away. They sit.

The consequences are when the banking system needs coins and consumers are slower to return them, new coins are ordered. New dates appear.

This is a habit of an economy on the upswing.

An economy on the upswing probably means that the January swoon in financial markets will not be as bad as it was in the Great Recession.

Of course, I would like to write that the markets have already dropped too far, but that would be interpreting the meaning of the arrival of new cents in change beyond reason.

New cents appearing now don’t mean a recession can’t hit us in the future. They simply mean conditions on the ground don’t indicate a recession right now.

Go out there and look at the change you receive and let me know what 2016-dated coins you are finding.

A quick appearance of 2016 nickels, dimes and quarters would reinforce the good news.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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5 Responses to 2016 coins could signal better times

  1. Good day. The 2009 penny does seem to have fallen of the face of the earth. I can not remember the last time I received one in change! I get wheats sometimes,every possible date. The thing is I do look for them. With the mintage you should be able to get at least one or two,but none. To me that’s a little strange. Maybe the mintage was wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time. There are Kennedy half’s were the have approximate mintage. I do have a complete set graded,from every mint and the proofs. I even have rolls that I bought. I don’t think every one had the same idea as my self. When they came out I made a call and everything was delivered two weeks later. There was no delay or back order’s so I don’t understand were they went. Just my opinion. Mike

  2. Impala69 says:

    Here in Iowa, I’ve seen plenty of the different versions of the 2009 cents, but dimes and nickels have definitely been hard to come by. I only have 3 or 4 of each, and that is with doing some occasional searching of bank rolls. Nothing showing up with a 2016 date as of yet.

  3. VKurtB says:

    Hi, Kurt Bellman from the piece above here. I have only ever seen ONE 2009 nickel in circulation, and that came as change from a vending machine in a Baltimore hotel while I was attending a Whitman show in 2010. That means I’ve never encountered even one in Pennsylvania. I’ve seen no 2009 dimes “in the wild”, and yes, I check every coin every time. I have a P and D roll set of 2009 nickels, and satin finish examples of both nickels and dimes from mint sets, but not a single “regular” 2009 dime in over six years? Wow!

  4. Hi everyone! Reading the other two comments, I never realized that there might be a shortage. I was shocked to here about the nickel. I just completed a deluxe set. When my son and myself decided to try this,we saved every coin we could. Most came out of piggy banks not opened in over thirty year’s. These nickels were in terrific shape.,not moved so no dings or slices out of them. I would say most were uncultured. Checked obverse and reverse. We also had those we obtained in change. When all was said and done we had over four hundred coin’s! Of course there were doubles,but for the most part we must of had three quarters of the set. Now the s mints some had to be ordered. Took a year and a half. But worth every minute. Just my opinion.

  5. Vachon says:

    I got my first 2016 coin, a cent, yesterday (Feb.6) in my till. I’m still waiting on Denver-minted Chaco Culture and Acadia ATB quarters myself. Like with 1939 nickels, every one I find is disappointingly from Philadelphia 🙂

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