The recession is making people dig into their accumulations to pay daily bills. This is something that could go on for years. It is also something that might break the quarter habit for many people.
If you have been faithfully saving the coins in any quantity and you arrive at nearly the end of the 10-year program to find out that what you have squirreled away is not really worth anything more than face value, the whole hoard might eventually get dumped as money is needed.
Or, it could be something of collector’s remorse. If you have been faithfully accumulating rolls of the coins and circumstance forces you to stop, you might just feel frustration and guilt and give the whole effort up.
Either way, if the phenomenon occurs, we could experience lower mintages in future years as these coins clog the banking system, requiring fewer orders for new coins from the Mint.
This could be a little bit like what happened to coin mintages in the 1880s. Numbers were down because all of the silver coins that disappeared from circulation during the inflationary crisis spawned by the Civil War found their way back into circulation after the Resumption Act that went into effect Jan. 1, 1879, made the dollar basically as good as gold after a lapse of almost 18 years.