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Are you one of them?

Are you hoarding nickels?

The metal in the coin is currently worth 6.5 cents, though it is illegal to melt or export it under current Treasury regulations.

That hasn’t stopped a number of people online from suggesting that hoarding nickels is the way to go.

How many people are taking that advice to hoard the nickel?

Not too many that I can see – yet.

Sure, I have had a few e-mails from people wondering how they can buy large quantities for face value, but I think a more on-target gauge to watch is current Mint nickel output.

The February numbers show that nickel production dropped by two-thirds from January to February. In January 93.12 million were produced. In February the number was 32.16 million nickels.

This makes the two-month total 125.28 million pieces.

A rising tide of hoarding would likely not allow the Mint to cut back like it did in February.

On the other hand, if the current two-month production pace continues all year, nickel output in 2011 will be 751.68 million coins, up from 490.56 million in 2010.

Is this evidence of growing hoarding?

Well, let me just say that it is enough evidence to prompt me to ask the question.

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