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Cent situation good or bad?

A Deltona, Fla., reader reported finding a 2017-D cent Feb. 4.

He was hoping for the new “P” version, but it was a Denver coin.

How did it get there?

It is possible a tourist brought it, he speculated, noting that Philadelphia coins are the norm.

It is nice to receive reports like this.

So far this year, I have almost none.

Are 2017 coins slow to enter circulation?

Are collectors showing less enthusiasm for checking change for new coins than in prior years?

I don’t know.

If it is the latter reason, that would be a bit peculiar since there is a new “P” mintmark on the cent.

I am also looking for reports of nickels, dimes and quarters.

Have you seen any?

The public was able to buy $23,000 worth of the new 2017-D Effigy Mounds quarter in Iowa yesterday, according to the United States Mint.

That figure shows some enthusiasm and local pride.

The regular Effigy Mounds quarter issue should also be coursing through the veins of commerce.

If you spot one, let me know.

Historically, the later the initial reports of finds are, the slower the economy.

I hope potentially bad economic news is not hanging over our heads.

The rest of this month should tell the tale one way or the other.

One reader wrote recently to compare the new 2017-P cent to the four Lincoln cents of 2009. The comparison might seem apt in these opening weeks of 2017.

However, keep in mind that mintage follows public demand and that demand is a product of the state of the economy.

The economy was a basket case in 2009. Mintages dropped dramatically.

Dividing a low overall number among four designs made each coin even scarcer.

There is only one cent design this year.

Half will come from Philadelphia.

Last year’s mintage was over 9.1 billion coins.

So Philadelphia begins 2017 with a likely output around 4.5 billion.

In 2009 the total was 1.1 billion.

This means 2017-P date should be four times as plentiful as a 2009 date.

Because there were four designs in 2009, if we divide the mintage evenly (which was not the actual result) a 2017-P cent should be at least 16 times more plentiful than any 2009 design – eventually.

Email your circulation finds reports to me at

Let’s together turn speculation about what might be happening into facts about what is happening.

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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