Reader Tom Koch of Laguna Woods, Calif., sent in this 2006-D cent that he got Jan. 23 in change at a local drug store. It was his first.
New collectors checking their change for unusual coins have many different design types to search for. The Westward Journey nickels of 2004-2006, the special 2009 Lincoln bicentennial cents and of course, the State and National Parks quarters give collectors a great number of coins to find. But it’s not like it was years ago, when silver coins still circulated, old-fashioned coins were still around, and some really old pieces could be found in every-day change.
If the Mint had to buy zinc, copper and nickel at current prices, it would cost 1.4 cents to strike each cent and 6.4 cents to strike each nickel, according to a letter written by U.S. Mint Deputy Director David Lebryk and sent to chairmen of the Mint
The War of 1812 seriously disrupted the American economy. A short-sighted Congress in 1811 had failed to recharter the Bank of the United States, leaving the Treasury hard-pressed to fund the war effort. The public hoarded all of the gold and silver that could be found, and even the lowly copper coins were rarely seen by 1814.