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Go ahead and feel like a kid again

Transiting back through Chicago O’Hare airport on Sunday, I stopped by McDonald’s for a couple of cheeseburgers for lunch.

In my change, I received my first 2012 nickel. It was from Denver, which is where I had just come from.

Because 2012 coinage has been slow in reaching circulation, I felt pretty good about the experience.

However, as soon as I got back to the office, I had an email from Robbie Cain in the ad department to tell me she had received two 2012 dimes over the weekend in nearby Appleton as well as two 2012 cents. The cents have become quite available around here in the past month. This was the second report from Robbie on that denomination.

Yesterday my colleague Lisa Bellavin mentioned that she had just received a 2012 Chaco quarter in Stevens Point. That was a real surprise. I was so excited I forgot to find out whether it was a Philadelphia or Denver coin. It is the current design, the second of five to be released in 2012.

Yes, I know, I sometimes react to circulation finds news like a kid .

Finding quarters struck since 2009 around here has been difficult. Only on rare occasion do they show up in my change. State quarters dominate.

Are we finally returning to more normal economic times when current coinage can be obtained by average collectors around the country?

I hope so.

My memories of the great difficulty in getting the four Lincoln cents of 2009 in the year they were issued was refreshed when I also received a Formative Years Lincoln cent, which shows the 16th President sitting on a log reading.

The long delays imposed by the huge backup in coin supplies three years ago in our then crippled banking system left a sour taste in the mouths of many collectors.

However, if they are like me, they put the 2009 episode down to experience and they are scanning their change as avidly as ever.