Have you found a 2015-dated coin in circulation yet?
It is Jan. 20, almost three weeks into the month, and in some prior years, coins of the new year arrived in the hands of Americans just a few days after the start of the new year.
What’s it to be this year?
I ask anyone who gets a new date to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to report it.
The stronger the economy, the earlier new dates are reported.
We are already past the time when finds of a new date would signal a red hot economy, but they can still signal an improving economy.
Financial headlines in recent days have been saying consumer confidence is rising and the unemployment rate is falling.
This is good news to be sure, but I would like to see it confirmed by collectors monitoring what they are getting in their change.
It is possible that someone somewhere has already received 2015 dates and simply did not think it was important enough to report it to anyone.
If that is the case, let me know what you found and the date you got it to the best of your recollection.
Though cents usually arrive in hand first, it is possible that other denominations make it into change almost simultaneously.
When the economy was booming at the beginning of the state quarter program, it was possible to get a new quarter with a new cent.
In the years when quarter mintages collapsed, 2008, 2009, 2010, many collectors could not find a current date even a year after issue.
Each year, conditions change.
That’s why something as mundane as reports of receipt of new dates can provide an early indication of what kind of year we will have.
The sooner the new dates are out there and reported, the better the times will be for all of us.
So if you have gotten a 2015-dated coin, let me know. If you haven’t, renew your acquaintance with circulation finds and make sure you are taking a look at every coin you receive in change.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."