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Making sense of cents

I had an email on Monday from a reader who heeded my call to report finds of 2015-dated coins.

He received four 2015 cents on Feb. 1.

I am grateful for this and all reports of circulation finds of new dates, but please help me out a little more.

In this particular report, the sender did not identify where the coins were being given out in change.

That information is important.

If the coins were received while transiting through an airport at a major U.S. commercial hub, that is less significant at this point in the year than if they were received at a crossroads town in rural Wisconsin.

Of course, there are no 2015 cents circulating here in Iola, Wis., but it would be newsworthy if they began to show up.

Perhaps I will get the new coins in change the next time I pass through a major airport and I can personally introduce them to circulation in Iola.

Otherwise, it will be months before the coins begin to arrive.

There have been no reports of new dimes or quarters yet and just one report of a 2015-P nickel.

While the nature of the American economy continues to evolve, it is still true that the stronger the economy, the quicker new coins make their way into the hands of the public.

The fact that this year seems to be a slow release year backs up the recent sense that the economy is not making much forward progress in 2015.

I hope this changes.

Last year we could blame unusually cold weather and snowstorms.

While there have been some recent storms, they have been nothing like the snow and cold of last year when huge sections of the country were seeing disruptions in our daily lives from airplanes not flying to shortages of propane for heating.

So if it is not the weather and new coins are slow the arrive, the inevitable conclusion is prosperity remains just around the corner rather than where we are at present.

Tell me what you are seeing by emailing me at

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."