The Mint is asking for public comment on factors it should consider when it looks at the future of U.S. circulating coinage and its composition.
Now by public, it really doesn’t mean you and me, or any other collectors. It means vending machine companies, zinc producers, blank providers and armored car services and the like.
Why do I write that?
Well, for one thing, there is an express prohibition in the request saying that the Mint “is not soliciting suggestions or recommendations on specific metallic coinage materials.”
That pretty well rules out anything a collector might want to suggest.
That leaves the entities that do business with coins generally or with the Mint specifically. The vending industry doesn’t want any composition change that forces them to invest in new vending equipment.
The zinc industry doesn’t want that metal removed from use because it might cause a drop in profits in the mining industry – although with prices generally soaring, this is probably the only time when eliminating zinc from coinage would have the least impact on that industry.
You might be tempted to write something like “ignore all the vested interests,” but that won’t get you far. The 2010 Coin Modernization Act requiring this composition review was pretty much written with an in-built vending machine industry veto.
If anything will doom coins to complete disuse this is probably it.
But if you want to suggest something, anyway, you have until April 4 to make it.