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Nickel found at last

The last undiscovered 2013 denomination has now been found in circulation.

My morning email after the long Presidents Day weekend yielded this report:

“I received two 2013 nickels from the bank on Feb. 16, 2013, in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

“Paul Sanderlin

“Coamo, Puerto Rico”

I expect they were Philadelphia coins.

That still leaves not a single report of Denver coins in circulation.

Are they simply not in commercial channels yet, or are our Western readers a little bit slower in finding them?

I would expect it has something to do with the pattern of release. Collectors are collectors no matter where they reside and the curiosity that impels us all knows no geographical boundaries.

I did a little bit of coin searching on my own.

I spent a good bit of time running errands over the weekend and making routine necessary purchases, paying for the small amounts in cash.

This part of Wisconsin is at the intersection of the “D” and “P” distribution territories. Most new coins here are “D,” but there was nary a 2013 coin in all the ones I looked at. The newest coin was a 2012-D dime.

Saturday was an interesting day insofar as when I emptied my pocket of coins, of the five quarters I had not a single one of them was a state quarter or anything newer. All were of the pre-1999 design.

That’s a bit unusual.

Most of the time the playing field tilts in favor of the more recent quarter designs, including some very nice virtually uncirculated coins that someone apparently gave up on after keeping them aside for a few years.

One cent jumped out from the rest.

It showed the unfinished Capitol Dome, the final design of the 2009 four-coin Lincoln bicentennial set.

I thought of the many frustrated collectors in 2009 who could not find this design nor the others at the time of issue.

When the special cents of 2009 were authorized in 2005 who could have known that the worst recession since the Great Depression would have held 2009 cent production levels to half century lows?

That’s the luck of the coin collector game.

The cent I found on Saturday looks like it has seen steady use. I will take it to the bank to return it to circulation the next time I clean out my coin container.

Perhaps a youngster somewhere needs one of these to fill a hole in his cent album.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."