Earlier this year I asked readers to report their first findings of 2014-dated coinage.
It is an annual tradition with collectors to report when new coins are spotted in change.
As usual, the first coin to appear was a cent and I reported it in a blog post some weeks ago.
In an email this morning another reader reports a 2014-dated nickel from the Philadelphia Mint.
It wasn’t a circulation find, though, in the usual sense.
The reader reports that it came to him in the mail from a charity seeking to raise money. Putting coins in such mailings has become commonplace.
Using brand new nickels in a mailing will spread them across the country very effectively, so it is possible that many collectors will now see 2014 nickels very soon.
I can’t decide whether this method of introducing nickels to general circulation somehow disrupts my theory of “early release of new dates means a good economy.”
It probably means a good economy, because I imagine the nickels in the charitable mailing could have been any date. If the organization got the new date it is because the banking system had them immediately at hand.
But since I do not know the method by which the charity got the coins nor where they came from, there will always be some doubt.
As I have written before, I am by nature an optimist. I choose to make the optimistic case for the economy even amid the doubt.
So keep sending me the evidence by reporting your first sightings of 2014-dated coins.
I am at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."