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See? The Mint isn't doing so badly, is it?

The United States, as well as its coin collectors, have been waiting since 2006 to see what alternatives to current coin compositions might be introduced.

Costs of producing cents and nickels continue to be higher than face value.

The need to address rising costs has produced much talk and some research.

If you think this process is going at an ultra leisurely pace, you might be right.

I find myself thinking this from time to time.

However, it pays to remind myself that the two-cent piece was first proposed in 1806. It finally appeared 58 years later in 1864.

So a leisurely pace of change is nothing new.

By law and tradition, the Mint must be concerned with the impact any change in coinage will have on the vending machine industry.

This is reasonable.

The industry will be greatly affected by any changes to coins used in its mechanisms.

For the vending industry, the cent was abolished many years ago when penny gumballs ceased to be commonplace.

A change to the nickel and even the dime and quarter are being looked into.

However, change not done correctly brings problems.

An article in a British online newspaper website that I saw late yesterday serves as a reminder of what happens when vending machines and coin changes are not coordinated.

In Great Britain, the round pound coin has been discontinued and is being withdrawn from circulation.

The end date for the coin that was first introduced in 1983 was this past weekend.

However, this article points out that many machines that take coins in payment for parking spaces have not been converted.

Britannia won’t weep, nor the monarchy fall, from this.

However, it will be a great aggravation for many people until it is corrected.

It is wise for the United States Mint to keep the vending industry fully involved.

When the time comes to make changes to coinage, situations like the one in Britain can for us be amusing stories rather than reality.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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