The coin shortage?

Really? According to ABC News the US has $48.5 billion in coins that should be in circulation. They also say that the US has 128 million households. The government line is that those 128 million households have all those coins stashed somewhere because they are using plastic to buy pretty much everything.

$379.00 per household in coins just sitting around? Really? Not in my house. How about in your house, do you have more change now than you did before Covid?

And the idea that the coin shortage is our fault because we use plastic instead of paying with cash since Covid? I don’t buy it. How often did I - before Covid - pay for anything with a combination of bills and coins? Not often. Most of the time I handed over bills and got any change less than a dollar back in coins. Standard procedure for generations: buy something for other than an even dollar amount, pay with even dollars, get coins back.

Unless we are about to experience a massive increase in the price of metals, hoarding coins - like we did the old silver coins and copper pennies - doesn’t make any sense. So, where are all the coins?

The only “conspiracy theory” I have been able to think up would be that people in countries where the government wants a cashless society - India, for example - may see US coins as a store of value, even though they don’t have intrinsic metal value, and a hedge against a declining local currency and something that is much harder to counterfeit than a printed bill.

Of course it would be better if our boy Trump could blame it on China or North Korea.

They make great ammunition for slingshots… until the Dem’s come for them.

Seriously, though,

I have jars and jugs of coins around the house. The problem is, those “CoinStar” places I hear charge 10% or something like that, so I continue to fill my jars. Covid has nothing to do with it.

As a kid I threw coins in a jar for “later”
In my HS days I cashed in those coins and bought my first CD player - (early '80s) a Pioneer 6-disc cartridge

The Federal Reserve will be coming for your jars and jugs.

I agree.
It doesn’t make sense.
If we use plastic more, then there is less need for cash - Bills or coin

However, at least for my habits, if I use cash, I pay in bills, receive coin in change, and that coin eventually ends up in a jar somewhere in my house.

The only exception is quarters. My son ate all my quarters during his college years.

Coins aren’t sitting around our house either. This alleged coin shortage has been going on since before COVID. I seriously question it. I’m not sure why people are paying with cash since COVID, because it’s the germiest thing on earth, with our phones second to it. However, I don’t see more people in my area paying with cash. I think it’s about the same and I say this as a cashier. I rarely carry any cash, unless I receive cash for Xmas or my birthday. My husband and I as a rule use our debit cards to pay for things.

Same in France, we lack small coins, 1 or 2 cents, and not because people store them.

The reason is that they are too expensive to make. A one cent coin costs 1, 2 cents to make.

I assume that is the case in the U.S. too. Some places here don’t give cashiers dimes, allegedly due to the coin shortage. They get them from the customers. Where I work, the oddity is that cashiers don’t get $10 bills, but they get all the coins. Makes no sense if there is a coin shortage, that’s been happening since before the pandemic. Then again not giving cashiers $10 bills has also been going on since before the pandemic. It’s weird.

So, just a thought on this. I work with physical products that need machining. Getting raw materials is fairly difficult. So my haphazard guess is this. The government doesn’t want to source all the materials to mint new coins at significant rates. Combine the former with people using coins as their rainy day fund, Add to that the more likely someone would be to stash coins during covid and not release them back into circulation.

I think some of what the G-man is telling us is absolutely true, the black swan might be that they don’t want to buy the materials to make more. Overall they are speaking mostly truth here. They should create their own ‘Coinstar’ machines that charge <1% for the transaction. They would then be beating out credit unions, and they could also win the convenience factor if the machines were well placed.

I have a Jar floating around, I will likely cash it in. I really haven’t paid much attention to the coin shortage until I saw this post. So thank you for bringing it up.

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