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Coin circulation is slowing down nationally, according to U.S. Mint

Posted at 6:59 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 23:10:53-04

Cash users are feeling the strain of what people are calling a national coin shortage.

The U.S. Mint says the problem stems from people turning to alternative, contactless payments.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have refrained from using cash and have turned to different forms of payment like Apple pay or credit cards.

"Right now, coins aren't circulating through the economy as quickly as they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic," said U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder.

He also says this isn't so much a coin shortage but rather a coin circulation issue.

Some people say they prefer to use contactless payments for safety reasons.

"I think it's just safer around this time," said Brandon Jimenez.

Other people, like Cesar Ruiz, prefer not to use cards.

"I prefer cash. Cash and change," Ruiz said.

According to the U.S. Mint, they are doing their part by manufacturing 1.6 billion coins per month for the remainder of the year but financial advisers say it's a losing proposition for the government to continue to make coins if there's no real shortage.

"I don't know that putting more coins in the circulation, although that sounds like it's a solution for a short-term problem, it's really not part of the longer-term solution," said Kurt Jackson, CEO of Central Coast Wealth Management.

U.S. Mint officials are encouraging people to use their coins, deposit them, or exchange them at banks.