US Coins

House approves bill allowing Mint to choose coinage metals, within limits

Legislation is moving through Congress seeking changes in the metallic compositions of circulating United States coins.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint

Possible changes in the compositions of circulating United States coins moved one step closer to fruition Dec. 2 with the House’s passage of H.R. 7795, the Coin Metal Modification Authorization and Cost Savings Act of 2020.

The proposed legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

H.R. 7795 was introduced in the House on Aug. 11, 2020, by U.S. Rep. Mark E. Amodei, R-Nev. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services before being brought to the full House Dec. 2 where the it was considered under suspension of House rules.

The House voted 343 to 41 for passage.

The proposed legislation, if passed in the Senate and signed into law by the president, would allow the Mint director, in consultation with the Treasury secretary, to change metallic compositions of circulating United States coins.

Such changes could only be implemented if a study and analysis conducted by the U.S. Mint would show such a transition could be seamless with existing coinage in circulation, with coins in the same diameters and having the same electronic signature for vending usage.

The U.S. Mint has spent the past decade studying alternative metals, under provisions of the Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010.

Biennial Reports to Congress on testing progress were submitted in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 without any formal action being taken on the findings.

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