US Coins

Mint readying resumption of mutilated coin redemption

This mixed load of mutilated U.S. dimes and quarter dollars were intended for submission to the U.S. Mint for redemption, before the Mint suspended its Mutilated Coin Redemption Program on Nov. 2, 2015.

Image courtesy of FormerFeds.

Two years after the U.S. Mint suspended its mutilated coin redemption program amid allegations of fraud by major vendors, the Mint has published final rules to govern a potentially resurrected program.

The proposed final rules were published Dec. 20 in the Federal Register. The Mint issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on Sept. 19, 2017, seeking public input. The notice generated 14 responses from individuals or businesses who previously participated in the redemption program.

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Instructions concerning the redemption of bent and partial coins are to be posted on the U.S. Mint website at

Those who plan on submitting quantities of coins that meet or exceed a threshold established by the Mint must be precertified and be recertified every three years.

U.S. Mint officials did not disclose specifically when the coin redemption program would be resumed.

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According to a published abstract, “This final rule revises Treasury regulations relating to the exchange of uncurrent, bent, partial, fused, and mixed coins, and to update the regulations to comply with the requirement for orderly codification. The revisions include updates to redemption rates and procedures that will enhance the integrity of the acceptance and processing of bent and partial United States coins.”

Submissions for redemption of coin lots of one pound or more are required to be separated by denomination, under the new rules.

The first category of revisions updates and improves the redemption process of bent and partial coins to enhance security and ensure the integrity of United States coinage, according to the Mint abstract. The updates grant the Mint the discretion to reject submissions if they are deemed to be part of an illegal scheme or do not meet the criteria for bent or partial U.S. coins.

The Mint also revised the redemption rates for U.S. coins based on denomination and composition. Before the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program was suspended on Nov. 2, 2015, the Mint was redeeming Lincoln cents at the rate of $1.4585 per pound for bent or partial coins. The rate was based on the pre-1982 bronze composition weighing 3.11 grams per coin. (In 1982, the Mint changed the composition to copper-plated zinc; each cent weighs 2.5 grams.)

Under the final rules published Dec. 20, the new redemption rate for copper-plated zinc coins will be $1.81 per pound. For bronze composition cents or mixed submissions of both bronze and copper-plated zinc cents, the $1.4585 per pound rate will apply.

A similar update is being made for the redemption of $1 coins that meet the criteria for submission to the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program. Post-1978-dated $1 coins are to be redeemed at the rate of $20 per pound. Post-1978 small-size dollars comprise copper-nickel clad Anthony dollars, and manganese-brass clad Sacagawea, Native American and Presidential dollars.

The 5-cent coins, which are a homogenous composition of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel, will be redeemed at the rate of $4.53.59 per pound. 

Copper-nickel clad dimes, quarter dollars and half dollars, comprised of outer layers of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel bonded to a core of pure copper, will be redeemed at the rate of $20 per pound. 

Under the final rules, the U.S. Mint announces the bureau will not accept fused coins and “will also not accept mixed coins (coins of several alloy categories presented together) for redemption, with the exception of bent or partial one-cent coins and $1 coins that are presented in mixed years.”

The U.S. Mint will also not accept uncurrent coins for redemption. “Uncurrent” coins are whole U.S. coins that are worn or reduced in weight through circulation and handling. Uncurrent coins must be redeemed through a local bank or financial institution, according to the final rules published in the Federal Register.

Depending on the size of the submissions, approved coins for redemption will either be directed to the Philadelphia Mint or directly to the recycler for eventual melting and metal reclamation. 

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