US Coins

Will the U.S. Mint resume mutilated coin redemption?

Mutilated U.S. dimes and quarter dollars are among the 13 metric tons of coins Wealthy Max Ltd. unsealed in a Feb. 23, 2016, public inspection in China.

Original images courtesy of Wealthy Max Ltd.

The U.S. Mint is seeking input through Nov. 15 on regulations for its mutilated coin redemption program. The regulations are under review before the bureau resumes the currently suspended program.

On Nov. 2, 2015, the Mint suspended its program of redeeming mutilated coins. The suspension was initially intended to be a six-month period, amid allegations of fraud involving overseas vendors, but was extended indefinitely on May 2, 2016, and will not resume until new program regulations are finalized and implemented.

The Mint remains in litigation with Wealthy Max Ltd., a vendor that brought suit against the Mint for seizing millions of dollars face value in mutilated U.S. coins that the company had attempted to have redeemed before the program’s suspension.

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While the program is suspended, the Mint has been assessing security measures “to ensure the integrity and acceptance and processing of mutilated coinage.”

The additional feedback the Mint is soliciting will augment the information and assessments the bureau has processed to date.

Among safeguards the Mint is evaluating are requirements for participant certification, coinage material authentication, chain of custody information, and annual submission limitations.

Mutilated coins are bent, deformed, partial and other defective coins whose condition would render them unable to be processed through normal counting equipment.

Bent coins are defined as “U.S. coins which are bent or deformed so as to preclude normal machine counting but which are readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and denomination.

Partial coins are defined as “U.S. coins which are not whole; partial coins must be readily and clearly identifiable as to genuineness and denomination.”

A notice posted Nov. 1, 2016, by the Mint on the Federal Register does not seek comment on changing the definitions of bent or partial coins.

The redemption of uncurrent coins as defined in 31 CFR 100.10 is not being considered by the Mint.

Uncurrent coins “are whole U.S. coins which are merely worn or reduced in weight by natural abrasion yet are readily and clearly recognizable as to genuineness and denomination and which are machine countable.”

Uncurrent coins may be redeemed only at Federal Reserve Banks and branches. 

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