US Coins

United States Mint extends alternative metals comment period

Experimental test strikes of the 5-cent denomination using Martha Washington/Mount Vernon nonsense dies were produced on planchets of the same copper-plated zinc composition used for the current Lincoln cents.

Images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

The deadline to submit public comment on the U.S. Mint’s research and development efforts on alternative metals for circulating coinage has been extended to June 24.

The original deadline was June 10. The extension was requested by the National Armored Carriers Association.

According to the Federal Register announcement June 4, the Mint is seeking input on specific factors the bureau identified in its Alternatives Metal Study submitted to Congress in December 2012. These factors include changes to U.S. coins in weight, color, electromagnetic signature, environmental impact, and transition/implementation period.

Although the study was prompted primarily by the costs of the copper-plated cent and copper-nickel 5-cent coin staying above face value, the 2012 report offered no recommendations for alternative compositions that would bring costs below face value.

The study, authorized under the Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010, Public Law 111-302 , is available here.

The Mint’s next biennial report is scheduled for delivery to Congress by Dec. 14, 2014.

Statements may be electronically submitted to the website established for public comment. 

All written comments must be submitted to Coin Stakeholders Response, Office of Coin Studies, United States Mint, 801 Ninth St. N.W., Washington, DC 20220.

For further information, contact the Office of Coin Studies by calling 202-354-6600.

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