The United States are facing a nationwide coin shortage in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – urging members of the public to use cash where possible to help ease the coin crisis.
As more people turn to online shopping and contactless payments and avoid using physical money due to the virus, the normal flow of currency has been severely interrupted.
Last year, third-party coin processors and retailers accounted for around 83% of coins in the US coin supply chain.
However, as many stores have been closed and with the US Mint briefly slowing production to implement safety measures, further interruptions to this supply chain have been caused.
The effects mean that as stores are reopening, retailers are quickly exhausting their cash inventories, with some now advising customers they may not be able to provide change in coins.
Solving the US coin supply problem
The US Mint is now asking people to return any coins they might have lying around and to use exact cash for purchases to help replenish the country’s supply.
The Fed have even convened a US Coin Task Force, working to restore the vital coin supply chain.
And what’s more, one particular bank has even started paying members of the public to return any spare change.
UK Coin Shortage?
With the UK public being urged to use contactless where possible during the pandemic, could we too being facing a similar issue soon?
In recent years demand for cash in the UK has dropped, not simply because card payments have increased, but also due to the introduction of the 12-sided £1 coin in 2017.
As members of the public were tasked with returning their old round pound coins to the bank, other denominations, loose change and unwanted coins were also returned, meaning a surplus of cash was injected into the system.
We’ve certainly felt the effects of this with the lack of new coins entering circulation in the last few years.
Secondary Market Coin Prices
We recently updated the Change Checker eBay Tracker, revealing the average selling prices for the top 10 UK coins and banknotes.
Amazingly, there’s been an 18% increase in the overall value of these issues – the biggest increase we’ve seen since the Tracker began!
With less cash being used in the past few months, it’s likely collectors are heading to the secondary market to get hold of certain coins, rather than waiting to find them in their change.
Additionally, with more time being spent at home and people seeking new hobbies to keep themselves entertained, new collectors are perhaps becoming more aware of rare and collectable coins that might be worth owning and as a result, are heading to the secondary market to get hold of one.
We’ve seen this increased demand on the secondary market driving up the prices, particularly for the more rare and sought-after coins.
Now, as more retailers open up shop in the UK and the country starts to head towards the ‘new normal’, will we start to see more cash exchanging hands once again? And will collectors be able to start hunting down coins in their change once more?
Perhaps one of the biggest questions on collector’s lips will be whether we’ll see an increase in demand, leading to new commemorative coins being released into circulation…
At Change Checker HQ we’ve certainly got our fingers crossed!
If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:
– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app
Every coin tells a story. But few more than America’s eight most notorious coins…
The U.S. collectible coin market can be an absolute minefield and is one of the most competitive coin collecting markets in the world.
Some of the most collectible coins date back to the 1800’s and are extremely famous. Let me tell you why…
Indian Head Penny (1859-1909)
The Indian Head Penny is famous for celebrating Native Americans, but it actually doesn’t show a Native American.
According to legend, designer James B. Longacre used a portrait of his 12 year old daughter, Sarah, wearing a headdress. It is, however, more likely that the portrait was based on a classical Greco-Roman statue Venus Accroupie (Crouching Venus).
Either way, the ‘Indian’ is not a Native American! The obverse features the head of Lady Liberty wearing a headdress, while the reverse depicts a wreath as well as the words ‘One Cent’ and a shield in the middle at the top of the coin.
Morgan Silver Dollar (1878-1921)
For the new silver dollar, designer George T. Morgan decided to portray Liberty as a goddess, inspired by Philadelphian school teacher, Anna Williams who had a fair complexion, Grecian nose and golden hair. Morgan eventually persuaded Anna Williams to sit as the model for Liberty for the obverse of the Morgan Silver Dollar.
In 1878 artists’ models were considered immoral, therefore, Morgan publicly stated that the model was a statue in a Philadelphia museum. Word soon leaked out, however, and it is rumoured that Williams was fired from her teaching job!
‘No Cents’ Liberty Head Nickel (1883)
When the new Liberty Head Nickel was issued in 1883, the denomination was nowhere to be seen, instead a large ‘V’ (Roman ‘5’) was on the reverse.
The coins were the size of the $5 gold coin in circulation at the time which created an opportunity for unscrupulous crooks who came up with a cunning plan to pass them off as $5 by gold plating the new nickels and cutting reeds into the edge by hand. The U.S Mint soon became aware and within a few weeks the design was changed to include the word ‘Cents’ under the ‘V’. The ‘No Cents’ coins are also known as ‘Racketeer’ Nickels.
Lincoln Penny (1909)
Designer Victor David Brenner added his ‘VDB’ initials to the new Lincoln Penny design in 1909 which was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
While the public generally loved the Lincoln cent when it was first released, they didn’t like the prominence of Brenner’s initials. The U.S. Mint quickly removed the initials as it appeared as though Brenner was either boasting or advertising. This was the first cent to feature Abraham Lincoln’s motto ‘In God we trust’ on the obverse.
Morgan Dollar (1921)
When notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde were shot and killed by police in 1934, a 1921 Silver Morgan Dollar was recovered from the jacket of Clyde Barrow among other possessions. The outlaw lovers were believed to have committed 13 robberies among other felonies between 1932 and 1934.
The hunt for the duo captured the nation’s imagination during the Great Depression and their fame was heightened by their practice of leaving glamourous photos of themselves at crime scenes.
Even more so now, the 1921 coin is forever associated with Bonnie and Clyde.
Roosevelt Dime (1946)
In 1945 plans were quickly laid for the introduction of a new coin to honour Roosevelt after his passing. The task was assigned to John Ray Sinnock and coinage began in 1946. Controversy soon arose because sculptor Selma Burke claimed that Sinnock had stolen her design without giving her credit, however Sinnock strongly denied this.
In addition, conspiracy theorists claimed that Sinnock’s initials ‘JS’ (at the base of Roosevelt’s neck) actually referred to Russian leader Joseph Stalin because of Roosevelt’s supposed ‘communist’ learnings.
Franklin Half Dollar (1948)
The Franklin Half Dollar was designed by John R. Sinnock and his ‘JS’ initials were again seen by conspiracy theorists as a tribute to Joseph Stalin.
In addition, the crack on the Liberty Bell was controversial, some people saw it as a statement that Liberty in the United States was under threat (despite the fact that the image exactly reflects the bell’s appearance).
Finally, what appears to be a small ‘o’ and large ‘F’ on the reverse (‘oF’ in the United States of America) was rumoured to be a mistake and that the Mint would recall all 1948 coins to correct the ‘error’.
Anthony Dollar (1979)
The Anthony Dollar was revolutionary – the first circulating coin to feature a historical woman. Susan B. Anthony was an author and protest speaker among other titles but best known as President of the National American Suffrage Association. The coin was also the first small-sized Dollar that was issued for wide circulation.
However, it quickly became notorious – and almost universally rejected – because it was the same colour and about the same size as a quarter. Therefore, it was often mistaken for a Quarter, and the public refused to use it! (Interestingly, it is now a sought-after collector’s item.)
For me, one of the best things about coin collecting is the story behind the coin and I’m sure you’ll agree that these coins from America have some truly fascinating stories to tell.
Discover the coins from the USA
Today you can secure for your collection the coins your fellow American Change Checkers are collecting, from 1 cent to 1 dollar!
HRH Prince Harry launched the very first Invictus Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London in 2014, showcasing the incredible power of sport to inspire recovery and rehabilitation, and increase respect for those who have served their country.
The Games have installed a real sense of belonging for all, and as the international adaptive multi-sport event makes its way ‘down under’ to Sydney, Australia, something extra special will be happening this year for the Invictus Games to mark the fourth year running.
Because to commemorate this special event, The Royal Australian Mint have released a limited quantity of commemorative $2 AUD coins into circulation in Australia.
This $2 coin features a competitor in a wheelchair, with the words “Invictus Games” on the reverse. Taken from the Latin word for ‘unconquered’, ‘Invictus’ captures the spirit of the games and the competitors who won’t be defined by their injuries or disabilities.
2.3 million of these coins have been released over the past few months, meaning that they should be in the pockets of Australian change collectors by the time the games take place in October.
Invictus Games Sydney 2018 Chief Executive Officer Patrick Kidd OBE says:
“These coins are a fitting tribute to the men and women who serve and have served in our Defence forces and their families. The picture on the coin celebrates the unconquered spirit that this community displays each and every day and that you will all witness when these Games come to Sydney in October.”
Over 500 competitors from 18 nations will compete in 11 different sports during the Games, including:
- Indoor Rowing
- Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge
- Road Cycling
- Sitting Volleyball
- Wheelchair Basketball
- Wheelchair Rugby
Will any of you change checkers be heading ‘down under’ to watch the Games this October? Or if you have any Aussie friends, make sure they keep an eye out for the coin in their change!
Secure your Invictus Games $2!
We’ve managed to get hold of 125 coins for UK collectors so you can now own this fantastic $2 coin from Australia, representing triumph over adversity.