Now that we are at the middle of May, I continue to check my pocket change and ask where are all of the 2008 coins? By now, I would expect to see a few 2008 coins in my change but I have seen only a few Oklahoma quarters in circulation. And even after the Bureau of Engraving and Printing said that the Federal Reserve would only circulate the new Series 2006 $5 notes for the first two weeks after issue, I have yet to receive from circulation.
I performed an unscientific survey of five co-workers who did not have a single 2008 coin amongst them.
Of all the 2008 coins I expected to see sooner was the Lincoln Cent. According the US Mint, the presses that strike cents in Philadelphia and Denver run 24 hours per day, seven days per week in order to supply the Federal Reserve with coinage to support the nation’s money supply. But where are they?
One theory was that floated that with the soft economy, people are bring jars and buckets of change to coin counting machines, placing hoarded coins back into circulation. Coinstar, whose kiosks are seen at many grocery stores, has been advertising for people to turn in their change. Those using Coinstar machines pay 8.9 percent for the service (9.5 percent in Canada) or customers can redeem their coins for gift cards with no fees.
Coinstar’s reported earnings for their coin counting operations have risen. In an attempt to jump on the “green” bandwagon, Coinstar is promoting the environmental savings that can be realized by recycling coins. They are promoting it with a website at ChangeForYourEarth.com.
With some banks offering free coin counting services, Coinstar promoting coin services as a green initiative, and the slowing economy lowering the demand for coinage seems to have lead to a reduction in striking cents.
Hopefully I will find a 2008 coin soon.