It is being reported that the US Mint will cease production of nickels and dimes for six months because of the reduced demand from the Federal Reserve. Production of other coins with changing designs, such as the Bicentennial Lincoln Cent, DC & Territories Quarters, and Presidential Dollars, will continue production pending further review.
Workers at the US Mint will participate in a six-month productivity maintenance program and capital maintenance in order to keep the rank-and-file workers employed. The US Mint has imposed a bureau-wide hiring freeze.
As of the end of April, 2009, the US Mint produced 79.2 million nickels and 146 million dimes. In 2008, the US Mint produced 640.56 million nickels and 1050.50 million dimes. If no more coins are produced for the rest of the year, it would mean an average if 87-percent reduction in nickel and dime production. Not including proof and other special production coins, the last time the US Mint produced few nickels all mints in a single year was the 56.7 million nickels in 1951 (28.5 million from Philadelphia, 20.4 million from Denver, 7.76 million from San Francisco).
For dimes, we have to go back to the 44.9 million produced in 1955 (12.45 million from Philadelphia, 13.96 million from Denver, and 18.51 million from San Francisco).
Numismatically, it could make these coins modern rarities. Then again, coins from the 1950s have not significantly increased in prices, with the exception of very high grade and full detail coins. While I may put away a few of these coins, I am not going to hold out hope of buying my dream home with them. We may be long passed before these coins show significant price increases.