With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the circulation of coins nationwide, the U.S. Mint today called on the public to pay with exact change and return any spare change to circulation by depositing coins, exchanging them for bills at a financial institution or taking them to a coin redemption kiosk.
“In normal circumstances, retail transactions and coin recyclers return a significant amount of coins to circulation on a daily basis,” the Mint noted in a statement. “However, precautions taken to slow the spread of the virus have resulted in reduced retail sales activity and significantly decreased deposits from third-party coin processors, resulting in increased orders for newly minted coins. . . . Simply put, there is an adequate amount of coins in the economy, but the slowed pace of circulation has meant that sufficient quantities of coins are sometimes not readily available where needed.”
To further address the problem, the Mint said it has been operating at full production capacity since mid-June, producing almost 1.6 billion coins in June alone and expects to continue producing at around that capacity for the remainder of the year.
The American Bankers Association continues to be engaged on addressing this issue through its participation in a task force that also includes representatives from the Mint, the Federal Reserve, armored carriers and other industry stakeholders.