Fed raises coin order limits to mitigate shortages

The Federal Reserve has raised the allocation limits for nickels, dimes and quarters, allowing depository institutions to order more coins from Fed banks, starting Feb. 27. The increase comes as a national coin shortage that began during the pandemic continues. The agency said it began to see an increase in orders in the first half of 2021 that has not abated as financial institutions continue to scramble for coins.

“The U.S. Mint continues to produce new coins at or near historical production levels; however, increased demand from [depository institutions]is outpacing U.S. Mint production and resupply available from low rates of deposits, resulting in the Federal Reserve’s coin inventory being reduced below normal levels,” the agency said on its website.

The Fed is encouraging financial institutions to order only what they need for all coin denominations to meet near-term demand. It is also asking them to assess inventories at the branch and vault levels and deposit excess coin to the Fed as soon as possible, or offer excess to other institutions. Finally, it is encouraging financial institutions to use toolkits and best practices provided by the U.S. Coin Task Force for increasing coin circulation and decreasing barriers for coin redemption in the supply chain.