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Mutilated Coin Program to Resume

Recyclers will once again be able to make money by redeeming recovered coins.

The U.S. Mint is relaunching its Mutilated Coin Redemption Program after a two-year hiatus.

The Mint suspended the program in November 2015 due to counterfeiting fears. Recycling industry officials have since pushed for its return.

“The resumption of the U.S. Mint’s Mutilated Coin Program is a significant victory for the many recyclers that rely on the recovery of coins as part of their business,” Robin Wiener, president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), stated in a press release hailing the program’s resumption.

“ISRI is extremely grateful to the Mint, which worked closely with the industry to better understand the sorting and separating technologies used in scrap facilities, global trade flows, and other critical issues that will allow it to effectively implement this program.”

The program is worth millions of dollars annually to the recycling industry, according to ISRI. Recycling facilities have been recovering coins, like loose change left in cars or money from vending machines and coin-operated laundry machines, for decades. Advances in technology have made it even easier to recover large amounts of coins, thereby increasing the importance of the mutilated coin program.

“The recycling industry is committed to working closely with the Mint on the success of this program,” Wiener said. “We share the common goal of the recovery and recycling of coins while protecting the integrity of the program.”

The Mint formally announced the program’s return in the Federal Register on Dec. 20. It also set certification procedures for program participants and revised the redemption rates for U.S. coins based on denomination and composition.

Recyclers and others who submit coins for redemption will receive $1.81 per pound for copper-plated zinc coins, Coin World reported in an article about the mutilated coin redemption program. The Mint will pay $1.4585 per pound for cents or mixed submissions of both bronze and copper-plated zinc cents.

Coin World also reported that the Mint announced it would not accept fused coins and “‘will also not accept mixed coins (coins of several alloy categories presented together) for redemption, with the exception of bent or partial one-cent coins and $1 coins that are presented in mixed years.’”  

Some estimates have put the value of lost coins in the U.S. at more than $60 million per year, Waste Dive reported, calling the resumption of the mutilated coin program “a welcome piece of news for companies that are constantly looking for ways to maximize value from the resources they're processing.

No official date has been announced for the mutilated coin program’s resumption. Click here to read the final rules in the Federal Register.



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