Under the authority of 31 U.S.C. § 5120, the United States Mint established a program by which people and businesses could exchange bent and partial coins (commonly referred to as “mutilated coins”) for reimbursement.
In November 2015, the United States Mint suspended the program to assess its security and to develop additional safeguards to enhance the integrity of the acceptance and processing of mutilated coinage.
On December 20, 2017, the United States Mint published in the Federal Register a Final Rule that revises the Treasury regulations appearing at 31 C.F.R. part 100, subpart C, to improve the procedures related to the acceptance and processing of mutilated coins. The Final Rule will be effective on January 19, 2018 (it can be found at www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/12/20/2017-27026/exchange-of-coin).
On January 8, 2018, the United States Mint’s webpage for the program will go live. It will provide relevant information on the procedures for processing mutilated coins under the new program: www.usmint.gov/news/consumer-alerts/mutilated-coin-program.
The point of contact for the Mint’s mutilated coin program is Timothy Grimsby. He may be contacted at MutilatedCoin@usmint.treas.gov.
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[Below is a press release response to the Mint’s decision from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a trade association based in the United States. —CoinWeek]
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) applauded the decision by the U.S. Mint to resume the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program after a nearly three-year suspension. The program is worth millions of dollars to the recycling industry which recovers coins left in end-of-life products turned over for scrap processing.
“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,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “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.”
Recycling facilities across the United States have been recovering coins from scrap for decades. The coins come from loose change left in cars or that has fallen between the seats, money left in vending machines and coin-operated laundry machines, and other sources. During shredding or other forms of processing the coins fall free or are purposefully recovered. As recycling technology has advanced the ability to accumulate coins in significant quantities has grown quickly, and is an integral part of many recycling companies’ operations and product lines.
“The recycling industry is committed to working closely with the Mint on the success of this program,” continued Wiener. “We share the common goal of the recovery and recycling of coins while protecting the integrity of the program.”
Along with the resumption of the program, the U.S. Mint also announced a number of important revisions including the establishment of procedures for certifying participants based on submission amounts and frequency, sampling submissions to authenticate material, conducting site visits for certain participants, and requiring information about how the submissions came to be bent or partial.
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About the United States Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. It is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce.
The U.S. Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. The United States Mint’s numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers.