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Countdown to the “Roaring 20s” of New Coin Designs

After next Tuesday’s election, coin investors can turn their attention to 2021 in more ways than one. Then it will be only two months until the start of a series of new coin designs in the 2020s, starting in 2021.

First, we are likely to see commemorative versions of the Morgan and Peace dollars in 2021 to mark the centennial year of the final Morgan dollar and first Peace dollar in 1921. In mid-1921, we will also see a change in the reverse design of the gold and silver American Eagles. These will engender new interest in both the old and new designs and generate new interest in coin collection, resulting in numerous new ads posted in various media, which generates new customers. Experience has shown us over the years that about one out of six of these many new buyers of bullion coins later turns into buyers of numismatic coins, strengthening the market for years.

 

After 2021, we will see another series of circulating coins to be implemented between 2022 and 2030:

  • Circulating quarter dollars honoring women to be issued from 2022 through 2025.
  • Circulating coins in multiple denominations in 2026, celebrating America’s 250th
  • Award medals for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
  • Silver bullion coins with the same designs as all of the quarter dollars and half dollars authorized from 2022 through 2030, in the now standard 5-ounce size and in fractional sizes.

In addition, we will likely see new alloys used in forthcoming coin mintages. This will also create new interest in the collector and investor communities, since first-year issues are especially popular, and their mintage totals are sometimes limited. The primary reason for these new alloys is to reduce production costs and limit future shortages. Coins under consideration for change are the copper-plated zinc Lincoln cent, copper-nickel Jefferson 5-cent coin, copper-nickel clad Roosevelt dime and copper-nickel clad America the Beautiful quarters. The cost savings will be greatest for the lower-denomination coins.

The Mint has come up with potential compositional alternatives that offer cost savings for most small coins, except the cent. (None of the currently known possibilities would bring the cent’s cost below face value.) Possibilities determined by the Mint for the 5-cent, dime and quarter dollar denominations would incorporate manganese with some copper and nickel in the alloy.  Other alternative alloys include steel.

(Of course, I have long argued we should eliminate the Penny coins, but that is another story for another day.)

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