From Vending Times –
U.S. Mint Report Recommends No Change To Composition Of Coins
Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 12, December 2014, Posted On: 12/12/2014
by Tim Sanford and Nick Montano
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Mint has submitted its 2014 Biennial Report to Congress today on the research and development of alternative metals for the nation’s circulating coins. The report summarizes the Mint’s successes in reducing production costs, and its continuing study of potentially less expensive materials and methods for minting coins.
“Based on the response from coin industry stakeholders, the estimated industry cost ($2.4 billion to $6 billion) to accommodate an alternative metal for circulating coins that incorporates a change to the weight or EMS [electromagnetic signature] characteristics far exceeds the estimated annual government savings ($46 million to $57 million),” the report concluded. The Mint promises to continue its research into suitable new coin materials.
This year’s report is the second released under the Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010, Public Law 111-302, which directs the Secretary of the Treasury to explore alternative metallic materials for circulating coins with the goal of reducing production costs. The Act also requires the Secretary to report to Congress every two years on coin production costs and alternative content options.
“First and foremost, this Biennial Report to Congress reflects the continuing deep commitment of the Mint to reduce the cost of producing our nation’s circulating coins,” said Richard Peterson, deputy director of the Mint. “This year’s report also reflects the tremendous effort we made to reach out to our stakeholders — the many industries, associations and entities — that rely on circulating coins for their business operations. Obtaining their input was critical.”
Stakeholders who cooperated with the Mint in evaluating options and estimating costs included the National Automatic Merchandising Association, the American Amusement Machine Association and the National Bulk Vendors Association, with support from the Amusement and Music Operators Association.
“I am so thrilled with the findings in Mint’s latest report,” said Betson’s Rick Kirby, who chairs AAMA’s government relations committee. “It’s refreshing to know that officials who work for the government listen to people and small businesses. The Mint put a lot of resources into studying the coin issue, and this included time spent with stakeholders.”
Ultimately Congress will decide on the fate of the coin, Kirby cautioned, but the Mint’s new report signals a positive outcome.
Peterson added, “This report additionally highlights the many actions we’ve taken in our manufacturing operations to drive coin production costs down. We’ve achieved significant savings by delivering robust cost-reduction initiatives across the full spectrum of operations.”
The U.S. Mint, which has been a part of the Department of the Treasury since 1873, maintains a website at usmint.gov.
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