Coin Currency

Coin currency

Coin currency is a medium of exchange used by countries to make payments for goods and services. In the United States, coins are minted each year for circulation in denominations of 1 cent (or $0.01), 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents and $1.00. In addition to these common denominations, the Mint also produces commemorative and bullion coins. Coins in circulation are sold to Federal Reserve Banks which distribute them to commercial banks, credit unions and savings and loans institutions. The Mint determines annual coin production and sells it at face value to the Fed. The National Cash Product Office influences this process by providing the Mint with monthly coin orders and a twelve-month, rolling coin order forecast. The Fed’s website (Off-site) provides further information on the cash lifecycle and how the Mint sets coin prices.

The development of coinage as a means of making payments is closely linked with the history of international trade. The widespread popularity in ancient times of Attic and Corinthian silver coins, which were based on a standard weight of three grams, as well as the large finds of Athenian gold in the Levant and Gandharan silver in Europe testify to extensive trade links between these areas. The uniform coinage of Philip II of Macedon and its widespread acceptance throughout his empire also demonstrates this trend.

Non-monetary currencies preceded coinage proper, and may have played a role in some cases of financial distress. For instance, fishhooks and small bronze celts found in hoards in Western Europe have been interpreted as having served as money.

The modern era of coinage began with the minting of a gold coin by Christopher Columbus in 1493. In the seventeenth century, metallurgical advances made it possible to produce large numbers of coins with consistent quality and design. As a result, coinage became an important part of the economy and the world’s commerce.

Almost all coins are valuable in some way. A coin’s collectors’ or investment value is determined by its condition, specific historical significance, rarity, beauty and its general appeal to the public. Bullion coins such as the Canadian Maple Leaf and American Gold Eagle have nominal face values that are much less than their metal content, but they are still considered to be valuable in their own right.

The alteration of a coin for fraudulent purposes is illegal. It is a violation of 18 U.S.C. 331 to intentionally lighten or otherwise change the appearance of a coin in order to defraud. This is why most reputable dealers use high-quality coin presses and do not accept change from individuals or groups who would attempt to manipulate their product for profit. Similarly, it is a violation of 31 C.F.R. Part 82 to export, melt or otherwise treat a coin with the intent to defraud. These violations can be prosecuted under federal and state fraud laws. A list of reputable coin dealers is available from the National Association of Coin Dealers.