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No More Penny Reports…

…and the reason is simple: The supply of old pennies appears to have dried up in my usual haunts. I got a 1967 penny at Fry’s on the 18th, and that was it. Nothing I’ve gotten since then has been older than 2003.

So maybe it’s a local rather than a global phenomenon: Somebody cashed out a big penny jar, and it’s taken until now to work through all those 50-60-year-old pennies. I’m going to keep watching, of course, but unless the trend appears again I’ll assume it was a one-time thing.


  1. TRX says:

    > big penny jar

    Which makes me wonder, is the natural flow of pennies from individuals to businesses, or the other way around?

    In my case, I seem to wind up with a surplus of pennies, and even my bank is a bit testy about taking them nowadays.

    I’ve been sorting the real-copper ones out for making bullet jackets, though.

    1. A lot of supermarkets now have coin-buying machines, into which you dump a jar full of coins and it spits you out either cash or a ticket that you can cash in at the customer service counter. I’ve often wondered if the supermarket has a process to buy what coins it needs from the owner of the coin machine. If that were the case, I could see why Fry’s (from which I’ve gotten a fair number of old pennies, including the 1943-D specimen) would be a source of older coins. It wouldn’t explain McDonald’s, though. I’ve gotten a comparable number of old coins there, including older nickels and sometimes dimes, going back to the 1960s.

      I doubt a lot of people use coins to pay for things these days, so businesses like Mickey D’s have to get them from their banks. And I’ve heard that a lot of banks don’t have coin-sorting/counting machines these days and don’t like taking coins from customers, especially coins by the jarful. One has to wonder, then, where all the coins end up if the consumer doesn’t use them in transactions. (I actually do, usually to even up a payment so I don’t get still more coins back.) After thinking it through, though, most paths come back eventually to penny jars.

      1. Lawrence Johnstone says:

        Our local bank here has just installed coin machines in the lobbys at most of its branches — free to use if you’re an account holder, small fee otherwise. I haven’t tried it yet, but I do have a jar of assorted change that’s just been sitting there for years that I should probably take in.

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