Coin Circulation Disruption
Updated October 2021: To meet demand for coin fairly and equitably across all depository institutions (DI), the Federal Reserve Banks returned to allocation on DI coin orders beginning May 3, 2021.
Order limits are currently applied to pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.
From May to July 2021, the Federal Reserve reviewed and updated coin allocation levels four times to adjust them to DI deposits and the U.S. Mint’s ability to produce new coin.
The Federal Reserve’s priority remains to distribute as much coin as fairly and equitably as possible. We continue to monitor U.S. Mint production, DI coin deposits to and orders from their Reserve Banks, and Federal Reserve inventories and adjust allocation limits on an ongoing basis.
For more information, visit getcoinmoving.org (Off-site).
Depository institution (DI) coin deposits are weighed by electronic scales that are located at Federal Reserve offices and also at armored carrier facilities throughout the United States. Many Reserve Bank cash offices have entered into legal agreements with third-party operators to serve as Federal Reserve off-site coin terminals or coin depots to process DIs' deposits and maintain inventories of verified coin.
Unlike currency, there is no need to sort the coins for fitness since coins are damaged very rarely. The average life of a coin is estimated to be 30 years. Generally, all coin accepted by the Federal Reserve System is weighed (at a Reserve Bank Office or by armored carriers) and redistributed to DIs when they place orders. The processing of entries for coin deposits and orders is identical to the process for currency - a DI's Federal Reserve account is credited for the amount of the coin deposit and/or debited for the amount of the coin order.
Since most Americans tend to accumulate coin for collection purposes, the Mint continues to produce between 10 and 20 billion coins per year to meet public demand (see Frequently Asked Questions). The U.S. Mint (Off-site) operates four minting facilities; however, only two - Denver, Colorado and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - create circulating coins that are distributed by the Federal Reserve System. The two remaining minting facilities include the San Francisco Mint in California and the West Point Mint in New York. Both facilities manufacture various gold, silver and platinum numismatic proof, uncirculated and bullion coins, and annual proof clad and proof silver coin sets of the circulating coins.
A coin terminal is a secure facility operated by an armored carrier that holds Reserve Bank inventories of coin, and that receives deposits from and fulfills orders of coins for depository institutions on behalf of the Federal Reserve Bank. Coin terminal operators are contracted by the Federal Reserve Bank to perform these services.
A coin depot is an additional coin distribution arrangement that enables the Federal Reserve Bank to service its customers that are not currently serviced by a coin terminal. Similar to the coin terminal program, a coin depot is an outsourced arrangement with a vendor that provides coin services to Federal Reserve Bank customers in lieu of those customers accessing the Federal Reserve Bank dock. This program complements, and does not replace, the coin terminal program and may be operated by an armored carrier (AC) or non-AC entity. For more information, contact your servicing Federal Reserve Bank.