Tell me when you spot 2018 coins

Have you found a 2018-dated coin yet?

Usually the first coin spotted in circulation is a cent because so many are manufactured each year.

But times could be changing.

I had a theory throughout my 40-year career that coins appeared earlier in the year during times of prosperity and later in recession years.

It held up pretty well, but might now be breaking down.

Most people would probably say that prosperity has returned to America.

The conclusion from this simple observation is that more coins will be made, and they will reach circulation sooner.

Please let me know what you are seeing in your change dated 2018.

But prosperity or not, coin production is falling.

The year 2017 is the second year in a row that the Mint’s production has fallen without a recession.

Total output was nearly 14.9 billion coins.

In 2016, the number was 16 billion.

In 2015, total output was 17 billion coins.

You have to go back to 2014 to find a year with fewer coins made than in 2017. Then, production totaled 13.3 billion coins.

So, in 2017, coin production for circulation was down 6.9 percent.

The two-year slide is 12.4 percent.

Cent output has fallen less.

The denomination’s one-year slide is 5.5 percent, while the two-year decline is 8.5 percent.

In 2017, the Mint struck 8.6 billion cents. The 2016 number is 9.1 billion, and in 2015, it was 9.4 billion.

Even with the decline in numbers, demand from the current prosperous economy should bring out 2018-dated cents rapidly.

When you see one, let me know.

Other denominations will appear at some point as well.

Keep me posted as you see them.

My email is david.harper@fwmedia.com.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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