Close the Denver Mint?
Posted by Dave Harper
With coin demand at what seems to be a new
permanent low plateau of around three billion
pieces a year, the U.S. Mint faces the choice of
what to do with all of its production capacity
Is it time to do the unthinkable and close the
Philadelphia alone can produce more than enough
coins to keep an adequate supply going under
That, of course, is the key phrase: present
Can anybody now envision any circumstances where
coin demand will once again run over 25 billion
pieces as it did in 2000 and require multiple
shifts to get all of the work done?
Under those high-coin-demand circumstances,
retaining the two minting facilities would be
Those who remember the story of the closure of
the San Francisco Mint in 1955 might use it as
an object lesson as to what happens when
capacity is eliminated. A decade later there was
a national coin shortage. It was put back to
Should the whole Mint operation be restructured?
Close Philadelphia, too, after building a
state-of-the-art minting facility in a large
open area where Interstate highways come
together. The new plant could be scalable to
rapidly increase production should higher demand
Barring such radical changes, should the Mint
jump into the international scrum and look for
coin striking business from other countries as
it used to do but hasnít for many years?
Or will the Mint sit at the present default
position with many underused presses and
employees without tasks to perform?
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