Written by Alyssa Taranto
We’ve seen a toilet paper shortage. We’ve seen a hand sanitizer shortage. Now we’re seeing a COIN shortage. What could possibly be next?
The Federal Reserve just revealed that there is a nationwide shortage of coins. Banks are in need of nickels, dimes, quarters, and pennies and are now being forced to ration their coins.
When people think of coin payments, laundromats and arcades often come to mind. Many people fail to recognize the importance of coins in our economy. Some collect coins in jars or in the cupholders of their vehicles. It is possible that more convenient forms of payment such as card payments or contactless payments have caused people to overlook the coins in their wallets, resulting in a lack of coin circulation.
The U.S Mint’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by producing less physical money this Spring may be to blame. There has been a significant drop in the use of cash since the outbreak of the virus because many believe they could catch the virus from cash. There is also an upsurge in online shopping due to the mass closure of businesses because of the pandemic. Since the reopening of some businesses, many have been temporarily rejecting cash payments to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
It is believed that once more businesses reopen and as people become more comfortable with shopping in-store, these missing coins will go back into circulation. Those wanting to get rid of spare change can visit their bank and exchange their coins free of charge or at a local Coinstar in exchange for cash, eGiftcard, or a tax-deductible charity donation.
There’s definitely no shortage of coins in my house, I have a jar full of coin change in closet. That jar could have up to fifty dollars’ worth of coins in it. Perhaps I should bring my coins to a Coinstar and buy myself something nice.