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Thread: What % is left in circulation?

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  1. #1

    Dec 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    Garrett Ace 250
    2,399
    52 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    What % is left in circulation?

    Although I am sure this varies across the country, I have always wondered how many of certain coins were left to be found in circulation.

    So I did a little analysis combining my search results with pubilshed mintage figures for the various coins of interest.

    My results are based upon the following analysis of my own searching where the values are (# found / # searched):
    For Indian pennies 1 / 111875
    For wheat pennies: 12 / 2500
    For Pre-1941 wheat pennies 1 / 2034
    For V nickels: 1 / 92480
    For Buffalo nickels: 1 / 11560
    For war nickels: 1 / 3424
    For pre-1960 nickels: 27 / 2000


    First, here is how I arrived at my answers using wheat pennies as an example.

    The total mintage of wheat pennies made: 25824458676
    The total mintage of memorial pennies made: 412415676276 (assumes 2003 - 2006 were all the same as 2004)
    The total mintage of lincoln pennies is then: 438240134952

    Note:
    The above mintages do not include all proof and mint set mintages, but since those numbers are low they will not change the overall numbers much.

    So the percentage of wheat pennies if all were still in circulation is:
    25824458676 / 438240134952 or approximately 5.89%

    I find approximately 12 wheat pennies / 2500 pennies or 0.48% (per my results listed above)

    That means there are 0.48% out of a possible 5.89% or approximately 8.146% are still in circulation.


    Note:
    This math assumes that no other coins are circulating and mixed in. (i.e. canadian, foreign, and indian head penny mintages were ignored for this figure.)
    But since other coins are mixing in the actual percentage remaining is very slightly higher.


    Performing similar math for other coins gets the following results:
    ----------------------------------------- -----------------------------
    Pre-1941 wheat pennies: 3.174% still in circulation.
    Buffalo nickels: 0.364% are left in circulation.
    Pre-1960 jefferson nickels: 19.063% are left in circulation.
    Silver War nickels: 1.671% are left in circulation.
    Indian Head Pennies: 0.213% are left in circulation.


    For the other coins of interest I don't have enough, or the right, data to complete with my search results, so for the remainder of the coins, I assume a find rate which may be incorrect. Just multiply by the real find rate by the percentage left to get the true amount remaining.

    Assuming the find rate for Mercury Head dimes is 1 / 100000, there would be 0.0312% left in circulation.
    To get the actual percent remaining multiply 0.0312% by the find rate per 100000 coins.

    Assuming the find rate for silver roosevelt dimes is 1 / 2500, there would be 0.489% left in circulation.
    To get the actual percent remaining multiply 0.489% by the find rate per 2500 coins.

    Assuming the find rate for silver Washington Quarters is 1 / 10000, there would be 0.181% left in circulation.
    To get the actual percent remaining multiply 0.181% by the find rate per 10000 coins.

    Assuming the find rate for 90 % silver Kennedy Half Dollars is 1 / 1000, there would be 0.939% left in circulation.
    To get the actual percent remaining multiply 0.939% by the find rate per 1000 coins.

    Assuming the find rate for 40 % silver Kennedy Half Dollars is 1 / 250, there would be 1.917% left in circulation.
    To get the actual percent remaining multiply 1.917% by the find rate per 250 coins.

    Assuming the find rate for Franklin Half Dollars is 1 / 4000, there would be 0.236% left in circulation.
    To get the actual percent remaining multiply 0.236% by the find rate per 4000 coins.

    Assuming the find rate for Walking Liberty Half Dollars is 1 / 4000, there would be 0.259% left in circulation.
    To get the actual percent remaining multiply 0.259% by the find rate per 4000 coins.


    I am curious how this compares to data from other parts of the country.


    Maybe this question has come up before, but anyone care to share their percentages to try to get an accurate picture of what is really left?
    Guadalcanal, Davers and wagbert like this.

  2. #2
    us
    Oct 2006
    New England
    113

    Re: What % is left in circulation?

    I made a post for "what percentage is left" a couple months ago for half dollars - got good responses for a while, then people stopped posting. But still, the results are from a very large sample of halves, so it gives a good idea of how much hunting it takes to find each kind. You could use the percentages along with mintage figures to determine what might still be out there for us to find. Enjoy! http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.p...c,55919.0.html

  3. #3

    Dec 2006
    Twin Cities, MN
    Garrett Ace 250
    2,399
    52 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: What % is left in circulation?

    I updated the values for half dollars based upon the numbers in the post mentioned by synapse. Thanks for the link btw.

    I also took it a step further to show the approximate number of coins in circulation for the ones in which I have data.

    And the results are for amount remaining in circulation are:


    Half Dollars
    ------------
    Barbers: 0.015% (approx. 18950 coins)
    Walkers: 0.118% (approx. 572840 coins)
    Franklins: 0.267% (approx. 1285696 coins)
    90% JFK: 2.339% (approx. 10137156 coins)
    40% JFK: 4.770% (approx. 40488907 coins)


    Nickels
    -------
    V Nickels: 0.093% (approx. 1124021 coins)
    Buffalo: 0.364% (approx. 4411664 coins)
    pre-1960 Jeff: 19.063% (approx. 672109986 coins)
    War Nickels: 1.671% (approx. 14535251 coins)


    Pennies
    -------
    Indian Head: 0.213% (approx. 3933763 coins)
    Pre-1941 wheat: 3.174% (approx. 215457294 coins)
    all wheats: 8.146% (approx. 2103552648 coins)

    As always the results are only as good as the data it is derived from.
    Davers likes this.

  4. #4
    us
    Dec 2005
    Eugene, Oregon
    Fisher CZ5, White's GM VSat
    4,095
    98 times

    Re: What % is left in circulation?

    In my part of the country, I would say your personal figures are low on wheats and halves. Its not uncommon for me to find wheats in rolls, in my change, in the "take a penny" jar, etc. Buffaloes and V's are quite scarce here, but 90 percent halves and 40 percent halves are pretty common, too.

    Been quite some time since I've found a silver dime or quarter in circulation as well, though. A coworker pulled one out of the coffee machine last month. But I think most all of these got pulled out quickly in the late sixties/early seventies as they're the most common as far as silver goes.

  5. #5

    Mar 2005
    Minelab Explorer SE/Garrett GTI 2500/ Ace 250
    6,871
    14 times

    Re: What % is left in circulation?

    interesting stats
    GTI 2500/ACE 250

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2006
    Left Coast
    XLT & Bigfoot
    3,284
    672 times

    Re: What % is left in circulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMan00001

    Half Dollars
    ------------
    Barbers: 0.015% (approx. 18950 coins)
    Walkers: 0.118% (approx. 572840 coins)
    Franklins: 0.267% (approx. 1285696 coins)
    90% JFK: 2.339% (approx. 10137156 coins)
    40% JFK: 4.770% (approx. 40488907 coins)
    Those numbers sound great!!!

    That could mean there is still over 26 million dollars still out there to be harvested.
    What are we waiting for
    at yard sales I am dollardan
    on ebay I am oneOLDbuffalo
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/oneOLDbuffal...p2047675.l2562

  7. #7
    us
    Mar 2016
    Alabama
    1
    1 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I've been buying $25 boxes of pennies here in north central Alabama. Typically find 5-10 wheats/box, out of 200-300 copper pennies/box
    Davers likes this.

  8. #8

    Aug 2012
    1,284
    731 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    And...Alabama.
    Davers likes this.
    "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." Oliver Wendell Holmes.

  9. #9

    Feb 2013
    704
    324 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger1216 View Post
    I've been buying $25 boxes of pennies here in north central Alabama. Typically find 5-10 wheats/box, out of 200-300 copper pennies/box
    LOL you replied to a an almost 10 year old post.
    Davers likes this.

  10. #10
    us
    Old Tom Cat.

    Jan 2013
    N.of , I-285...GA
    Whites Spc xlt & Tesoro Tejon- Now back ...Fisher 1266-X. TRX Pointer.
    3,660
    1469 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Well I guess it's time for all involved to UPDATE their Numbers. (if possible).

    I would be interested to see how much Circulation #'s of Wheat's & Silver has changed ,esp, after the 2011 PM, & Base Metal highs.
    Davers
    As I am finding , In life we Start at the top,with the Wonder & innocence of a Child, then fall Quickly, then spend the rest of our lives trying to reach that point where we began ,through Pleasure , Fame, & Materials but Only 'Through True faith in Jesus , can we find Prefect Happiness or True Meaning in our Short lives on this Beautiful Earth filled with Both the Light of Pure goodness & The Darkness of Pure Evil. D.

    That Said, I judge No Man.
    Davers

  11. #11
    us
    Feb 2012
    1,080
    359 times
    Coin roll hunting
    I get about 10-14 wheaties, and 15-18% coppers per $25 box.

  12. #12

    Aug 2012
    1,284
    731 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I get 6-12 wheats and I'd say 10-15% coppers per box but I only usually save 50-80 coppers per box, with little wear, gunk, or damage. For some reason I consider it "investment grade". I'm starting to consider "investing" them in something more enjoyable though. They're piling up and prices aren't really going anywhere.
    "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." Oliver Wendell Holmes.

  13. #13
    us
    N00b

    Aug 2015
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    117
    44 times
    1 silver Kennedy, about 35-40 wheats, .1 Indian head, 10-15 NIFC, 2-3 war nicks, 1-2 buffs, 2-3 rosies, .5 mercs, .5 washingtons, and 25-50% copper on average per box. I also get about 3-4 dimes per box of pennies.

  14. #14

    Feb 2013
    704
    324 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by IceePirate View Post
    1 silver Kennedy, about 35-40 wheats, .1 Indian head, 10-15 NIFC, 2-3 war nicks, 1-2 buffs, 2-3 rosies, .5 mercs, .5 washingtons, and 25-50% copper on average per box. I also get about 3-4 dimes per box of pennies.
    Where the heck are you getting these boxes from? Those are some pretty high averages? Or have you only searched a few boxes and got really lucky?
    Iamrussell likes this.

  15. #15

    Oct 2004
    SC
    Whites MXT
    86
    1 times
    There is a very interesting book that presents an adjusted view of the number of silver coins still in existence based upon the melting that has been taking place for so long. Your local library probably has it. It is The Big Silver Melt by Henry Merton and it also gives a very interesting look at the activities of the people who set up secret silver melting operations when it was illegal to melt U.S. silver coins.

 

 
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