
Dec 22, 2006, 01:58 AM
#1
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 Pre1941 wheat pennies 1 / 2034
For V nickels: 1 / 92480
For Buffalo nickels: 1 / 11560
For war nickels: 1 / 3424
For pre1960 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:
 
Pre1941 wheat pennies: 3.174% still in circulation.
Buffalo nickels: 0.364% are left in circulation.
Pre1960 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?

Dec 22, 2006, 12:45 PM
#2
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

Dec 22, 2006, 11:16 PM
#3
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)
pre1960 Jeff: 19.063% (approx. 672109986 coins)
War Nickels: 1.671% (approx. 14535251 coins)
Pennies

Indian Head: 0.213% (approx. 3933763 coins)
Pre1941 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.

Dec 22, 2006, 11:25 PM
#4
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.

Dec 23, 2006, 04:59 AM
#5
Re: What % is left in circulation?

Dec 26, 2006, 02:50 PM
#6
Re: What % is left in circulation?
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

Mar 22, 2016, 04:51 AM
#7
I've been buying $25 boxes of pennies here in north central Alabama. Typically find 510 wheats/box, out of 200300 copper pennies/box

Mar 22, 2016, 09:51 AM
#8
"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Mar 22, 2016, 02:49 PM
#9
Originally Posted by Roger1216
I've been buying $25 boxes of pennies here in north central Alabama. Typically find 510 wheats/box, out of 200300 copper pennies/box
LOL you replied to a an almost 10 year old post.

Mar 22, 2016, 03:55 PM
#10
Old Tom Cat.
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

Mar 22, 2016, 06:55 PM
#11
I get about 1014 wheaties, and 1518% coppers per $25 box.

Mar 22, 2016, 07:58 PM
#12
I get 612 wheats and I'd say 1015% coppers per box but I only usually save 5080 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.

Mar 27, 2016, 04:34 PM
#13
N00b
1 silver Kennedy, about 3540 wheats, .1 Indian head, 1015 NIFC, 23 war nicks, 12 buffs, 23 rosies, .5 mercs, .5 washingtons, and 2550% copper on average per box. I also get about 34 dimes per box of pennies.

Mar 28, 2016, 06:31 AM
#14
Originally Posted by IceePirate
1 silver Kennedy, about 3540 wheats, .1 Indian head, 1015 NIFC, 23 war nicks, 12 buffs, 23 rosies, .5 mercs, .5 washingtons, and 2550% copper on average per box. I also get about 34 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?

Mar 29, 2016, 05:50 AM
#15
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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