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  1. #1
    us
    May 2008
    Wisconsin
    GARRETT GTI 2500, Garrett Infinium
    2,935
    579 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    How many coins originally minted were lost?

    When I read how many coins were originally minted of a particular date, you have to wonder how many of those coins originally minted were lost. I'll stay away from Silver dollars, and even other silver, since an indeterminate of that has been melted down. That won't help the discussion until later.

    So if you take that in 1859, there were minted 36,400,000 IH pennies, how many of them were lost? It's hard to believe that there are that many in collections; I don't have one.

    So - what does everyone think? 1%? 2%? 10%? - more?
    "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." Friedrich Nietzsche

    "You ask where I live. I cannot tell you. I am a Voyageur, a Chicot, sir. I live everywhere. My grandfather was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. My father was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. I will also die while en route, and another Chicot will take my place. Such is our course of life."

  2. #2

    Feb 2008
    Whites XLT
    58

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    Must be just a few because I have yet to find my first one.

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Dec 2006
    Combine
    Garrett AT Pro, Garrett Master Hunter CX Plus, Teknetics G2
    855
    68 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    I think ALL of the coins lost were originally minted!
    Not all who wander are lost - Some of us are simply confused. (Apologies to J.R.R. Tolkein's memory)

    GARRETT / FISHER / TEKNETICS
    www.anthonysdetectors.com
    anthonysdetectors@live.com
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  4. #4
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    2,986
    20 times

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    In 1859, more people kept pretty close tabs of what money they had in their pockets. So probably only 2-3% were "lost" per year. But by 1965, the US mint was estimating a coin would last an average of 20 years in circulation, or 5% "lost" per year.

    Average coin "loss" per year varied with the year. Some years, nearly the entire year's mint were lost due to robbery, shipwreck, or train crash.

  5. #5
    us
    May 2008
    Wisconsin
    GARRETT GTI 2500, Garrett Infinium
    2,935
    579 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuberale
    In 1859, more people kept pretty close tabs of what money they had in their pockets. So probably only 2-3% were "lost" per year. But by 1965, the US mint was estimating a coin would last an average of 20 years in circulation, or 5% "lost" per year.

    Average coin "loss" per year varied with the year. Some years, nearly the entire year's mint were lost due to robbery, shipwreck, or train crash.
    So, outside of disasters, there seems to be a steady loss of any coins that are in circulation. And that steady loss has a cumulative effect, moving the number of coins from the circulating to the 'lost' category. Obviously, coins that are in collections in safe places aren't in circulation anymore, but I've always wondered what happened to coins like the 1909-S VDB. They certainly disappeared from circulation very fast.

    Bottom line seems to be that there are a LOT of coins out there.

    "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." Friedrich Nietzsche

    "You ask where I live. I cannot tell you. I am a Voyageur, a Chicot, sir. I live everywhere. My grandfather was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. My father was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. I will also die while en route, and another Chicot will take my place. Such is our course of life."

  6. #6
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    2,986
    20 times

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    There certainly ARE a large number of coins out there. That's something I and many other TH'ers have been saying for ... well, awhile.<g>

    There is one CC dime which is especially rare, only partially because few remain available to collectors today. It is believed that many of that year's mint production were lost in either a shipwreck or robbery, and have never been recovered.

  7. #7
    us
    Apr 2005
    911
    76 times

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    The government published a report back in the early nineties that claimed that more coins were lost than were in circulation. This would be an estimate based on what the actually had in banks and what was then thought to be in circulation at the time. Although, they probably didn't account for what people had saved back, in piggy banks and other coin collections. But I do think they were probably close, as I recall they claimed about 60% loss of minted coins at that time.Even if it were 50%, that would still leave a lot of coins lost that haven't been found. Happy hunting. rockhound

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!

    Jun 2008
    Yarnell,AZ and Titusville,FL
    Right now: Garrett GTA 500, ACE 250, Fisher Impulse 8, Gold Bug 2, Whites GMT, Vibraprobe 570, and Falcon MD20
    4,328
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    Coinshooting, Gold prospecting, and Nuggetshooting
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    I don't know how many were lost but Charles Garrett says there are more coins in the ground than in circulation. TTC
    ONE MIND - ANY WEAPON

  9. #9
    us
    Dec 2010
    3,069
    527 times

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    I'm new to T-net, and have found this to be a very interesting thread.

    I've often wondered about where all the coins have gone that the govt has minted over the years. It makes you wonder how many of them were gathered back up and remelted for new coinage? I don't know if they ever did that, but it sure would make sense (or cents) if they did.

    It is amazing to a non-MD'er like me to see guys go out and come home with a massive pile of coins they have found in a park or construction site. How many millions are still out there?

    I also wonder how many coins were turned into jewelry? Remember way back when it seemed like everyone in the world was wearing a belt buckle made from coins? Whatever happened to all of those buckles?

    Then lastly...what about all the coins that have been destroyed over the years?

    As a side note, I know a guy that ran an auto shredder back in the 80's. They would find several dollars worth of change everyday in a separator area. Most of it was bent and severely damaged. The banks refused to accept the damaged coinage, so they contacted the govt, who replaced it with new coinage. He said the grand total was about $7,000. How many coins went to melt via an auto shredder that weren't caught by the separator system that sorted copper, aluminum and silver from the steel and iron?

    And how many coins have been thrown in the trash, either on purpose or unknowingly? Years ago, when I worked at a gas station, I was amazed at the coins that got dumped in the trash can by people emptying ash trays. I found about $3 in loose change one day alone, in a trash bag next to a gas pump. My coworkers thought I was insane for pulling it out!


  10. #10
    us
    I dig zinc....

    Oct 2010
    Tyler, TX
    Fisher F75 standard (last 3 yrs.) CTX-3030 10-04-13
    1,169
    29 times
    Metal Detecting

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    I have only been at this wonderful hobby for about 5 months. In that time I have recovered pounds of coins, 6 silver rings, 4 silver coins (all dimes, one a Merc) and a number of silver pendants, charms, etc. Before the end of the year, I plan to sort and count everything to see just how much I have found in that short time. And, you have to consider that I am a newbie at this.....just now beginning to get pretty decent at picking out good targets and ignoring trash. My point is, if I have found this much, being this inexperienced, there must be a phenomenal amount of money and jewelry in the ground! I'm guessing that if I had all the coins in the ground within the city limits of my little town, I would be very wealthy, indeed!
    Roland

    All electrical devices are powered by smoke......when the smoke escapes, they no longer work.

  11. #11

    Oct 2005
    XLT, Whites D.F., Treasure Baron, Deepstar, Goldquest, Beachscan, T.D.I., Sovereign, 2x Nautilus, various Arado's, Ixcus Diver, Altek Quadtone, T2, Beach Hunter I.D, GS 5 pulse, Searchman 2 ,V3i
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    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    The British Royal Mint did a report on this subject in 2007. They had followed the decimal "penny" ( slightly larger than your One Cent) from its introduction in February 1971. After 36 years 10 billion were thought to still be in circulation and 6,500 million lost or in coin collections.

    Thats just one of the eight coins in circulation today. In the past, pre paper money, you might have 14 denominations in circulation at a time. Then multiply by 2500+ for the number of years coins have been circulating.

    So plenty to find over here. I wonder why I can only manage 7000 to 8000 in the average year ?

  12. #12
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    White's Coinmaster Pro
    2,986
    20 times

    Re: How many coins originally minted were lost?

    Quote Originally Posted by U.K. Brian
    The British Royal Mint did a report on this subject in 2007. They had followed the decimal "penny" ( slightly larger than your One Cent) from its introduction in February 1971. After 36 years 10 billion were thought to still be in circulation and 6,500 million lost or in coin collections.

    Thats just one of the eight coins in circulation today. In the past, pre paper money, you might have 14 denominations in circulation at a time. Then multiply by 2500+ for the number of years coins have been circulating.

    So plenty to find over here. I wonder why I can only manage 7000 to 8000 in the average year ?
    Uh ... you only have so much time to hunt. It takes time to make a recovery, drive or walk to the recovery site, and return.

    And in U.K., almost anything you find may be one of those extremely rare ones, so you want to excavate it very carefully.

    Here in the U.S., most of my finds are from the last 20 years, and worthless to begin with (cupro-nickel, copper-coated zinc, etc). Only the coppers from pre-1982 are worth very much to anyone, and they are still the only ones I can melt for metal content legally. The gold and silver are worth at least gold and silver, so I'm not planning on melting those.

    Fortunately, I'm a lot closer to gold-producing areas than you are, and in an area where even 150 years ago people would toss their non-gold and non-silver coins away as being worthless. So few people have lived in my state (just over 3 million now for Oregon) that finding older coins is pretty unusual. You doubtless had more Romans in U.K. than Oregon had.<G> It helps to have had a few thousand more years of coinage usage too.

 

 

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