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Mutilated Coin Redemption Program


U.S. Mint Re-Suspends Mutilated Coin Program

As of April 24, 2019, the U.S. Mint has re-suspended the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program "pending the development of additional Program safeguards". ISRI is offering its expertise to work with the agency to identify and resolve any concerns as quickly as possible. More information will be posted to this page as it becomes available.

For many years the United States Mint has administered a program by which people and businesses could exchange bent and partial coins (commonly referred to as "mutilated coins") for reimbursement. On November 2, 2015, the Mint suspended the exchange program to assess the security of the program and develop additional safeguards to enhance the integrity of the acceptance and processing of mutilated coinage. Since that time, the Mint has made significant progress in evaluating risks and identifying potential remedial measures. The Mint resumed the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program through a final rule on December 20, 2017 and released their certification guidelines on February 28, 2018.

Suspicions of counterfeit coins were first raised in 2009 by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, with a subsequent investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury Department in 2010. Following the seizure of a shipment of coins in 2014 and the Justice Department's filing of litigation regarding the seized coins, the Mint suspended its buyback program.

The investigation focused upon counterfeited coins being redeemed. It is alleged that at least two scrap brokers have regularly sold mutilated U.S. coins originating in China to the U. S. Mint. There have also been allegations by the US Department of Justice of fraud, as some shipments contained counterfeit coins. Nonetheless, the suspension of the mutilated coin buyback program was applied to all sellers, domestic or foreign, and to coins originating from U.S. recyclers as well as foreign recyclers. While the program was suspended ISRI repeatedly reached out to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Congress to express concerns about the broad reach of the program and the uncertainty from the extended suspension.

Latest Updates

U.S. Mint Director Confirmed

In March 2018, the U.S. Senate confirmed David J. Ryder as the next U.S. Mint Director for a term of five years. Mr. Ryder had been the Mint Director in the George W. Bush Administration. During Mr. Ryder's confirmation hearing, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) asked the nominee about the Mint's Mutilated Coin Redemption Program whereupon, Mr. Ryder replied that he was very familiar with the long standing program and supported its resumption.

We understand that the Mint has recently begun accepting mutilated coins after a three year suspension. However, the Mint does reserve the right to inspect any facility before accepting coins or if they believe there is a need to visit and may refer any discrepancy onto federal law enforcement for investigation and prosecution.

Have Questions?

Billy Johnson
Chief Lobbyist
(202) 662-8548