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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 6, June 2010, Posted On: 5/13/2010

Treasury Considers Changing U.S. Coin Composition

Emily Jed
vending, vending machine, vending machine business, coin-operated games, arcade games, bulk vending, coin machines, coin composition, U.S. Mint, U.S. Treasury, National Automatic Merchandising Association, NAMA, Ned Monroe

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Treasury Department is exploring new ways to mint coins using less expensive materials, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The vending industry is reportedly one of a dozen concerned groups poised to weigh in on the implications of such a change. Since coin mechanisms recognize the size, weight and alloy content of current U.S. coins, any change could necessitate costly equipment retooling or replacement.

National Automatic Merchandising Association senior vice-president of government affairs Ned Monroe informed association members attending the recent OneShow in Chicago of the proposed coin composition changes. He assured them that the association will work closely with Treasury and Mint officials to protect the interests of the industry. "We don't care what the coins are made of, as long as they work in the machines," he emphasized.

The government hasn't specified which new materials the Mint might use in coins, but an aluminum alloy, used by other countries for coins, is the most likely candidate. The Treasury estimates that such a change could save the government more than $100 million a year.

Separately, Canada's federal government recently announced that it plans to change the metallic composition of the country's $1 and $2 coins to multi-ply plated steel. The Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association has expressed concern that the new currency will cause coin-acceptance issues. Read more.

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