Better late than never, I guess. The U.S. Mint has finally halted (at least temporarily) its coin exchange program, which as we reported
in March, was getting fleeced by counterfeits. Here's an article by Dave Harper of Numismatic News, published October 30,
In another example of “quick” government action, on Oct. 29 the Federal Register published a notice that the Mint was suspending
its 104-year-old coin exchange program for six months.
The news first broke last March that recycling firms were using Chinese counterfeits to take advantage of the program, which redeemed
bent and partial coins.
Among the allegations published six months ago on www.nj.com was that the Mint had redeemed more mutilated half dollars from Chinese
sources than have ever been minted in the history of the United States.
I guess that would be a tip-off that something is wrong.
The Mint will use the six months to “assess the security of the program and develop additional safeguards, as necessary, to ensure the
integrity of United States coinage.”
ChinaDaily.com said, “In a March 20 District Court filing by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, the government is seeking the
forfeiture of $5.46 million in proceeds seized from three US-based companies involved in sending damaged coins to the Mint for
So much for the commonly held belief that counterfeiting coins is not worth the bother.
The sum of $5.46 million, even divided three ways as was alleged, amounts to some serious money.
Apparently federal officials suspected something was wrong as long ago as 2009, according to both articles, when the U.S. Customs and
Border Protection noticed an increase in the amount of mutilated coins coming through the Port of Los Angeles.
To read the complete article, see:
Mint stops cashing in
To read the original notice in the Federal Register, see:
Coin Exchange by United States Mint
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
RECYCLERS DEFRAUD U.S. MINT WITH CHINESE COUNTERFEIT COINS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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