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Beginner’s Corner: Exploring Mintage

Beginner’s Corner: Exploring Mintage
Category: Beginner's Corner
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Posted: 02-11-2015 10:00:00 AM

This week's Beginner's Corner explores what "mintage" is and what it means for the value of coins. 

When you're looking at what coins to buy and you begin reading the specifications, you'll see something called a "mintage" followed by a number. "Mintage" is simply how many of a coin in a given issue is going to be struck. The mintage is recorded by the issuing mint.

Mintage is a major influencer on the value or price of a coin, but for the record is not the only determining factor. Because of supply and demand, the lower the number of a coin's mintage, the more rare and valuable it becomes; the lower the mintage, the higher the value.

Mintage is generally limited by three factors:

Laws set into place in certain countries that limit the number of coins that can be minted.

A mintage referred to as "to demand." This means they only mint coins if they have been ordered.

Typically done with business strikes for commerce, there will only be coins minted based on how many the banks think they will need.

Typically, the proof strike coins are the ones that are minted "to demand." The Lincoln Cent is the coin with the highest mintage in the world.

Panther Silver Coin

At ModernCoinMart (MCM), we began our own series last year that commemorates Florida's natural wildlife. The Florida Natives Series now has two coins in total, the Florida Panther and the American Alligator. Below, you can see the certificates of authenticity. We've added a red circle around the paragraph that states how many of each coin were minted.

"In recognition of wildlife habitat of Southern Florida and the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) organization, only 1,000 of these coins will be released worldwide."

Check back next week to learn about rarity and what exactly that means as well as what determining factors are in deciding if a coin is considered rare. 

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About The Author

Kelsey Kay Howard Kelsey graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa with a B.A. in mass communications. She is new to the world of numismatics, but as the Marketing Specialist for MCM is dedicated to learning all there is to know.

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