Get Money For Your Damaged Coins Through The US Mint Mutilated Coin Redemption Program



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Did you know the U.S. Mint will pay you for your damaged coins?

It’s true!

Since 2009, the US Mint has paid more than $100 million to individuals who turned in their damaged coins.

It’s called the United States Mint Mutilated Coin Redemption Program, and it was established in 1911.

How To Get Money For Damaged Coins

The US Mint currently pays $20 per pound for damaged dimes, quarters, and half dollars, and there’s no limit on how many mutilated coins you can submit.

What counts as a mutilated coin? Here are some examples:

The coins you turn in to the US Mint through its redemption program will be redeemed as scrap metal and recycled.

So how does the US Mint mutilated coin redemption program work?

It’s quite simple. Just bag up the damaged coins — sorted by denomination — and send them to the Philadelphia Mint:

United States Mint
Independence Mall
P.O. Box 400
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19105

You will receive payment for eligible submissions within several weeks of the US Mint receiving your coins.

What About Pressed Pennies And Coins Made Into Jewelry?

Technically speaking, the following are all forms of damaged coins:

However, submitting them to the US Mint Mutilated Coin Redemption Program isn’t necessarily the best way to make money from those damaged coins.

All of the coins I listed above have their own types of collectors markets and are worth far more to individuals who enjoy collecting those coins than you’ll earn submitting those pieces to the U.S. Mint at a scrap exchange rate of $20 per pound.

Here’s what those coins may be worth to novelty coin collectors:

  • Pressed pennies — 25 cents or more
  • Colorized coins — $1 or more
  • Coin jewelry — Various amounts from $1 to $25 or more
  • Magician’s coins — $3 or more
  • Other types of altered coins and strange tokens — 25 cents or more

What Are Contaminated Coins? Can They Be Redeemed, Too?

Ever wonder what happens to coins that have blood, urine, stool, or vomit on them?

What about coins found inside the body of a person or an animal?

How about moldy coins? Coins slathered in gum?

Hope I didn’t gross you out, and I certainly hope you weren’t munching on something tasty while reading this.

But, hey — aren’t you curious where these coins go?

As it happens, they, too, may be redeemed. But they don’t necessarily go to the same place as mutilated coins that don’t have an “ick factor” about them.

If you have contaminated coins, you basically have 2 options:

The Difference Between Mutilated Coins And Uncurrent Coins

You may have heard the term “uncurrent coin.”

How do uncurrent coins differ from mutilated coins?

An uncurrent coin is one that:

  • Is heavily worn but still recognizable
  • Through natural abrasion, weighs less than a standard coin of its type
  • Is recognizable and known to be genuine and can be counted by machine

Instead of putting these heavily worn coins back into your pocket change or coin jar, you can get full face value for them!

If you have uncurrent coins, do this:

Latest News About The US Mint Mutilated Coin Program

If you’ve been paying attention to news from the US Mint and US Treasury, you may have heard about the temporary suspension of the US Mint Mutilated Coin Redemption Program. (See update below!)

So, what’s going on?

Unfortunately, it looks like a few bad apples have ruined the coin redemption for the bunch — at least for a short while.

Some of those scrap coins have contained silicon and other trace elements that authentic US coins shouldn’t contain.

The US government, concerned about receiving potentially million of coins from abroad that may be counterfeit, temporarily suspended the US Mint Mutilated Coin Redemption Program while it investigates the coins further.

The plan has been to restart the coin redemption program once the US Mint determines how to make the initiative more secure and weed out counterfeit coins in the future.

If you’re interested in reading more about this temporary halt and the millions of dollars in possible counterfeit coins submitted to the US Mint from China, check out the following articles:

UPDATE: The U.S. Mint is once again accepting damaged coins after a 2-year hiatus!

The U.S. Mint gets a lot of value from the redemption of damaged coins. It gets precious metals back so they may be used in new coins and protects the integrity of the U.S. coinage system by taking older coins out of circulation. Once the U.S. Mint had a better understanding of the process in which the coins are recovered, it was really a no-brainer. Source

What About Damaged Bills?

Yes, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing — which prints American currency — replaces partially destroyed or badly damaged bills as a free public service.

If you have damaged bills that you’d like to redeem, do this:

Joshua

I'm the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I'm a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I'm also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I've contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I've authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!

14 thoughts on “Get Money For Your Damaged Coins Through The US Mint Mutilated Coin Redemption Program

  1. Because of an attempt to defraud the U.S. Mint’s redemption program, it was suspended in November. Last month, the U.S. Mint announced that they are extending the suspension for another six months until November 2, 2016. Given some of the dysfunction in the government and the Mint’s lack of director since the Senate has not confirmed POTUS’s nominee, it is likely that the suspension will be extended.

    I have a draft post at the Coin Collectors Blog (coinsblog.ws) about this topic that I should finish soon!

      1. No, the redemption program has been suspended. The U.S. Mint can renew the suspension for another six months if they are not ready with an updated program.

        You can try to turn in mutilated coins to your bank. Some banks will redeem them for customers. Some of the firms that drive armored trucks do act as a broker for the banks with the U.S. Mint. Some will hold the coins until the Mint is ready.

    1. Hi, Scott —

      Yes, thank you for the info.

      As stated in the article above, “If you’ve been paying attention to news from the US Mint and US Treasury, you may have heard about the temporary suspension of the US Mint Mutilated Coin Redemption Program. So, what’s going on? Unfortunately, it looks like a few bad apples have ruined the coin redemption for the bunch — at least for a short while.”

      At this point, the suspension appears to be continuing through the rest of summer and into the fall of 2016. Hopefully the security issues will soon be remedied so the popular, longstanding coin redemption program can continue.

      Best,
      Josh

  2. I have a 1988 D penny that looks like it was stamped and then pressed on both sides. I am wondering if its worth anything significant as an error coin.

    1. Hi, Christopher —

      This coin was severely planed down outside of the U.S. Mint. While you say the coin is a 1988-D, I suspect it is a pre-1982 piece given the fact that it doesn’t have any exposed zinc core (as seen within 1982-to-date cents). The coin would be worth its copper value (2 cents), though it is actually illegal to melt now under current U.S. law. Your best bet may be to try spending it for its face value.

      Best,
      Josh

  3. What about this 1943 penny? Looks like bronze.
    What do you think the value might be.
    How to tell if is the real thing

  4. What about this 1943 penny? Looks like bronze.
    What do you think the value might be.
    How to tell if is the real thing
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e6ffd6539a42723b4626b50d78fc3f3686aee468015b9f4679c384d20b0f3a25.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/51a288c561e802b36f2fb90d963d8dc10ceca1522a98c7f534200ef1751a0c79.jpg

    1. Hi, Richard —

      There’s a really easy way to tell if it’s bronze or steel. Try picking up your 1943 penny with a magnet. If it sticks, it’s steel (and worth about 10 to 25 cents). If it doesn’t, it may be bronze. At that point, the coin would require further testing to determine its authenticity. In terms of discussing that info, we can cross that bridge when we get there.

      In the meantime, here’s more info on 1943 pennies: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1943-penny-value/

      Good luck!
      Josh

  5. Hey Josh, I was through my coins and ran into these. What do you think happen to them. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8e6835d7b480fc1a457e2616e43e6a3c1f45e49489c97c6c73a1522ef12b66db.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a7acf7f288c117c01fee90d3a5a91ecfdba456881d015b987172c2ba99e31ab.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6989fdfe2834bd72d6ab0b19ac1e9316775ddab3224733e98d352f0480f93e3e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9d72d45790f4b188fd68f81ab182f230d6603ac9d95f6bb1ecdfe794a690e018.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3c7bd9fb888d1155d72ec643a7cf83dcd8cd442e2cc7c3817596ffae9f21838.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e917282569b709bcbcd75e03c8dd9ea13e421ba973fb2993b5b311476f8a8931.jpg

    1. Hi, Lonnia —

      Looks like someone got REALLY hungry and decided they needed some zinc and copper in their diet 🙂

      But seriously (ha ha), this is some severe post-mint damage, and this piece is worth face value.

      Best wishes,
      Josh

      1. Hello.May I show you some moments. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0bee3ed6ac63e62f5bbdc355ce0e6cfbc5b7b1c0433cd447507f515a1da60d77.jpg
        It seemed to me that they are different. Probably this is Philadelphia.

        1. Hi, Julia —

          These are business-strike 1990 pennies from Philadelphia. Here’s more info on their value: https://coins.thefuntimesguide.com/1990-penny-value/

          Best wishes,
          Josh

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