by Stefan Gleason
Many retail businesses including grocery stores and fast food restaurants have been wrangling with a national coin shortage. Some are posting notices informing customers that they will need to pay in exact change or use alternative payment methods such as credit cards.
What’s driving this scarcity of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies?
The answer from the U.S. Mint: COVID-19. The virus caused some Mint branches to temporarily slow or suspend production this spring. By May, the total number of circulating coins minted this year came in at around 4 billion, a 1 billion-coin shortfall compared with the same period in 2019.