Which US coin type (as in Quarters, Cents, Dimes, Nickels, Half Dollars, etc.) has the most old coins out of all in circulation?


Randall Munroe, in his What If? article All the Money, claims that of all the coins in the world, there exists more of the U.S. penny than any other coin. His estimate of about 150 billion pennies currently in circulation is based on a 1996 General Accounting Office report on the future of the penny that cites a U.S. Mint estimate of 132 billion pennies in 1996, as well as the annual production numbers of the Mint.

Why do you keep making so many pennies?

  • Yes but I’m talking about old coins. Which type of coin has the most older (1960s or older) coins in circulation. I am guessing that this suggests the answer is pennies, but can you clarify. – Guy Sep 23 '17 at 21:43
  • @Guy What made you pick 1960s as the definition of "older"? Why are you interested in coins of this age? Please edit your question if you have more information you wish to include in your question. – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Sep 23 '17 at 22:21
  • After testing (with about 20 rolls), with pennies there are considerably more 1970 pennies than 1960s. Even in quarters, pre-1964 have the mint mark inverse. I wonder which type of US coin has more older coins that the other types (I consider 1960s and pre-1960s older). – Guy Sep 23 '17 at 22:35
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    Very few dimes, quarters, and half-dollars older than 1965 are in circulation, because pre-1964 coins were made of silver, and have been deliberately removed from circulation. Five-cent pieces have had the same design for the longest period (since 1938/9), so are least likely to be noticed by the casual observer as "old" or "collectable". Even people not generally interested in numismatics may hold a wheat-head penny if they happen to get one in change. – user4556274 Sep 24 '17 at 15:47
  • Also I made a mistake. Pre-1964 quarters have the mint mark on the reverse of the coin not the obverse. – Guy Sep 24 '17 at 23:30

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