How Long Do Coins Last?


Quick Answer

Coins last for about 25 years before they are too worn down to remain in circulation, according to the U.S. Mint. Unusable coins are recycled, and the metal is reused in new coins.

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Full Answer

Coins that can no longer be circulated because they are too worn or damaged to go through a counting machine can be redeemed through the U.S. Mint. Coins that are worn but can still be counted by machine are collected by the Federal Reserve and then sent to the U.S. Mint.

The U.S. Mint makes 14 billion to 20 billion new coins each year that are put into circulation. The composition of dimes, nickels and quarters is nickel and a copper alloy, while pennies are made from zinc coated with copper.

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