Coin shortages are nothing new. A few months before running out of gold Eagles, the US Mint had to ration silver Eagles.
Why are coin shortages so common? Governments typically blame unexpected changes in demand. But suppliers of all sorts of other goods manage to avoid running out
Yet governments routinely punish private firms that try to issue their own distinct coins.
During the gold rush, for instance, no fewer than 15 private mints went into business,
Private coiners played a still bigger role in Great Britain's Industrial Revolution