US Mint 2011 Annual Coin Production Rises 28.7%, Mintages Top 8.2 Billion

by Mike Unser on January 13, 2012 · 0 comments

2011 Lincoln Cent

Of the more than 8.2 billion coins produced by the United States Mint in 2011, more than 4.9 billion were Lincoln cents.

United States Mint annual coin production climbed higher last year, marking a second straight yearly advance. The United States Mint produced over 8.2 billion coins for circulation in 2011, which was an increase of more than 1.8 billion, or 28.7 percent, from the nearly 6.4 billion coins minted in 2010.

Leading gains were Jefferson nickels which soared higher 101.9 percent and Roosevelt dimes which shot up 34.2 percent. In unit totals, almost 500 million more nickels and 383 million more dimes were struck than in 2010. Lincoln cents notably improved by more than 927.7 million, or 23.1 percent.

Not all coins surpassed their previous annual mintages, however. Kennedy half dollars fell 1.4 percent, Native American $1 coins dropped 4.0 percent and Presidential $1 coins declined 7.5%. Dollar mintages will plummet much further in 2012 due to the Treasury’s decision in December to stop circulating $1 coin production. This year, new Presidential $1 coins will be minted only for coin collectors — the same as has been the case for Kennedy half dollars since 2001. Their mintages as a result will spiral south to millions instead of the hundreds of millions seen in past years.

For reference, how 2011 stacks up to 2010 on a per coin basis is shown in the following table:

2010 vs. 2011 Annual Coin Production

  Year
2010
Year
2011
2011 Unit Gain / Loss 2011 % Gain / Loss
Lincoln Cents 4,010,830,000 4,938,540,000 927,710,000 23.1%
Jefferson Nickels 490,560,000 990,240,000 499,680,000 101.9%
Roosevelt Dimes 1,119,000,000 1,502,000,000 383,000,000 34.2%
Quarters 347,000,000 391,200,000 44,200,000 12.7%
Kennedy Half Dollars 3,500,000 3,450,000 -50,000 -1.4%
Native American $1 80,780,000 77,560,000 -3,220,000 -4.0%
Presidential $1s 321,440,000 297,360,000 -24,080,000 -7.5%
Annual Production 6,373,110,000 8,200,352,011 1,827,242,011 28.7%

 

While coin collectors prefer lower mintage coins as they are scarcer, the higher levels of pennies through quarters may be good news for more Americans. Consistent production increases in smaller coinage is often seen an indicator of an improving economy.

The flip side of this was realized in 2009 when annual coin production plunged to a total of just 3.548 billion coins — 4.65+ billion less than 2011. As daily transactions declined that year, so did the need for coins. Further, masses of people tapped into their hoarded home change to help pay bills. In a reversal of the typical supply process, older coins quickly found their way into circulation and eventually stacked up in local banks. The banks, in turn, cut orders for newly dated coins as rising inventories were enough to fulfill an already lower demand. Due to a lack of orders, the United States Mint actually stopped producing 2009 nickels and dimes for most of the year.

For a deeper look at how many coins the United States Mint struck last year, the following table offers an annual break out by coin type and design.

US Mint 2011 Annual Coin Production / Mintages by Design

  Denver Philadelphia 2011 Total
Lincoln Cents 2,536,140,000 2,402,400,000 4,938,540,000
Jefferson Nickels 540,240,000 450,000,000 990,240,000
Roosevelt Dimes 754,000,000 748,000,000 1,502,000,000
Gettysburg Park Quarter 30,400,000 30,800,000 61,200,000
Glacier Park Quarter 31,200,000 30,400,000 61,600,000
Olympic Park Quarter 30,600,000 30,400,000 61,000,000
Vicksburg Quarter 33,400,000 30,800,000 64,200,000
Chickasaw Quarter 69,400,000 73,800,000 143,200,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 1,700,000 1,750,000 3,450,000
Native American $1 48,160,000 29,400,000 77,560,000
Johnson Presidential $1 37,100,000 35,560,000 72,660,000
Grant Presidential $1 37,940,000 38,080,000 76,020,000
Rutherford B. Hayes $1 36,820,000 37,660,000 74,480,000
Garfield Presidential $1 37,100,000 37,100,000 74,200,000
Total 4,224,200,000 3,976,150,000 8,200,350,000

 

Coins that are struck for circulation are produced in either the United States Mint facility in Denver or the one in Philadelphia.  In terms of circulating coins, the Denver Mint, at over 4.2 billion coins, was busier than the Philadelphia Mint, which came up short of 4 billion coins. Usually the annual levels between facilities are a bit closer together.

Note the quarter totals above. The five 25-cent pieces account for all of the 2011 America the Beautiful Quarters. In the second year of issue, their mintages totaled to 391,200,000 as compared to the debuting quarters in 2010 with combined mintages of 347,000,000. The quarter production rate last year was actually on pace to fall from the previous year until the United States Mint cranked out 143.2 million Chickasaw quarters, more than double the amount of any preciously issued America the Beautiful Quarter.

Shown in the following table are coin production levels for all America the Beautiful Quarters minted to date.

2010-2011 America the Beautiful Quarters Mintages

  Denver Philadelphia Total
Hot Springs National Park 34,000,000 35,600,000 69,600,000
Yellowstone National Park 34,800,000 33,600,000 68,400,000
Yosemite National Park 34,800,000 35,200,000 70,000,000
Grand Canyon National Park 35,400,000 34,800,000 70,200,000
Mount Hood National Forest 34,400,000 34,400,000 68,800,000
Gettysburg National Military Park 30,400,000 30,800,000 61,200,000
Glacier National Park 31,200,000 30,400,000 61,600,000
Olympic National Park 30,600,000 30,400,000 61,000,000
Vicksburg National Military Park 33,400,000 30,800,000 64,200,000
Chickasaw National Recreation Area 69,400,000 73,800,000 143,200,000
Total 368,400,000 369,800,000 738,200,000

 

Since the inception of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, the United States Mint has produced 738.2 million with each honoring a specific national park or national site located in the U.S. or its territories. Interestingly, this two-year total is less than the number of Delaware quarters produced (774,824,000) in 1991 when the United States Mint kicked-off the 50 State Quarters® Program.

Turning to dollars, Johnson, Grant, Hayes and Garfield dollars encompass all of the 2011 Presidential $1 Coins which combined for a mintage total of 297,360,000. That is easily the lowest annual amount since the Presidential $1 Coin program debuted in 2007.

For reference, the following table shows how dollar mintages compare over the years.

US Mint Circulating 2007-2011 Presidential $1 Mintages

  Denver Philadelphia Total
2007 George Washington $1 163,680,000 176,680,000 340,360,000
2007 John Adams $1 112,140,000 112,420,000 224,560,000
2007 Thomas Jefferson $1 102,810,000 100,800,000 203,610,000
2007 James Madison $1 87,780,000 84,560,000 172,340,000
2008 James Monroe $1 60,230,000 64,260,000 124,490,000
2008 John Quincy Adams $1 57,720,000 57,540,000 115,260,000
2008 Andrew Jackson $1 61,070,000 61,180,000 122,250,000
2008 Martin Van Buren $1 50,960,000 51,520,000 102,480,000
2009 William H. Harrison $1 55,160,000 43,260,000 98,420,000
2009 John Tyler $1 43,540,000 43,540,000 87,080,000
2009 James K. Polk $1 41,720,000 46,620,000 88,340,000
2009 Zachary Taylor $1 36,680,000 41,580,000 78,260,000
2010 Millard Fillmore $1 36,960,000 37,520,000 74,480,000
2010 Franklin Pierce $1 38,360,000 38,220,000 76,580,000
2010 James Buchanan $1 36,540,000 36,820,000 73,360,000
2010 Abraham Lincoln $1 48,020,000 49,000,000 97,020,000
2011 Andrew Johnson $1 37,100,000 35,560,000 72,660,000
2011 Ulysses S. Grant $1 37,940,000 38,080,000 76,020,000
2011 Rutherford B. Hayes $1 36,820,000 37,660,000 74,480,000
2011 James Garfield $1 37,100,000 37,100,000 74,200,000
Total 1,182,330,000 1,193,890,000 2,376,220,000

 

Since the start of the Presidential $1 coin series, the United States Mint has produced more than 2.37 billion of them.

As for December’s coin production figures, they expectedly decreased from November as the United States Mint began turning its attention toward 2012-dated coins. In some years, no circulating coinage has been produced during the final month. In 2011, no quarters, half dollars or $1 coins were struck in December. Yet, surprisingly, the amount of cents, nickels and dimes minted was rather high. Together, these three coins accounted for a December coin production total of 431.78 million. While that was down 39.7 percent from November, it was up a whopping 438.4 percent from the same time last year.

US Mint Circulating Coin Production December 2011 Totals

Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 135,200,000 170,000,000 305,200,000
Jefferson Nickels 17,040,000 35,040,000 52,080,000
Roosevelt Dimes 42,000,000 32,500,000 74,500,000
2011 Quarters 0 0 0
Kennedy Half Dollars 0 0 0
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Presidential Dollars 0 0 0
Total 194,240,000 237,540,000 431,780,000

 

For reference, production figures on a monthly basis for last year follow.

Monthly US Mint 2011 Coin Production Figures / Mintages

Month Mintages Rank
December 2011 431.78 M 12
November 715.96 M 6
October 690.66 M 7
September 811.42 M 3
August 604.54 M 9
July 821.98 M 2
June 903.06 M 1
May 807.41 M 4
April 640.17 M 8
March 485.50 M 11
February 523.14 M 10
January 764.73 M 5
December 2010 80.200 M 13

 

Coin production figures above are based on data from the United States Mint page: http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/?action=coin_production.

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