US Mint Coin Production Tops 1 Billion in October 2012

by Mike Unser on November 12, 2012 · 7 comments

2012-D Lincoln Cent

61.3% of the more than 1 billion coins produced by the U.S. Mint in October were pennies

For the first month since early into the Great Recession, U.S. circulating coin production topped 1 billion coins, United States Mint data for October shows.

Levels compared to the previous month were down a bit for nickels but sharply higher across pennies, dimes and quarters — more of the recently released Denali National Park quarters. And while no other denominations were struck, production in October at 1.04 billion coins easily outpaced prior 2012 months.

2011-2012 October Coin Production Figures / Mintages

Month Mintages Rank
October 2012 1,040.12 M 1
September 2012 905.34 M 4
August 2012 655.55 M 11
July 2012 906.62 M 3
June 2012 975.59 M 2
May 2012 819.86 M 6
April 2012 858.04 M 5
March 2012 781.70 M 8
February 2012 579.86 M 12
January 2012 802.50 M 7
December 2011 431.78 M 13
November 2011 715.96 M 9
October 2011 690.66 M 10


Denver and Philadelphia Mint facilities are tasked with producing all circulating coins used in commerce. Pennies consumed most of their time with the 638 million made, accounting for 61.3% of the entire October production.

While the pace of striking Jefferson nickels fell 3.0% from September, other coins posted month-over-month increases of:

  • 5.3% for Lincoln cents,
  • 54.4% for Roosevelt dimes and
  • 42.8% for America the Beautiful Quarters

In seven of the last eight months, the Denver Mint has logged the highest coin output. The following table lists circulating coin production figures for the location and types of coins minted in October.

Circulating Coinage Production in October 2012

Denomination Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 338,800,000 299,200,000 638,000,000
Jefferson Nickels 42,480,000 42,240,000 84,720,000
Roosevelt Dimes 122,000,000 78,000,000 200,000,000
2012 ATB Quarters 62,400,000 55,000,000 117,400,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 0 0 0
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Presidential Dollars 0 0 0
Total 565,680,000 474,440,000 1,040,120,000


U.S. coins produced year-to-date is 8,325,130,000. That surpasses the just over 8.2 billion coins minted through all of 2011. Splits by facility so far this year are 4,139,930,000 for Denver and 4,185,200,000 for Philadelphia. The following grid offers a breakdown of the mintages by coin design.

2012 Circulating Coin Production / Mintages by Design

  Denver Philadelphia 2012 Total
Lincoln Cents 2,580,000,000 2,831,200,000 5,411,200,000
Jefferson Nickels 486,000,000 409,200,000 895,200,000
Roosevelt Dimes 785,500,000 719,000,000 1,504,500,000
El Yunque Quarter 25,000,000 25,800,000 50,800,000
Chaco Culture Quarter 22,000,000 22,000,000 44,000,000
Acadia Quarter 21,606,000 24,800,000 46,406,000
Hawai’i Quarter 78,600,000 46,200,000 124,800,000
Denali Quarter not yet reported not yet reported not yet reported
Kennedy Half Dollars 1,700,000 1,800,000 3,500,000
Native American $1 3,080,000 2,800,000 5,880,000
Arthur Presidential $1 4,060,000 6,020,000 10,080,000
Cleveland (1st Term) Presidential $1 4,060,000 5,460,000 9,520,000
Harrison Presidential $1 4,200,000 5,640,001 9,840,001
Cleveland (2nd Term) Presidential $1 3,920,000 10,680,000 14,600,000
Total 4,019,726,000 4,110,600,001 8,130,326,001


Figures by design for Presidential $1 Coins and America the Beautiful Quarters remain unchanged. But as stated earlier, the U.S. Mint is making more Denali National Park Quarters. The 25-cent pieces, which were placed into circulation exactly one week ago, could have the highest mintage of any America the Beautiful Quarter.

The U.S. Mint’s year-to-date production of 460,810,000 quarters is higher than the 266,006,000 total that results from summing up production figures by quarter design. The difference is 194,804,000 million — very likely the amount of Denali National Park Quarters produced through October.

That is not an absolute guarantee because the U.S. Mint does reserve the right to restart production of certain coin designs released during the current year. It has done so several times this year with the 2012 Presidential $1 coins. However, it has not for 2012 quarters after their mintages are published.

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And this year was looking so good for having the lowest production of clad quarters ever. First Hawai’i Volcanos, now Denali working together to ensure 1969 and 1968 keep their 1st and 2nd place prizes forevermore.


61% of the Mint’s capacity devoted to the lowest-denomination coin
45% of the BEP’s capacity devoted to the lowest-denomination bill

Helloooooo . . . .


$54 million and counting in pennies, each year, every year, what a total waste of effort and money. Produce the collector cent and make the profit, and thats enough. Please dear God, let this madness end.


How come we can never go backward? Why not slowly deflate the dollar in order to restore the value of our coinage over time? If we can handle sustained 2-3% annual inflation of the currency, surely the economy can handle sustained 2-3% annual deflation.


Anyone collecting this stuff is a fool.


/* If we can handle sustained 2-3% annual inflation of the currency, surely the economy can handle sustained 2-3% annual deflation. */
As bad as inflation is for an economy, deflation at the same rate can actually be worse. For example one of the expectations in borrowing is that a loan will be paid back in dollars that are worth the same or less than they are today. But say there’s 2% deflation. A company needs to borrow $1m for 5 years will have the expectation of repaying the principal in dollars that have a present value of $(1.02**5). They’ll be far more reluctant to invest unless they somehow get a significant compensatory ROI and/or a major break on the loan’s interest.


Thus, you wouldn’t borrow unless you were sure you needed it or you would save up more capital first in order to reduce the size of the loan. If deflation were the norm, interest rates would likely be lower in anticipation of the dollars being worth more down the road.