In May, and for a fifth month in a row, more than 1 billion circulating coins rolled out of United States Mint presses. The pace was faster than a year ago, though it did slow from April when the production tally notched the highest monthly level than in any since 2007.
New coin production figures published Monday by the agency also show mintages for the recently released Kisatchie National Forest Quarter and for the upcoming Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential $1 Coin.
In the key comparisons, May’s production total slipped 14% from April but climbed 10% from the same month last year. Here’s how the month stacked up against others in the past year:
2014 – 2015 May Coin Production Figures
|January 2015||1,539.15 M||2|
|November 2014||958.78 M||11|
|October 2014||1,168.78 M||9|
|September 2014||1,004.24 M||10|
|August 2014||913.38 M||12|
|July 2014||1,331.34 M||5|
|June 2014||1,279.82 M||7|
|May 2014||1,326.80 M||6|
Pennies cost more to make and distribute (1.7 cents) than they’re worth, yet the Federal Reserve always orders more of them from the Mint than any other denomination. The agency struck 818.8 million Lincoln cents in May, representing 56.1% of all the circulating-quality coins produced in the month.
In month-over-month production comparisons for coins used every day by Americans:
- Lincoln cents fell 18.7%.
- Jefferson nickels rose 4.3%.
- Roosevelt dimes advanced 3.6%.
- America the Beautiful Quarters declined 23.9%.
Presidential $1 Coins, Native American $1 Coins and Kennedy half-dollars are no longer ordered by Federal Reserve Banks but the United States Mint continues to strike them in circulating-quality for coin collectors.
In January, the U.S. Mint produced 2015 Kennedy halves to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. That is typically how it works for Native American $1 Coins as well but in March their number grew by 140,000. In May, the Mint continued to strike Presidential $1 Coins to support the last of the four different designs this year. Here’s a summary of all the circulating-quality coins produced last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in May 2015
|2015 ATB Quarters||99,400,000||104,800,000||204,200,000|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|Native American $1s||0||0||0|
U.S. Mint plants in Denver and Philadelphia manufacture all of America’s coins for commerce. Last month, the Denver Mint produced 686.68 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 773.18 million coins.
For the January to May period, the Denver Mint produced just over 3.7 billion coins and the Philadelphia Mint made more than 3.6 billion coins. That brings the year-to-date tally for both facilities to 7,377,000,000 coins for a 28.3% increase over the 5,748,580,000 coins minted during the first five months of 2014. This next table lists year-to-date coin totals by denomination:
YTD 2015 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination
|1 ¢||5 ¢||10 ¢||25 ¢||50 ¢||N.A. $1||Pres $1||Total:|
The latest 2015 monthly average of 1.475 billion coins is poised to place this year’s annual coin production total atop 17.7 billion coins. Such a level has not been seen since 2001 when the United States Mint pressed over 19.4 billion coins. Last year, the agency produced a bit more than 13.28 billion circulating coins, the most since the 14.4 billion coins in 2007. Because of this year’s quickened pace, the Mint is expanding operations and hiring more personnel.
Mintages of 2015 Kisatchie National Forest Quarters
Mintages for this year’s second America the Beautiful Quarter, which honors Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana, are 379.6 million from Denver and 397.2 million from Philadelphia for a combined 776.8 million.
That’s easily the highest of the twenty-seven America the Beautiful Quarters officially released since the series start in 2010. The next highest is the 2013 Mount Rushmore quarter at 504.2 million and then the 2014 Arches National Park quarter at 465.6 million.
Mintages of Lyndon B. Johnson $1 Coins
U.S. Mint presses saw fewer Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential $1 Coins than the prior dollar commemorating John F. Kennedy. There’s little surprise there. Johnson dollars are scheduled for an August release in U.S. Mint-sold rolls, bags and boxes. There are 8.26 million of them, with 3.36 million from Denver and 4.9 million from Philadelphia.
The following table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:
2015 Circulating Coin Production by Design
|Homestead National Monument of America Quarter||248,600,000||214,400,000||463,000,000|
|Kisatchie National Forest Quarter||379,600,000||397,200,000||776,800,000|
|Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter||–||–||–|
|Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter||–||–||–|
|Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter||–||–||–|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||2,300,000||2,300,000||4,600,000|
|Native American $1||2,240,000||2,800,000||5,040,000|
|Harry S. Truman $1||3,360,000||4,900,000||8,260,000|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower $1||3,640,000||4,900,000||8,540,000|
|John F. Kennedy $1||4,200,000||6,160,000||10,360,000|
|Lyndon B. Johnson $1||3,360,000||4,900,000||8,260,000|
There is one difference when subtracting the totals by design from the overall production figures by denomination — mintages of America the Beautiful Quarters are higher by 119.62 million. These are a small portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway Quarters for North Carolina. The United States Mint will officially introduce the quarter on June 25.
Coin production figures in this coin news article are based on data aggregated from the U.S. Mint webpage at: http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/?action=ProductionFigures.