US Mint Coin Production Hits 9 Billion in First Half of 2015

by Mike Unser on July 17, 2015 · 4 comments

US coin production soared through the first half of the year

US coin production soared through the first half of 2015

Tack on another busy month for the United States Mint. The agency’s coin production facilities in Philadelphia and Denver pressed over 1.67 billion coins for circulation in June, the second highest monthly total in 8 years and right behind April’s tally of 1.69 billion coins.

With this year’s string of high-output months, the U.S. Mint is striking coins quicker than at any time since 2001. A tad over 9 billion coins have been made through the first half of 2015, supported by an average monthly production pace of 1.5 billion coins.

June’s tally jumped 14.7% from the prior month and 30.8% higher than the same time a year ago. Here’s how the month stacks up against others in the past year:

2014 – 2015 June Coin Production Figures

Month Mintages Rank
June 2015 1,673.95 M 2
May 2015 1,459.86 M 4
April 2015 1,696.56 M 1
March 2015 1,403.44 M 5
February 2015 1,277.96 M 8
January 2015 1,539.15 M 3
December 2014 878.84 M 13
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 6
June 2014 1,279.82 M 7

 

Pennies seem to get swallowed by a black hole as the Federal Reserve always orders more of them than any other denomination — even as it costs the Mint about 1.7 cents to make and distribute each one. The agency struck 913.6 million Lincoln cents in June, representing 54.6% of the circulating-quality coins produced for the month.

In month-over-month production comparisons for coins used every day by Americans:

  • Lincoln cents rose 11.6%.
  • Jefferson nickels jumped 23%.
  • Roosevelt dimes advanced 8.3%.
  • America the Beautiful Quarters surged 31.8%.

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 make 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 slightly. In June, the Mint continued to strike Presidential $1 Coins in modest amounts to support three of this year’s four different designs. Here’s a summary of all the circulating-quality coins produced last month:

US Mint Circulating Coin Production in June 2015

Denomination Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 538,800,000 374,800,000 913,600,000
Jefferson Nickels 99,360,000 66,000,000 165,360,000
Roosevelt Dimes 186,000,000 139,500,000 325,500,000
2015 ATB Quarters 162,200,000 107,000,000 269,200,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 0 0 0
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Presidential Dollars 290,000 0 290,000
Total 986,650,000 687,300,000 1,673,950,000

 

U.S. Mint plants in Denver and Philadelphia manufacture all of America’s coins for commerce. Last month, the Denver Mint produced 986.65 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 687.3 million coins.

Coin Production in First Half of 2015

Through the first half of this year, the Denver Mint struck nearly 4.7 billion coins and the Philadelphia Mint made over 4.36 billion for a combined 9,050,950,000. That’s a 28.8% increase over the 7,028,400,000 coins minted through the first half 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
Denver 2516.8M 461.28M 831.5M 859.4M 2.3M 2.24M 14.85M 4688.37M
Philadelphia 2410.4M 377.52M 779.5M 769.2M 2.3M 2.8M 20.86M 4362.58M
Total 4927.2M 838.8M 1611M 1628.6M 4.6M 5.04M 35.71M 9050.95M

 

If the current monthly average of 1.5 billion coins is maintained through to December, this year’s annual production total would exceed 18.1 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 U.S. Mint produced just over 13.28 billion circulating coins, the most since the 14.4 billion coins in 2007. Because of this year’s quickened pace, the agency is expanding operations and hiring more personnel.

Coin Design Mintages

Outside of additional Truman dollars (+140,000); Eisenhower dollars (+6,000); and Kennedy dollars (+140,000) — all logged as Philadelphia Mint production increases, mintage levels remained unchanged in June for 2015-dated coins featuring one-year only designs. The following table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:

2015 Circulating Coin Production by Design

  Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 2,516,800,000 2,410,400,000 4,927,200,000
Jefferson Nickels 461,280,000 377,520,000 838,800,000
Roosevelt Dimes 831,500,000 779,500,000 1,611,000,000
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 3,500,000 4,900,000 8,400,000
Dwight D. Eisenhower $1 3,646,000 4,900,000 8,546,000
John F. Kennedy $1 4,340,000 6,160,000 10,500,000
Lyndon B. Johnson $1 3,360,000 4,900,000 8,260,000
Total 4,457,166,000 4,204,980,000 8,662,146,000

 

There is again a single difference when subtracting coin totals by design from those by denomination — mintages of America the Beautiful Quarters are higher by 388.8 million. These are a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway quarters for North Carolina. The United States Mint started selling bags and rolls of the coins on June 29. The Mint will continue to make Blue Ridge Parkway quarters through this month and possibly into August before starting on Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge quarters.

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.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Munzen July 17, 2015 at 9:12 pm

Oh well. Nothing like churning out billions of cents to fill piggy banks and keep the zinc lobby happy (not to mention comparable numbers of $1 bills at the behest of Crane Paper).

Vachon July 19, 2015 at 9:27 am

@Munzen : Oh yeah, you’re reminding me. I remember reading back some time ago that dollar bills are lasting longer in circulation. I wonder how much it has to do with declining purchasing power? Have dollar bills finally become nuisance money like cents, nickels, and dimes; that is, more trouble to use than they’re worth?

I’m noticing it at work more often: getting paid in large numbers of dollar bills by customers who appear to be offloading them like they used to do with nickels and dimes when I first started working 🙂

Munzen July 19, 2015 at 1:58 pm

IMO that could certainly be a possible reason. After all, today’s $1 bill is the equivalent of a dime back in the 1970’s. The problem is that even though we didn’t have paper dimes back then too many people insist that we need to keep printing their purchasing-power equivalent today.

Cheech October 25, 2015 at 8:37 pm

I want to bring back the common s minted coins for circulation. Want grand kids to enjoy coin collecting like I did in the 60’s

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