US Coin Production Highest Since 2006; New Quarter Mintages

by Mike Unser on November 10, 2015 · 6 comments

Bombay quarter and 2016 coins

The latest U.S. Mint coin production figures reveal mintages of the Bombay Hook quarter for Delaware

The United States Mint in ten months this year has struck more coins for circulation than in any year since 2006, according to production figures the agency released on Monday, Nov. 9. The U.S. Mint is on pace to strike more coins than in any year since 2001.

Over 1.75 billion in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters rolled out of U.S. Mint coining presses in October, the highest on record for a month since CoinNews started tracking the data in 2007.

In headline comparisons, the latest total is 19.1% higher than September’s and 50.4% more than in October 2014. Here’s how the month stacks up against others in the past year:

2014 – 2015 October Coin Production Figures

Month Mintages Rank
October 2015 1,757.64 M 1
September 2015 1,476.37 M 7
August 2015 1,142.46 M 11
July 2015 1,665.76 M 4
June 2015 1,673.95 M 3
May 2015 1,459.86 M 6
April 2015 1,696.56 M 2
March 2015 1,403.44 M 8
February 2015 1,277.96 M 9
January 2015 1,539.15 M 5
December 2014 878.84 M 13
November 2014 958.78 M 12
October 2014 1,168.78 M 10

 

Pennies costs about 1.7 cents each to make and distribute, yet the Federal Reserve always orders more of them than any other denomination. In October, the U.S. Mint produced 950.8 million Lincoln cents. That’s 54.1% of the circulating-quality coins made for the month.

In month-over-month comparisons for coins used every day by Americans, October saw:

  • 14.1% more Lincoln cents,
  • 28.4% more Jefferson nickels,
  • 36.1% more Roosevelt dimes, and
  • 14.5% more America the Beautiful Quarters.

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 for coin collectors.

In January, the U.S. Mint pressed 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 September, the Mint made a modest correction to the number of Presidential $1 Coins produced. Here’s a summary of the coins produced last month:

US Mint Circulating Coin Production in October 2015

Denomination Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 458,000,000 492,800,000 950,800,000
Jefferson Nickels 90,480,000 87,360,000 177,840,000
Roosevelt Dimes 159,000,000 163,000,000 322,000,000
2015 ATB Quarters 139,000,000 168,000,000 307,000,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 0 0 0
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Presidential Dollars 0 0 0
Total 846,480,000 911,160,000 1,757,640,000

 

U.S. circulating coin production facilities are located in Denver and Philadelphia. Last month, the Denver Mint produced 846.48 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 911.16 million coins.

Year To Date

For the January to October period, the Denver Mint struck over 7.6 billion coins while the Philadelphia Mint made more than 7.4 billion coins. Their combined output tallies to 15,093,180,000 coins for a 31.9% increase over the 11,446,140,000 coins minted through the same months in 2014, and the most for a year since the 15.5 billion coins in 2006. For another perspective of the sharp production increase, last year’s 12-month total reached just over 13.28 billion coins. This next table lists year to date totals by denomination.

YTD 2015 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination

1 ¢ 5 ¢ 10 ¢ 25 ¢ 50 ¢ N.A. $1 Pres $1 Total
Denver 4081.6M 744.72M 1353.5M 1448.8M 2.3M 2.24M 16.67M 7649.83M
Philadelphia 4115.7M 656.16M 1323.51M 1322.02M 2.3M 2.8M 20.86M 7443.35M
Total 8197.3M 1400.88M 2677.01M 2770.82M 4.6M 5.04M 37.53M 15093.18M

 

The U.S. Mint is averaging a monthly pace of over 1.5 billion coins. Stretched through 12 months, the agency is on track to make 18.1 billion coins this year. In all likelihood, the ending figure will probably be more in the 17 to 17.5 billion area since production usually tapers off in December. That said, such a level has not been seen since 2001 when over 19.4 billion coins were pressed.

Mintages of 2015 Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter

Mintages for this year’s fourth and twenty-ninth overall America the Beautiful Quarter, which honors Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware, are 206.4 million from Denver and 275 million from Philadelphia for a combined 481.4 million. That’s 42% lower than the previous quarter commemorating Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. It, at 830.8 million, posted the highest mintage in the America the Beautiful Quarter series to date.

Bombay Hook quarters entered circulation beginning on Sept. 14 and the U.S. Mint began selling rolls and bags of them on Sept. 30.

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 4,081,600,000 4,115,700,000 8,197,300,000
Jefferson Nickels 744,720,000 656,160,000 1,400,880,000
Roosevelt Dimes 1,353,500,000 1,323,510,000 2,677,010,000
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 505,200,000 325,600,000 830,800,000
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter 206,400,000 275,004,000 481,404,000
Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter 0 0 0
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 5,320,000 6,160,000 11,480,000
Lyndon B. Johnson $1 4,200,000 4,900,000 9,100,000
Total 7,540,826,000 7,333,534,000 14,874,360,000

 

There is one difference when subtracting coin totals by design from those by denomination — mintages of America the Beautiful Quarters are higher by nearly 218.82 million. These are a portion of the Saratoga National Historical Park quarter for New York. They enter circulation starting on Nov. 16 and the United States Mint will sell bags and rolls of them on Nov. 30.

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.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

jim November 10, 2015 at 1:16 pm

8+ billion pennies – I would not be proud of that number

Munzen November 10, 2015 at 2:38 pm

You got it, Jim. It just amazes me how many people fuss about government waste, but when you bring up the amount wasted on pennies and $1 bills they start bleating about “tradition” and “being uniquely American”. Sigh…

Dave November 11, 2015 at 10:43 am

And those 8+ billion pennies end up in about 500 million jars on counters, bureaus, tucked in closets, etc.

RonnieBGood November 12, 2015 at 6:46 pm

There should be a “turn in your change for no fee day” at banks once a month. This would help bring back so much of the change that sits unused in jars and nightstands, etc. due to the 10% fee that most banks charge to deposit loose change amounts over $5 dollars.

jim November 13, 2015 at 11:49 am

Not a bad idea. I haven’t turned in any change for quite a while since I use credit cards mostly these days but didn’t like having to roll the coins myself and especially writing my account number on the roll for anybody to see. Didn’t cost anything then but maybe all that’s changed now. Before when I had too much change accumulated I would take it along with me when I went to Las Vegas and gave it to the cashier. All the coin processing was done for free, no rolling and no account number.
At some stores around town there are coin counters where one could dump their loose change for a 7% fee the store would charge. That’ll save you 3% but maybe their fee has gone up to 10% by now.

Seth Riesling November 14, 2015 at 11:40 pm

RonnieBGood –

Great idea! Check out your local federal credit unions guys, since they are tax-exempt & can offer more free or lower cost services than federal banks who are all required to pay taxes. My local credit union has free coin counting machines at each branch that anyone can use! You don’t even have to be a member to use this service. The machines print out a paper voucher to take to a teller to get your amount in Federal Reserve Notes. My nephews love going with me with their loose coins to watch how the machine works. I am amazed at how many coins my four nephews accumulate. President FDR had a “piggy bank campaign” that encouraged people to turn in coins at banks to help stimulate the economy during the Great Depression. A recent Federal Reserve study estimates that USA households have a total of approximately $5 billion in loose change in their homes & vehicles. That amount is equal to the figure the Professional Numismatists Guild says USA coin collectors spent on USA rare coins with their PNG-member coin dealers in 2014. Amazing!

-NumisDudeTX

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