The amount of circulating coins produced in January for U.S. commerce was the highest in three months, newly released data from the United States Mint shows.
U.S. Mint figures also indicate a quick 2016 start for cent and dime production and likely ending mintages for 2016 Kennedy half-dollars and 2016 Native American $1 Coins.
Coining presses in the Philadelphia and Denver Mints struck more than 1.5 billion coins for circulation last month, representing a 114.2% increase from December and a 1.5% decline from a year earlier. December is normally a very soft production time for the U.S. Mint as the agency shifts gears for the coming year. January, conversely, is usually one of the better production months.
The following table offers monthly circulating coin production totals and their rankings over the past year.
2015 – 2016 January Coin Production Figures
|January 2016||1,515.84 M||6|
|December 2015||707.79 M||13|
|November 2015||1,245.73 M||11|
|October 2015||1,757.64 M||1|
|September 2015||1,476.37 M||7|
|August 2015||1,142.46 M||12|
|July 2015||1,665.76 M||4|
|June 2015||1,673.95 M||3|
|May 2015||1,459.86 M||8|
|April 2015||1,696.56 M||2|
|March 2015||1,403.44 M||9|
|February 2015||1,277.96 M||10|
|January 2015||1,539.15 M||5|
Pennies cost more to make and distribute than they’re worth (1.43 cents each in FY2015). Despite that, the Federal Reserve always orders more of them than any other denomination. The U.S. Mint struck 822.8 million cents in January, or 54.3% of the circulating-quality coins produced for the month. In year-over-year comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals:
- Surged 23.5% for Lincoln cents,
- Tumbled 27.5% for Jefferson nickels,
- Advanced 8.3% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- Declined 34% for 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 Mint continues to make them in circulating-quality for coin collectors.
In January, the U.S. Mint strikes half-dollars and Native American $1 Coins at the expected amounts needed for the entire year. Stronger-than-normal demand from collectors can result in more, as apparently happened last year when the Mint in March recorded additional 2015 Native American dollars. During the next few months, Presidential $1 Coins will be produced to support the last of the three designs.
To date, the U.S. Mint has released three 2016 coins with one-year-only designs. They include the:
- 2016 Native American $1 Coin, released on Jan. 27.
- 2016 Shawnee National Forest Quarter for Illinois, released on Feb 1.
- 2016 Richard M. Nixon, released on Feb. 3.
Reported mintages for the 2016 Native American $1 Coin are 2.1 million from Denver and 2.8 million from Philadelphia for a combined 4.9 million coins. Last year’s dollar ended with splits of 2.24 million from Denver and the same 2.8 million from Philadelphia for 5.04 million coins.
Finalized mintages for the Shawnee quarter and Nixon dollar should be available next month.
Here’s a break down for all circulating-quality coins made by the U.S. Mint in January:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in January 2016
|2016 ATB Quarters||151,800,000||157,600,000||309,400,000|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||1,700,000||1,700,000||3,400,000|
|Native American $1s||2,100,000||2,800,000||4,900,000|
In January, the Philadelphia Mint produced 756.06 million coins and the Denver Mint produced 759.78 million coins.
While unlikely, especially with typically low December totals and other monthly fluctuations mixed in, if the current production pace stretched through to the end of this year, 2016 annual mintages would reach nearly 18.2 billion coins. The U.S. Mint in 2015 struck just over 17 billion coins for circulation, marking a sixth straight year of growth and the quickest annual pace since the 2001 tally of 19.4 billion coins.
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.