US Coin Production Nears 1.3 Billion in October

by Mike Unser on November 11, 2016 · 6 comments

US Coins and Theodore Roosevelt quarters

Production figures are beginning to arrive for Fort Moultrie and Theodore Roosevelt quarters

Production of American coins for circulation slowed in October to an eight-month low, according to the latest round of United States Mint figures. Still, nearly 1.3 billion in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters were pressed for the month.

In headline comparisons, the level marks declines of 17.6% from September and 26.2% from October of last year. Here’s how the month stacks up against others in the past year:

October 2015 to October 2016 Coin Production Figures

Month Mintages Rank
October 2016 1,297.36 M 10
September 2016 1,573.70 M 4
August 2016 1,302.95 M 9
July 2016 1,807.20 M 1
June 2016 1,582.06 M 3
May 2016 1,550.12 M 5
April 2016 1,339.06 M 8
March 2016 1,446.14 M 7
February 2016 930.26 M 12
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 2

 

The Federal Reserve always orders more Lincoln cents from the U.S. Mint than any other denomination even though it costs about 1.4 cents to make and distribute each one. The Mint struck a combined 816.4 million cents in October, representing 62.9% of the circulating-quality coins produced for the month.

In the latest month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals declined:

  • 8.4% Lincoln cents,
  • 13.8% Jefferson nickels,
  • 40.8% Roosevelt dimes, and
  • 23.7% America the Beautiful Quarters.

Presidential $1 Coins, Native American $1 Coins and Kennedy half-dollars are no longer ordered by Federal Reserve Banks for distribution but the U.S. Mint continues to make them in circulating quality for coin collectors.

In January, the U.S. Mint produced Native American $1 Coins to the expected amounts needed for all of 2016. That is usually how it works for Kennedy half-dollars but in February another 400,000 were pressed at the Philadelphia Mint and then in March another 400,000 were made at the Denver Mint. In October, the Philadelphia Mint reported that Reagan dollars increased by 420,000.

Here’s a summary of all circulating-quality coins produced last month:

US Mint Circulating Coin Production in October 2016

Denomination Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 390,000,000 426,400,000 816,400,000
Jefferson Nickels 70,080,000 63,360,000 133,440,000
Roosevelt Dimes 90,000,000 101,500,000 191,500,000
2016 ATB Quarters 76,800,000 78,800,000 155,600,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 0 0 0
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Presidential Dollars 420,000 0 420,000
Total 627,300,000 670,060,000 1,297,360,000

 

Facilities in Denver and Philadelphia manufacture all U.S. coins for commerce. In October, the two plants made 627.3 million and 670.06 million coins, respectively.

Year to date, the Denver Mint pressed 6,956,440,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint struck 7,388,250,000 coins for a combined 14,344,690,000. That is 5% fewer than the 15,093,180,000 coins minted by this time last year.

This next table lists 2016 coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:

YTD 2016 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination

1 ¢ 5 ¢ 10 ¢ 25 ¢ 50 ¢ N.A. $1 Pres $1 Total:
Denver 3937.2M 674.88M 12805M 1044.4M 2.1M 2.1M 15.26M 6956.44M
Philadelphia 4230.8M 695.76M 1373.5M 1065.23M 2.1M 2.8M 18.06M 7388.25M
Total 8168.0M 1370.64M 2654.0M 2109.63M 4.2M 4.9M 33.32M 14344.69M

 

This year’s monthly average of about 1.43 billion coins tracks over 12 months to over 17.2 billion coins. As a resent comparison, the U.S. Mint in 2015 made just over 17 billion coins for a sixth straight year of growth and the fastest production pace since the 2001.

Coins by Design

Beginning in the report for September, the U.S. Mint publishing early/partial production figures for quarters by design. In the past, the agency reported totals for quarters only after they had finished making them. Keep that in mind when looking below at the updated figures for the Theodore Roosevelt and Fort Moultrie quarters.

2016 Circulating Coin Production by Design

  Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 3,937,200,000 4,230,800,000 8,168,000,000
Jefferson Nickels 674,880,000 695,760,000 1,370,640,000
Roosevelt Dimes 1,280,500,000 1,373,500,000 2,654,000,000
Shawnee National Forest Quarter 151,800,000 155,600,000 307,400,000
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter 223,200,000 215,400,000 438,600,000
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Quarter 424,000,000 434,630,000 858,630,000
Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter 223,200,000 231,600,000 454,800,000
Fort Moultrie Quarter 22,200,000 28,000,000 50,200,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 2,100,000 2,100,000 4,200,000
Native American $1 2,100,000 2,800,000 4,900,000
Richard M. Nixon $1 4,340,000 5,460,000 9,800,000
Gerald R. Ford $1 5,040,000 5,460,000 10,500,000
Ronald Reagan $1 5,880,000 7,140,000 13,020,000
Total 6,956,440,000 7,388,250,000 14,344,690,000

 

Coin production figures in this coin news article are based on data aggregated from the Mint’s webpage at: http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/?action=ProductionFigures.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian Y November 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm

When will the US catch up with Canada & stop making the 1 cent coin?

Stuart J. Wheeler November 11, 2016 at 4:29 pm

The question should be, when will the US catch up with Canada and stop making pennies; stop making halves; stop making $1 banknotes and return the $1 coin to circulation status; stop making $2 banknotes and replace them with a $2 coin like Canada. Dare I say stop production of $5 banknotes also and replace them with a $5 coin. In addition, the $50 and $100 banknotes should be discontinued as well since plastic credit/debit cards are now used for most transactions nowadays.

Munzen November 12, 2016 at 10:32 am

Stu –
I agree completely about getting rid of the $1 and $2 bill in favor of coins! It’s ridiculous that we Americans are so perversely resistant to a $2 denomination (in ANY form) when it works well in nearly every other major country on the planet. And it’s offensive that Congress has bent to Crane Paper’s lobbying to preserve their profits by mandating continued production of oceans of wasteful $1 bills.

That said, the half dollar may not be dead in Canada. There’s been recent talk of eliminating the 5¢ piece as well and revising denominations along the lines of New Zealand’s system. Denominations would follow a true decimal pattern of 10¢, 20¢, 50¢, $1, and $2. Without nickels it would be very difficult to make change for a quarter and in any case there aren’t many Spanish 2-bit pieces still being used, haha!

tom thumb November 13, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Maybe Trump can get rid of the penny, and The $1.00 bill !

Mammoth November 13, 2016 at 7:32 pm

Stuart, I disagree that the $50 and $100 banknotes should be discontinued. I prefer to do my day-to-day financial transactions in cash, and do not want Big Brother tracking what I spend my money on – ad can be done with plastic credit/debit cards.

Speaking of pennies, I pick through rolls of pennies from the bank, and save the pre-1982 cents for when I can sell them for their copper value once production is discontinued. The other day I was pleasantly surprised to find a wheatback penny – a 1956-D – in a roll. Still a few of them out there in circulation!

Mammoth November 15, 2016 at 11:19 am

A follow-up comment:
I just found another wheat back penny – a 1937 in fine condition – in a roll.

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