U.S. Coin Production Tops 6.9 Billion in First Half of 2018

by Mike Unser on July 13, 2018 · 1 comment

U.S. Circulating Coins

The U.S. Mint produced 6,939,814,000 coins for circulation in the first half of this year

After surging to a four-month high in May, United States Mint coin production slowed some in June even as facilities in Philadelphia and Denver struck nearly 1.2 billion coins for circulation.

The U.S. Mint manufactured just over 6.9 billion coins in the first half of 2018 — a seemingly huge amount yet it’s tracking as a third slower year after production peaked in 2015 with the most coins minted since 2011.

Only two months from this year had higher production totals compared to the same months in 2017. Here’s how June stack up against others months in the past year:

June 2017 to June 2018 Circulating Coin Production

Month Mintages Rank
June 2019 1,198.34 M 8
May 2018 1,291.76 M 5
April 2018 878.74 M 12
March 2018 902.924 M 11
February 2018 1,066.51 M 10
January 2018 1,601.54 M 1
December 2017 762.86 M 13
November 2017 1,346.26 M 3
October 2017 1,423.54 M 2
September 2017 1,316.22 M 4
August 2017 1,167.48 M 9
July 2017 1,254.74 M 6
June 2017 1,252.88 M 7

 

The Federal Reserve always orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination even as it costs the U.S. Mint 1.82 cents to make and distribute each one. The bureau minted 746.8 million Lincoln cents in June, representing 62.3% of the circulating-quality coins produced for the month.

Month-Over-Month

In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in June saw:

  • 3.3% more Lincoln cents,
  • 30% fewer Jefferson nickels,
  • 7% fewer Roosevelt dimes, and
  • 29% fewer America the Beautiful quarter dollars.

Native American $1 Coins and Kennedy half-dollars are no longer ordered by Federal Reserve Banks but they are still made in circulating-quality for coin collectors. In January, the U.S. Mint tends to strike both coins to the expected amounts needed for the entire year.

Higher Kennedy Half-Dollar Mintages

However, Mint in February did produce 1.8 million more 2018-D Kennedy half-dollars. Then in March it struck another 3.2 million from Denver and 1.2 million more for Philadelphia. None were pressed in April, May or June.

Mintages for the half-dollar are at 5.4 million from Denver and 4.8 million from Philadelphia for a combined 10.2 million coins — the most since 2001 and more than doubling 2017. Last year’s release ended with splits of 2.9 million from Denver and 1.8 million from Philadelphia for a combined 4.7 million coins.

Here’s a summary of all coins produced for circulation last month:

US Mint Circulating Coin Production in June 2018

Denomination Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 370,400,000 376,400,000 746,800,000
Jefferson Nickels 35,760,000 38,880,000 74,640,000
Roosevelt Dimes 95,500,000 111,000,000 206,500,000
ATB Quarters 86,000,000 84,400,000 170,400,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 0 0 0
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Total 587,660,000 610,680,000 1,198,340,000

 

U.S. Mint facilities in Denver and Philadelphia manufacture all of America’s coins for commerce. Last month, the Denver Mint made 587.66 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 610.68 million coins.

Coin Production in First Half of 2018

Year-to-date figures at 3,380,280,000 coins from Denver and 3,559,531,000 coins from Philadelphia total to 6,939,814,000 coins, marking a 8.6% decline from the 7,588,260,000 coins minted in the first half of 2017.

This next table lists 2018 coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:

YTD 2018 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination

1 ¢ 5 ¢ 10 ¢ 25 ¢ 50 ¢ N.A. $1 Total:
Denver 2054M 301.68M 487.5M 529.6M 5.4M 2.1M 3380.28M
Philadelphia 2158.8M 305.52M 533.5M 555.514M 4.8M 1.4M 3559.534M
Total 4212.8M 607.2M 1021M 1085.114M 10.2M 3.5M 6939.814M

 

The 2018 monthly average of about 1.16 billion coins tracks over 12 months to roughly 13.9 billion coins. In 2017, the U.S. Mint produced over 14.8 billion coins for circulation — the third quickest for a year since 2001, after the more than 16 billion coins were made in 2017 and the over 17 billion coins were made in 2015.

Mintages by Unique Design

The U.S. Mint through the first half of this year has released four 2018-dated coins with one-year-only designs. They include the:

Mintages for the 2018 Native American dollars are 2.1 million from Denver and 1.4 million from Philadelphia for a combined 3.5 million coins. Last year’s release ended with splits of 1.54 million from Denver and 1.82 million from Philadelphia for 3.36 million coins.

Production figures for June include 279.2 million quarters that have yet to be officially assigned to a design. These are a portion of the Voyageurs National Park quarters which started to circulate in June. More are being made. Their ending mintage should become public in August.

This last table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:

2018 Circulating Coin Production by Design

  Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 2,054,000,000 2,158,800,000 4,212,800,000
Jefferson Nickels 301,680,000 305,520,000 607,200,000
Roosevelt Dimes 487,500,000 533,500,000 1,021,000,000
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Quarter (MI) 182,600,000 186,714,000 369,314,000
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Quarter (WI) 213,400,000 223,200,000 436,600,000
Voyageurs National Park Quarter (MN) 0 0 0
Cumberland Island National Seashore Quarter (GA) 0 0 0
Block Island National Wildlife Refuge Quarter (RI) 0 0 0
Kennedy Half-Dollars 5,400,000 4,800,000 10,200,000
Native American $1 Coins 2,100,000 1,400,000 3,500,000
Total 3,246,680,000 3,413,934,000 6,660,614,000

 

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Obie49

Why the large quanity of half dollars? Usually 1.5 to 2 million for each mint is enough to supply demand with plenty left over. What is the Fed up to? Very unusual.