U.S. Mint Strikes Over 1.25 Billion Coins for Circulation in April

by Mike Unser on May 24, 2019 · 5 comments

2019 US Coins - cents, dimes, nickels and quarter

In April, the U.S. Mint produced more than 1.2 billion coins for circulation

U.S. coin production picked up in April, topped one billion coins for a fourth straight month, and was quicker than a year ago, according to the latest round of manufacturing figures from the United States Mint.

In the headline monthly figure, U.S. Mint coining presses struck over 1.25 billion coins to mark gains of 18.9% from March and 42.7% from April 2018.

Here’s how the month ranks against others in the past year:

April 2018 to April 2019 Circulating Coin Production

Month Mintages Rank
April 2019 1,253.76 M 6
March 2019 1,054.90 M 8
February 2019 1,256.10 M 5
January 2019 1,507.30 M 1
December 2018 560.64 M 13
November 2018 1,031.24 M 9
October 2018 1,382.18 M 3
September 2018 976.82 M 10
August 2018 831.56 M 12
July 2018 1,403.16 M 2
June 2018 1,198.34 M 7
May 2018 1,291.76 M 4
April 2018 878.74 M 11

 

The Federal Reserve always orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination even with the latest data showing it costs the U.S. Mint 2.06 cents to make and distribute each one. The bureau produced 740.8 million Lincoln cents in April, representing 59.1% 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 April saw:

  • 25.5% more Lincoln cents,
  • 2.1% fewer Jefferson nickels,
  • 5.5% more Roosevelt dimes, and
  • 27.9% more 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 finish for coin collectors. In January, the U.S. Mint tends to strike both coins to the expected amounts needed for the entire year.

That said, the bureau’s data for February did show an increase of 140,000 in 2019-D Native American dollars. Reported mintages for the space-themed piece are at 1.54 million for Denver and 1.4 million for Philadelphia for a combined 2.94 million coins — up from last year’s dollar mintages by the added 140,000.

Mintages for the 2019 Kennedy half-dollar remained the same for a third straight month, totaling 3.4 million coins with equal splits between the Denver and Philadelphia Mints. Last year’s half-dollar was the most produced since the one from 2001. It saw 6.1 million from Denver and 4.8 million from Philadelphia for a combined 10.9 million coins.

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

US Mint Circulating Coin Production in April 2019

Denomination Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 336,000,000 404,800,000 740,800,000
Jefferson Nickels 48,000,000 63,360,000 111,360,000
Roosevelt Dimes 100,000,000 121,000,000 221,000,000
ATB Quarters 88,200,000 92,400,000 180,600,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 0 0 0
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Total 572,200,000 681,560,000 1,253,760,000

 

U.S. Mint facilities in Denver and Philadelphia manufacture all of America’s coins for commerce. Last month, the Philadelphia Mint produced 681.56 million coins and the Denver Mint made 572.2 million coins.

Year-to-date, the Philadelphia Mint struck 2,543,440,000 coins and the Denver Mint struck 2,528,620,000 coins for a combined 5,072,060,000 coins — 14% more than the 4,449,714,000 coins minted through the first four months of 2018.

This next table lists 2019 coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:

YTD 2019 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination

1 ¢ 5 ¢ 10 ¢ 25 ¢ 50 ¢ N.A. $1 Total:
Denver 1466.4M 229.48M 459.5M 370M 1.7M 1.54M 2528.62M
Philadelphia 1466.4M 260.64M 498.5M 314.8M 1.7M 1.4M 2543.44M
Total 2932.8M 490.12M 958M 684.8M 3.4M 2.94M 5072.06M

 

If the current production pace stretched through to December, the annual 2019 mintage total would reach 15.2 billion coins. The Mint made over 13.1 billion coins for circulation in 2018.

Mintages by Unique Design

So far, the U.S. Mint has released three annually issued coins with one-year-only designs. They include:

The following table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:

2019 Circulating Coin Production by Design

  Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 1,466,400,000 1,466,400,000 2,932,800,000
Jefferson Nickels 229,480,000 260,640,000 490,120,000
Roosevelt Dimes 459,500,000 498,500,000 958,000,000
Lowell National Historical Park Quarter (MA) 182,200,000 165,800,000 348,000,000
American Memorial Park Quarter (MP)
War in the Pacific National Historical Park Quarter (GU)
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Quarter (TX)
Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Quarter (ID)
Kennedy Half-Dollars 1,700,000 1,700,000 3,400,000
Native American $1 Coins 1,540,000 1,400,000 2,940,000
Total 2,340,820,000 2,394,440,000 4,735,260,000

 

There are 336.8 million in quarters that the U.S. Mint has yet to officially assign to a design. These are likely American Memorial Park quarters that started circulating last month.

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Lee
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Why not go to an Aluminum cent to get costs under control.

c_q
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c_q

can we stop the cent production already? More than half the production was for little bits of metal that people don’t use again, hence they have to make more. Just like with half dollar and (now) dollar coin, they can be made for collectors. Why not just stop making them for circulation, there’s trillions available out in the wild, and stores can just round off to nearest nickel if they don’t have any cents to give out.

Seth Riesling
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Seth Riesling

Lee –

When I lived in Japan from1968-1971, they already had their lowest denomination coin made of aluminum. But, U.S. Mint studies show that even an aluminum 1-cent coin would cost more to produce than its face value. Sad situation for sure!

NumisdudeTX

Lee
Guest

Then I guess the only thing keeping the cent and nickel alive is the profit from the other denominations. Thanks for the info

Munzen
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Munzen

Another problem with aluminum coins is that they’re so light they’re difficult to handle and process. Admittedly 1974 was a long time ago but supposedly experiments with the trial run of Al cents back then showed they didn’t bag well and even blew away. Of course that doesn’t explain how other countries manage!

Also getting rid of nickels will be problematic so long as we have quarters. Because 25 is an odd multiple of 5, making change to the nearest 10¢ would involve a lot of dimes. Canada looked into that issue back in 2015 and the RCM concluded they’d have to withdraw their 25¢ coins and issue 20¢ pieces instead.