Lincoln Cent Production Rises in May, Dime and Nickel Mintages Unchanged


Several coins received a fair share of attention in May while others were simply ignored, the latest US Mint production figures reveal. Nearly 300 million additional Lincoln Rail Splitter Cents were struck. Dime, nickel and half-dollar production remained flat. Guam quarters emerged for the first time and Native American $1 coins were minted in abundance.

Coin Production Totals by US Mint Facility – May Only

Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Formative Years Cent 154,400,000 126,800,000 281,200,000
Guam Quarter 42,600,000 45,000,000 87,600,000
Native American $1 20,020,000 11,900,000 31,920,000
Tyler Presidential $1 0 -1,680,000 -1,680,000
Total 217,020,000 182,020,000 399,040,000

There is no surprise in the skip over of Kennedy half dollars in the production tables. Public demand for the 50 cent pieces has never been high. Shocking, of course, are the missing Jefferson Nickels and Roosevelt Dimes. But then that is old news as the Mint forewarned of their stoppage in April (see CoinNews article: US Mint Halts 2009 Nickel and Dimes Production.)

Collectors will take note of the Lincoln cent and Guam production figures. The latter numbers show the quarters are the scarcest in the series with mintages not seen for quarter-dollars since the 1950s. As far as the Lincoln cents, if the May output trend continues, the amount of Formative Years pennies will exceed the 634,800,000 minted Birthplace cents by mid June. More than 281 million of the coins were struck in May alone for a new yearly total of 510,800,000 across Denver and Philadelphia.

Running in 3rd place for the month were Native American $1 coins. There has not been a noticeable outcry for more $1 coins, but law dictates that 20 percent of all dollar coins struck each year must be Native American $1s.

In terms of scarcity levels by comparison, the Guam and and Lincoln Formative Years coins from Denver are the winners — at least to date. Denver has minted 112.4 million less pennies and 2.4 million fewer quarters than Philadelphia.

For reference, here are total mintage figures up through May:

US Mint Circulating Coin Production (Jan. 2009 – May 2009)

Denver Philadelphia May Increase 2009 Total Total by Type
Birthplace Cent 350,400,000 284,400,000 0 634,800,000 1,145,600,000
Formative Years Cent 199,200,000 311,600,000 281,200,000 510,800,000
Jefferson Nickel 39,360,000 39,840,000 0 79,200,000 79,200,000
Roosevelt Dime 49,500,000 96,500,000 0 146,000,000 146,000,000
DC Quarter 88,800,000 83,600,000 0 172,400,000 399,200,000
Puerto Rico Quarter 86,000,000 53,200,000 0 139,200,000
Guam Quarter 42,600,000 45,000,000 87,600,000 87,600,000
Kennedy Half Dollar 1,700,000 1,700,000 0 3,400,000 3,400,000
Native American $1 23,800,000 27,300,000 31,920,000 51,100,000 51,100,000
Harrison Presidential $1 55,160,000 43,260,000 0 98,420,000 185,500,000
Tyler Presidential $1 43,540,000 43,540,000 -1,680,000 87,080,000
Total 980,060,000 1,029,940,000 399,040,000   2,010,000,000

See also 2009 Penny Mintages at

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Why is there a negative number listed for Tyler Dollars?


The Mint figures for May are actually lower than what the Mint reported in April by -1,680,000. In that sense, it’s listed more for reference purposes.