US Mint 2010 Coin Production Crawls in January


Coin production at the United States Mint limped into January with only 218,410,000 coins struck. The pace was quicker than in December, but that is a non comparison since no coins were minted during the final month of last year.

Circulating Coin Production: January 2010

Denver Philadelphia Total
2010 Lincoln Cents 50,000,000 65,230,000 115,230,000
2010 Jefferson Nickels 0 0 0
2010 Roosevelt Dimes 0 0 0
2010 Quarters 0 0 0
2010 Kennedy Half Dollars 1,700,000 1,800,000 3,500,000
2010 Native American $1 14,000,000 11,200,000 25,200,000
2010 Presidential $1s 36,960,000 37,520,000 74,480,000
Total 102,660,000 115,750,000 218,410,000

Measuring apples to apples to a better degree, production in January 2010 was less than half that of January 2009. And the first month of last year was a snail’s pace from prior months, registering a production total of 513,420,000 that was predictive of even slower months ahead. The new figures appear to be waving a red flag, signaling that the tepid economy is likely to seriously impact coinage mintages for a second straight year.

No dimes, nickels or quarters were struck last month. Zero. The nickel and dime standstill is somewhat surprising since their production had already been halted very early into 2009 — back in April to be specific, although the nickels had another small run in June. Then again, most consumers have yet to see 2009-dated coins in their pockets or purses, indicating that a sizable portion could still be caged in vaults waiting for release.

Quarter production coming in flat was predictable. The US Mint has yet to reveal the final designs for the new 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters, and the first of the five quarter-dollars is expected to officially launch only in April. The District of Columbia quarter was produced in the first month of last year, with 71.8 million coined.

Interestingly, the number of $1s minted is actually substantially higher than the totals from January 2009 — 99.68 million versus 77.56 million. While collectors have enjoyed new Native American and Presidential dollars, most in the public have not leant their support, preferring to use paper money instead of heavier $1 coins. It would seem a significant amount of these new dollars could be headed straight to storage. (Read CoinNews article: US Dollar Coins Glut, Supply Far Exceeds Demand.)

The Mint will not have too many more, if at all, 2010 Kennedy Half Dollars to produce this year. These circulating 50c pieces are made for collectors, with a total of 3.5 million already minted. 3.8 million were struck in all of 2009.

The newly designed 2010 Lincoln Cents experienced the most attention. The Philadelphia Mint was the busiest at 65,230,000 compared to Denver’s 50,000,000. Combined, 115,230,000 were struck in January. Still, that is down drastically from January 2009 when 294 million was the tally. There are reports that the new penny has begun to enter circulation, although the official release ceremony for it will not occur until Feb. 11.

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I look forward to another low-mintage year. Let’s hope 2010 not only does not disappoint, but is actually lower than 2009’s mintage.