American coin production rose sharply in March and over the same time a year ago, newly released figures from the United States Mint reveal.
Despite a circulating coin output that consisted of minimal quarters and dollars, the production pace surged 34.8% from February and overshadowed March of last year by 61.0%.
For the year and first quarter, circulation production totaled 2.16406 billion coins — the quickest yearly start since the U.S. economic downswing in 2008. Combined across all denominations, the U.S. Mint produced 781.7 million of them in March, marking a third straight monthly increase. Bearing in mind that circulating $1 coin production was canceled by the Treasury Department in December and dollars are now minted in significantly lower quantities and singly for collectors, last month still ranked 7th overall over the past year.
2011-2012 March Coin Production Figures / Mintages
|March 2012||781.70 M||7|
|February 2012||579.86 M||11|
|January 2012||802.50 M||5|
|December 2011||431.78 M||13|
|November 2011||715.96 M||7|
|October 2011||690.66 M||8|
|September 2011||811.42 M||3|
|August 2011||604.54 M||10|
|July 2011||821.98 M||2|
|June 2011||903.06 M||1|
|May 2011||807.41 M||4|
|April 2011||640.17 M||9|
|March 2011||485.50 M||12|
Gains over the previous month were lifted on the shoulders of a 58.8% boost in Lincoln cents, a 52.2% uptick in Jefferson nickels and a 6.3% increase in Roosevelt dimes.
Two U.S. Mint facilities, one located in Denver and the other in Philadelphia, are responsible for producing all of America’s circulating coinage — those coins used in everyday commerce. Swapping leadership positions from the previous month, Denver’s Mint was more active with a coin production total of 403.42 million against Philadelphia’s 378.28 million.
Pennies consumed most of the Mints’ time as they accounted for 70.8% of the entire monthly production total. With Kennedy halves and now $1 coins minted only for coin collectors and on an as-needed basis, the production tables below appear emptied when coupled with last month’s modest output of quarters.
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in March 2012
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|Native American $1s||0||0||0|
Revelations were nil in terms of new mintages declared for upcoming America the Beautiful Quarter and Presidential $1 Coin releases. Last month’s production report called preliminary (probably finalized) Arthur $1 and El Yunque quarter mintages. To date, each coin is the scarcest in their respective series.
Since, the U.S. Mint has struck 3.36 million more Presidential dollars, evenly split between Denver and Philadelphia. These $1 coins likely feature the portrait of Grover Cleveland — the second of the 2012 Presidential $1 Coins. The Mint has not yet indicated when circulating Cleveland dollars will be made available, after having just released rolls and boxes of the first 2012 Chester Arthur $1 coin on Thursday, April 5, 2012.
As for quarters, mintages quietly climbed 200,000. The U.S. Mint in February had already begun producing the Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter for New Mexico — the second of the 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters. With March figures added in, Chaco Culture quarter mintages stand at 44 million — again, evenly split with 22 million struck at each minting facility. This would seem to make a strong argument that its production is over, with an official declaration simply delayed. If so, the Chaco Culture quarter would take over the title as scarcest of the America the Beautiful Quarters. It would appear that will not be known or revealed until May, however. The Chaco Culture quarter started to circulate on Tuesday, April 2, 2012.
The following table provides a look into the available year-to-date mintages for coins by specific design.
US Mint 2012 Coin Production / Mintages by Design
|El Yunque Quarter||25,000,000||25,800,000||50,800,000|
|Chaco Culture Quarter||0||0||0|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||1,700,000||1,800,000||3,500,000|
|Native American $1||2,800,000||2,800,000||5,600,000|
|Arthur Presidential $1||2,800,000||2,940,000||5,740,000|
|Cleveland Presidential $1||0||0||0|
|Harrison Presidential $1||0||0||0|
|Cleveland Presidential $1||0||0||0|
Visit this site’s US Coins Information page for details on many of the coins listed above. Current coin production figures are based on data from the United States Mint page: http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/?action=coin_production.