U.S. coin production in April climbed sharply over the previous month and from the same time last year, newly reported figures from the United States Mint show. Just three coins were produced for circulation last month, plus one for collectors.
Among the updated numbers were mintages for the Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarter — the second of five 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters, and three of the four 2012 Presidential dollars honoring Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison.
Coin production figures reveal that the U.S. Mint struck 858.04 million coins for circulation in April, marking a 9.8% increase from the previous month and an improvement of 34.0% over April 2011. The level ranks as the second best over the past dozen months and maintains the quickest pace for a year since the Great Recession.
2011-2012 April Coin Production Figures / Mintages
|April 2012||858.04 M||2|
|March 2012||781.70 M||7|
|February 2012||579.86 M||12|
|January 2012||802.50 M||6|
|December 2011||431.78 M||13|
|November 2011||715.96 M||8|
|October 2011||690.66 M||9|
|September 2011||811.42 M||4|
|August 2011||604.54 M||11|
|July 2011||821.98 M||3|
|June 2011||903.06 M||1|
|May 2011||807.41 M||5|
|April 2011||640.17 M||10|
U.S. Mint coin presses were silent for Kennedy halves, Native American dollars and quarters. (As mentioned, updated mintages were published for quarters struck back in March, but more on that later.) As is always the case, pennies consumed most of the Mint’s time as they accounted for 68.5% of the bureau’s entire monthly production.
Gains over the previous month were supported by 6.2% more Lincoln cents, 39.3% more Roosevelt dimes and 245.8% more Presidential dollars. These were needed to offset 7.9% fewer Jefferson nickels and the aforementioned lack of quarters.
U.S. Mint facilities located in Denver and Philadelphia are soley responsible for producing all of America’s circulating coins. For a second straight month, the Denver Mint was busier with a coin production tally of 435.7 million. In contrast, 422.34 million coins were reported out of the Philadelphia Mint.
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in April 2012
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|Native American $1s||0||0||0|
Since Kennedy half dollars and now $1 coins are produced solely for collector sales and on an as-needed basis, the production tables above appear sparing, especially when coupled with the lack of quarters.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarters Scarcest
As for the quarters, while none were produced last month the U.S. Mint did update mintages for Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarters. They came in at 44 million, evenly split with 22 million each from Denver and Philadelphia.
That amount is not only the lowest mintage for any coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters series, but the smallest total for a quarter since the late 1950’s. It is possible, but unlikely, that more Chaco Culture quarters could be produced. Of the twelve different 25-cent pieces released since the ATB series kicked-off in 2010, the U.S. Mint has only gone back once to produce more of a design.
Arthur, Cleveland and Harrison $1 Mintages
The same scenario had never occurred for Presidential dollars until this year. Now, higher-than-expected collector demand can trigger additional production runs as new $1’s are no longer struck for circulation but in much smaller quantities and solely for collectors.
2012 Chester Arthur Presidential Dollars debuted with 5.74 million produced through February, and with little expectation that more would be needed. By mid-April, however, buyers ordered a larger amount after rolls and boxes filled with the coins went on sale. More were struck as a result, as the latest published mintage total has them at 6.86 million. But that amount is insufficient as well since collectors have already ordered 7.0885 million of the coins based on the U.S. Mint sales figures as of Monday, May 7.
As such, Arthur $1 mintages will change yet again. Also, the newest mintages shown below for the first term Grover Cleveland Presidential Dollars and Benjamin Harrison Presidential Dollars are certainly susceptible to change.
US Mint 2012 Coin Production / Mintages by Design
|El Yunque Quarter||25,000,000||25,800,000||50,800,000|
|Chaco Culture Quarter||22,000,000||22,000,000||44,000,000|
|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||4,060,000||6,860,000|
|Cleveland Presidential $1||2,660,000||4,060,000||6,720,000|
|Harrison Presidential $1||1,540,000||5,600,000||7,140,000|
|Cleveland Presidential $1||0||0||0|
The 2012 coin production total currently stands at 3.0221 billion coins.
Visit the CoinNews.net US Coins page for details on most of the coins listed above. Current coin production figures are based on data aggregated from the United States Mint page: http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/?action=coin_production.
Look at all those pennies. One has to think that with such a demand there’s no way the mint can eliminate production of the coin. But with such large mintages where do they all go, year after year?
Some of the pennies end up on bedroom nightstands. Some in large jars on kitchen countertops. Rolls are stored in Banks and cash registers across the country. Some are chucked across the parking lots of strip malls. In addition if the 140 million or so Coin Collectors in the US. take home a roll or two from each of the “P” and “D” mints and before you know it… 2B pennies are accounted for!
140 million coin collectors? We’ve barely got 300 million population and you think half are coin collectors? Why then are less than 3 million proof sets sold a year? One of the cheapest sets to buy (if you want all the coins in one shot and in collector condition) and only 2% are buying them? And many buy more than just one set, especially dealers. So 140 million – no I don’t think so; probably closer to 1 million coin collectors or less.
I still don’t see why the mint has to create 2+ billion pennies every year.