U.S. coin production blasted off with more coins struck in January than in any month since 2007, data from the United States Mint shows.
Coining presses at U.S. Mint facilities in Denver and Philadelphia pounded out more than 1.4 billion in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, marking increases of 406.9% from December and 18.4% from a year ago.
For perspective, December is traditionally a soft production month as the U.S. Mint changes gears for the coming year. January is typically a top month. The following table offers monthly production totals and rankings over the past year.
2013 – 2014 January Coin Production Figures / Mintages
|January 2014||1,449.38 M||1|
|December 2013||285.96 M||13|
|November 2013||991.14 M||9|
|October 2013||1,220.38 M||4|
|September 2013||1,099.34 M||6|
|August 2013||724.91 M||12|
|July 2013||1,225.96 M||2|
|June 2013||1,070.12 M||8|
|May 2013||1,084.36 M||7|
|April 2013||1,117.23 M||5|
|March 2013||932.56 M||11|
|February 2013||939.98 M||10|
|January 2013||1,223.68 M||3|
It’s not the Mint that decides how many coins to produce for circulation. Federal Reserve Banks order coins from the United States Mint based on usage trends and orders they receive from financial institutions around the country.
Never missing a beat, the demand for pennies is always highest among denominations. The U.S. Mint in January struck 843.6 million Lincoln cents, which is 58.2% of all the circulating-quality coins produced for the month. That level, give or take a few percentage points, will appear throughout the year. We love our pennies, even though it costs 1.83 cents to produce and distribute each one.
In year-over-year comparisons for coins used every day by Americans, coin production totals:
- Jumped 25% for Lincoln cents,
- Fell 8.6% for Jefferson nickels,
- Climbed 8.7% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- Surged 20.8% for America the Beautiful Quarters
Presidential $1 Coins, Native American $1 Coins and Kennedy half-dollars are no longer ordered by Federal Reserve Banks but the Mint strikes them in circulating-quality for coin collectors and continues to offer their totals. Those and January production figures for the other coins are listed in the following table.
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in January 2014
|2013 ATB Quarters||137,400,000||79,400,000||216,800,000|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||2,100,000||2,500,000||4,600,000|
|Native American $1s||5,600,000||3,080,000||8,680,000|
U.S. Mint plants in Philadelphia and Denver manufacture all of America’s circulating coins for commerce. In January, the Philadelphia Mint struck 661.72 million coins and the Denver Mint produced 787.66 million coins.
While unlikely, especially with typical low December totals and other monthly slowdowns mixed in, if the production pace stretches through to the end of the year, 2014 annual mintages would near 17.4 billion coins. Such a level has not been recorded since over 19.4 billion coins were minted for circulation in 2001.