In August, and for a second month in a row, the United States Mint struck fewer coins than the prior month but sharply more than a year earlier.
Circulating coin production figures from the U.S. Mint also show mintages for North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway quarter and updated totals for the recently released Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential $1 Coin.
U.S. Mint coining presses in August churned more than 1.1 billion in pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars. That’s down 31.4% from July but 25.1% higher than the same time a year ago. Here’s how the month stacks up against others in the past year:
2014 – 2015 August Coin Production Figures
|June 2015||1,673.95 M||2|
|May 2015||1,459.86 M||5|
|April 2015||1,696.56 M||1|
|March 2015||1,403.44 M||6|
|February 2015||1,277.96 M||7|
|January 2015||1,539.15 M||4|
|December 2014||878.84 M||13|
|November 2014||958.78 M||11|
|October 2014||1,168.78 M||8|
|September 2014||1,004.24 M||10|
|August 2014||913.38 M||12|
Pennies cost more to make and distribute (1.7 cents) than they’re worth, yet the Federal Reserve always orders more of them from the U.S. Mint than any other denomination. In August, the Mint struck 603.2 million Lincoln cents, or about 53% of the circulating-quality coins produced for the month.
In the latest month-over-month production comparisons for coins used every day by Americans, August saw:
- 31.7% fewer Lincoln cents,
- 40.2% fewer Jefferson nickels,
- 37.9% fewer Roosevelt dimes, and
- 20% fewer 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 United States Mint continues to make them in circulating-quality for coin collectors.
In January, the U.S. Mint produced 2015 Kennedy halves to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. That is typically how it works for Native American $1 Coins as well but in March their number grew slightly. In August, the Mint continued to strike Presidential $1 Coins in modest amounts. Here’s a summary of the coins produced:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in August 2015
|2015 ATB Quarters||100,400,000||151,600,000||252,000,000|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|Native American $1s||0||0||0|
Circulating coin production facilities for the United States Mint are located in Denver and Philadelphia. Last month, the Denver Mint produced 404.98 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 737.48 million coins.
For the January through August period, the Denver Mint struck nearly 6 billion coins and the Philadelphia Mint made almost 5.9 billion for a combined 11,859,170,000. That’s a 27.9% increase over the 9,273,120,000 coins minted through the same months in 2014. This next table lists year-to-date coin totals by denomination:
YTD 2015 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination
|1 ¢||5 ¢||10 ¢||25 ¢||50 ¢||N.A. $1||Pres $1||Total|
If the current monthly average of 1.5 billion coins is maintained through December, this year’s annual production total will reach nearly 17.8 billion coins. That level has not been seen since 2001 when the United States Mint pressed over 19.4 billion coins.
Last year, the U.S. Mint produced just over 13.28 billion circulating coins, the most since the 14.4 billion coins in 2007.
Mintages of 2015 Blue Ridge Parkway Quarters
Mintages for this year’s third America the Beautiful Quarter, which honors Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, total 505.2 million from Denver and 325.6 million from Philadelphia for a combined 830.8 million.
That’s easily the highest of the twenty-eight America the Beautiful Quarters released since the series start in 2010. The next best totals are the immediate prior 2015 Kisatchie National Forest quarter at 776.8 million, the 2013 Mount Rushmore quarter at 504.2 million, and the 2014 Arches National Park quarter at 465.6 million.
The U.S. Mint started selling bags and rolls of Blue Ridge Parkway quarters on June 29.
More LBJ Dollars
In dollar designs, the U.S. Mint in Denver struck 560,000 more Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential $1 Coins. The agency started selling rolls, bags and boxes of them on Aug. 18.
The following table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:
2015 Circulating Coin Production by Design
|Homestead National Monument of America Quarter||248,600,000||214,400,000||463,000,000|
|Kisatchie National Forest Quarter||379,600,000||397,200,000||776,800,000|
|Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter||505,200,000||325,600,000||830,800,000|
|Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter||–||–||–|
|Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter||–||–||–|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||2,300,000||2,300,000||4,600,000|
|Native American $1||2,240,000||2,800,000||5,040,000|
|Harry S. Truman $1||3,500,000||4,900,000||8,400,000|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower $1||3,646,000||4,900,000||8,546,000|
|John F. Kennedy $1||5,180,000||6,160,000||11,340,000|
|Lyndon B. Johnson $1||4,200,000||4,900,000||9,100,000|
In subtracting the totals by coin design from those by denomination, two differences are found:
America the Beautiful Quarter mintages are higher by 125 million. These are a portion of the Bombay Hook quarters for Delaware. Earlier today, the U.S. Mint and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially introduced the quarter.
Presidential $1 Coin mintages are higher by 284,000. With all the dollars for this year already released and their mintages stated, we’ll have to wait for a later date to see where this latest batch falls.
Coin production figures in this coin news article are based on data aggregated from the U.S. Mint webpage at: http://www.usmint.gov/about_the_mint/?action=ProductionFigures.