Facilities in Denver and Philadelphia produced far fewer coins for circulation last month than in January and a year earlier, data from the United States Mint shows.
New figures also reveal mintages for Illinois’s Shawnee National Forest Quarter, the first 2016-dated release in the series of America the Beautiful Quarters, and they show mintages for this year’s first Presidential $1 Coin which features Richard Nixon.
In the overall picture, this year’s early coin production totals are trending like past years in that there’s been the huge opening month followed by a sharp monthly retreat. That said, last month’s drop-off is more pronounced. The U.S. Mint struck 930,260,000 circulating quality coins in February to register declines of 38.6% from January and 27.2% from February 2015. Setting aside Decembers because they’re always lackadaisical production months, the monthly pace was the slowest since August 2014.
The following table offers circulating coin totals by month and their rankings over the past year.
2015 – 2016 February Coin Production Figures
|February 2016||930.26 M||12|
|January 2016||1,515.84 M||5|
|December 2015||707.79 M||13|
|November 2015||1,245.73 M||10|
|October 2015||1,757.64 M||1|
|September 2015||1,476.37 M||6|
|August 2015||1,142.46 M||11|
|July 2015||1,665.76 M||4|
|June 2015||1,673.95 M||3|
|May 2015||1,459.86 M||7|
|April 2015||1,696.56 M||2|
|March 2015||1,403.44 M||8|
|February 2015||1,277.96 M||9|
Pennies cost more to make and distribute than they’re worth (1.43 cents each in FY2015) but the Federal Reserve always orders more of them than any other denomination. The U.S. Mint produced 616 million cents in February, or 66.2% of the circulating-quality coins made.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals declined:
- 25.1% for Lincoln cents,
- 14.9% for Jefferson nickels,
- 14.4% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- 95.6% 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 continues to make them in circulating quality for coin collectors. In January, the U.S. Mint struck Native American $1 Coins to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. That is usually how it works for Kennedy half-dollars as well but in February the Mint pressed another 400,000. The agency continues to strike Presidential $1 Coins to support the different 2016 designs.
Here’s a summary of the circulating-quality coins pressed last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in February 2016
|2016 ATB Quarters||6,400,000||7,200,000||13,600,000|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||400,000||400,000|
|Native American $1s||0||0||0|
U.S. Mint facilities in Denver and Philadelphia manufacture all of America’s coins for commerce. Last month, the Denver Mint struck 355.54 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint produced 574.72 million coins.
From January to February, the Denver Mint made 1,115,320,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint produced 1,330,780,000 coins. That lifted their combined year-to-date total to 2,446,100,000 coins, which is 13.2% lower than the 2,817,140,000 coins minted during the first two months of 2015.
This next table lists 2016 coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:
YTD 2016 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination
|1 ¢||5 ¢||10 ¢||25 ¢||50 ¢||N.A. $1||Pres $1||Total:|
With February’s slower production pace, the 2016 monthly average slimmed to about 1.2 billion coins. That tracks in 12 months to nearly 14.7 billion. Last year, the U.S. Mint struck more than 17 billion coins for circulation, marking a sixth straight year of growth and the quickest annual pace since the 2001.
2016 Shawnee National Forest Quarter Mintages
Mintages for the first 2016 America the Beautiful Quarter, which depicts Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, are 151.8 million from Denver and 155.6 million from Philadelphia for a combined 307.4 million. That’s the lowest amount since the 2014 quarter commemorating Everglades National Park in Florida but it still ranks tenth highest of the thirty-one America the Beautiful Quarters released since the series kicked off in 2010. The U.S. Mint started selling rolls and bags of Shawnee quarters on Feb. 1.
Richard M. Nixon $1 Coin Mintages
Mintages of Nixon Presidential $1 Coins are 4.34 million from Denver and 5.46 million from Philadelphia for a combined 9.8 million. That lies in the middle of last year’s issues. They registered mintages ranging from about 8.5 million in Eisenhower dollars to just over 12 million in LBJ dollars. The Mint released rolls, bags and boxes of Nixon dollars on Feb. 3. Reagan dollars are due out in July, marking an end to the program of Presidential $1 Coins.
The following table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:
2016 Circulating Coin Production by Design
|Shawnee National Forest Quarter||151,800,000||155,600,000||307,400,000|
|Kisatchie National Forest Quarter||–||–||–|
|Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter||–||–||–|
|Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter||–||–||–|
|Fort Moultrie Quarter||–||–||–|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||1,700,000||2,100,000||3,800,000|
|Native American $1||2,100,000||2,800,000||4,900,000|
|Richard M. Nixon $1||4,340,000||5,460,000||9,800,000|
|Gerald R. Ford $1||–||–||–|
|Ronald Reagan $1||–||–||–|
In subtracting the totals by coin design from the overall production figures by denomination, two differences are found:
America the Beautiful Quarter mintages are higher by 15.6 million. These are a small portion of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarters for Kentucky. They’re scheduled to launch in early April.
Presidential $1 Coin mintages are higher by 15.4 million. This amount represents most of the 2016 Gerald Ford dollars. The U.S. Mint released rolls and bags of Ford $1s on Tuesday, Mar. 8.
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.