Production of U.S. coins for circulation rebounded sharply in March and climbed some from a year ago, according to United States Mint figures released on Thursday, April 7.
The data also shows mintages of 2016 Gerald R. Ford $1 Coins, the second to last release in the U.S. Mint’s Presidential dollar series.
Coining presses in March hammered out cents, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars and dollars in amounts totaling 1.44 billion coins, marking increases of 55.5% from February and 3% from the same month a year earlier.
The following table offers circulating coin totals by month and their rankings over the past year.
2015 – 2016 March Coin Production Figures
|March 2016||1,446.14 M||8|
|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||9|
Lincoln cents cost more to make and distribute than they’re worth (1.43 cents for each in FY2015) but the Federal Reserve always orders more of them than any other denomination. The U.S. Mint produced 942.4 million cents in March, which is 65.2% of the circulating-quality coins made for the month.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used every day by Americans, production totals gained by:
- 53% for Lincoln cents,
- 32.8% for Jefferson nickels,
- 22.1% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- 792.6% 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 but in February another 400,000 were pressed at the Philadelphia Mint and then in March another 400,000 were made at the Denver Mint. The agency continues to strike Presidential $1 Coins to support the different 2016 designs.
Here’s a summary of the circulating-quality coins produced last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in March 2016
|2016 ATB Quarters||46,400,000||75,000,000||121,400,000|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||400,000||0||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 690.86 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint produced 755.28 million coins.
For the first quarter, the Denver Mint made 1,806,180,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint struck 2,086,060,000 coins. That brings the quarterly total for both plants to 3,892,240,000 coins, marking a 7.8% decline from the 4,220,580,000 coins minted during the first three months in 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:|
The 2016 monthly average of just fewer than 1.3 billion coins tracks in 12 months to almost 15.6 billion coins. Last year, the U.S. Mint delivered more than 17 billion coins for circulation, representing a sixth straight year of growth and the quickest annual production pace since the 2001.
Gerald R. Ford $1 Coin Mintages
Mintages of Gerald R. Ford Presidential $1 Coins are 5.04 million from Denver and 5.46 million from Philadelphia for a combined 10.5 million. Like the prior release featuring Richard M Nixon, the total lies in the middle of last year’s issues. They registered mintages that ranged from about 8.5 million in Eisenhower dollars to just over 12 million in LBJ dollars.
2016 Nixon dollars made their debut on Feb. 3. The Mint released rolls, bags and boxes of Ford dollars on Mar. 8. Reagan dollars are due out in July. They are the very last issues from the U.S. Mint’s program of Presidential $1 Coins which honors former and deceased U.S. Presidents.
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|
|Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter||–||–||–|
|Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Quarter||–||–||–|
|Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter||–||–||–|
|Fort Moultrie Quarter||–||–||–|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||2,100,000||2,100,000||4,200,000|
|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||5,040,000||5,460,000||10,500,000|
|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 137 million. These are a portion of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarters for Kentucky. Cumberland Gap quarters debuted last week with its official release ceremony held earlier today, April 11, at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Visitor Center.
Mintages of Presidential $1 Coins are higher by 9.8 million. This amount represents most of the 2016 Ronald Reagan dollars.
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.