U.S. Mint production jumped in January with the agency’s facilities in Philadelphia and Denver striking more than 1.79 billion coins for circulation, the second most for a month than in any since at least 2007 when CoinNews started tracking the data.
The production pace soared 157% from December and advanced 18.1% from the same month a year earlier. Here’s how the month stacks up against others in the past year
2016 – 2017 January Coin Production Figures
|January 2017||1,790.30 M||2|
|December 2016||696.68 M||13|
|November 2016||976.04 M||11|
|October 2016||1,297.36 M||10|
|September 2016||1,573.70 M||4|
|August 2016||1,302.95 M||9|
|July 2016||1,807.20 M||1|
|June 2016||1,582.06 M||3|
|May 2016||1,550.12 M||5|
|April 2016||1,339.06 M||8|
|March 2016||1,446.14 M||7|
|February 2016||930.26 M||12|
|January 2016||1,515.84 M||6|
The Federal Reserve always orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination even as it costs the U.S. Mint 1.5 cents to make and distribute each one. The bureau struck a combined 1.076 billion Lincoln cents in January, representing 60.1% of the circulating-quality coins produced for the month.
P-Mint Cents Change
Of note, circulating cents from the Philadelphia Mint have a ‘P’ mint mark for the very first time. This is a one-year-only embellishment. The letter was added for 2017 as a part of the celebration of the U.S. Mint’s 225th anniversary. There were 515.2 million P-Mint cents made in January.
Comparing month-over-month changes offers little value in this round of data since December is traditionally a very weak month for production. In year-over-year comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals:
- Jumped 30.8% for Lincoln cents,
- Soared 45.9% for Jefferson nickels,
- Surged 40.7% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- Declined 32.9% for America the Beautiful Quarters.
Native American $1 Coins and Kennedy half-dollars are no longer ordered by Federal Reserve Banks but they are still made in circulating-quality for coin collectors. In January, the U.S. Mint tends to strike both coins to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. Higher-than-expected demand can result in more being made, and that has happened in the past.
To date, the U.S. Mint has released two 2017 coins with one-year-only designs. They include the:
- 2017 Native American $1 Coin, released on Jan. 25.
- 2017 Effigy Mounds National Monument Quarter for Iowa, released on Feb 6.
Reported mintages for the 2017 Native American dollars are 1.54 million from Denver and 1.68 million from Philadelphia for a combined 3.22 million coins. Last year’s release ended with splits of 2.1 million from Denver and 2.8 million from Philadelphia for 4.90 million coins.
Finalized mintages for Iowa’s Effigy Mounds quarter should be available by March or April.
Here’s a summary of all circulating-quality coins produced last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in January 2017
|2016 ATB Quarters||93,200,000||114,400,000||207,600,000|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||1,800,000||1,800,000||3,600,000|
|Native American $1s||1,540,000||1,680,000||3,220,000|
In January, the Philadelphia Mint struck 874.14 million coins and the Denver Mint produced 916.16 million coins. Their combined 1.79 billion total is the most since the 1.807 billion coins came out of presses in July.
While unlikely, especially with December’s likely low figures mixed in, if the current production pace stretched through to the end of this year, 2017 annual mintages would reach almost 21.5 billion coins. Last year, the U.S. Mint produced over 16 billion coins for circulation. It registered as the second quickest for a year since 2001, after the more than 17 billion coins were made in 2015.