The United States Mint produced more than 4.2 billion coins for circulation in the first three months this year, tracking the quickest first quarterly pace since 2015. The government agency went on to strike more than 17 billion coins that year, its best one since 2001.
U.S. Mint data also shows mintages for Iowa’s Effigy Mounds National Monument quarter, the first of five 2017 quarters with unique designs.
In the headline figure for March, coining presses hammered out cents, nickels, dimes, and quarters in amounts totaling a bit more than 1.44 billion coins, marking an increase of 47% from February while very nearly matching March from a year ago. Here’s how the month ranks against others in the past year:
2016 – 2017 March Coin Production Figures
|March 2017||1,445.8 M||7|
|February 2017||983.40 M||11|
|January 2017||1,790.30 M||2|
|December 2016||696.68 M||13|
|November 2016||976.04 M||12|
|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||6|
The Federal Reserve always orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination even as it costs 1.5 cents to make and distribute each one. The U.S. Mint produced a combined 771.2 million Lincoln cents in March, representing 53.3% of the circulating-quality coins produced for the month.
P-Mint Cents Change
2017-dated circulating cents from the U.S. Mint facility at Philadelphia include a ‘P’ mint mark for the first time in history. This is a one-year-only embellishment, added as a part of the Mint’s celebration of its 225th anniversary. These P-cents are not rare by any means, with a combined 1.1828 billion made through the first three months of this year.
In the latest month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals climbed:
- 44.4% for Lincoln cents,
- 48.6% for Jefferson nickels,
- 68.5% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- 33.1% 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. No more were made in February or in March.
Here’s a summary of all circulating-quality coins produced last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in March 2017
|2016 ATB Quarters||112,400,000||133,800,000||246,200,000|
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|Native American $1s||0||0||0|
Minting facilities in Denver and Philadelphia produce all of America’s coins for commerce. Last month, the Denver Mint struck 693.08 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint produced 752.72 million coins.
In the first quarter, the Denver Mint made 2,085,380,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint struck 2,134,120,000 coins. That brought their combined quarterly total to 4,219,500,000 coins for an 8.4% increase over the 3,892,240,000 coins minted in first quarter 2016. The amount is about 1 million shy from first quarter 2015.
This next table lists 2017 coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:
YTD 2017 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination
|1 ¢||5 ¢||10 ¢||25 ¢||50 ¢||N.A. $1||Total:|
The 2017 monthly average of more than 1.4 billion coins tracks in 12 months to nearly 16.9 billion coins. Last year, the U.S. Mint struck over 16 billion coins for circulation, registering as the second quickest for a year since 2001 after the more than 17 billion coins were made in 2015 — the most since 2001.
Effigy Mounds Mintages
So far this year, the U.S. Mint has released three coins with one-year-only designs. They include the:
- 2017 Native American $1 Coin, released on Jan. 25.
- 2017 Effigy Mounds Quarter for Iowa, released on Feb. 6.
- 2017 Frederick Douglass Quarter for D.C., released on April 3.
Mintages for the Native American dollars stood pat at 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.
Mintages of Effigy Mounds quarters were reported for the first time, coming in at 210.8 million from Denver and 271.2 million from Philadelphia for a combined 482 million. These totals are nowhere near lows in the series.
Finalized mintages for the Frederick Douglass quarter should be available by May or June.
The following table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:
2017 Circulating Coin Production by Design
|Effigy Mounds National Monument Quarter||210,800,000||271,200,000||482,000,000|
|Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Quarter||–||–||–|
|Ozark National Scenic Riverway Quarter||–||–||–|
|Ellis Island National Monument Quarter||–||–||–|
|George Rogers Clark National Historical Park Quarter||–||–||–|
|Native American $1 Coins||1,540,000||1,680,000||3,220,000|
There are 156.8 million in quarters that the U.S. Mint hasn’t officially assigned to a design yet. These are a portion of the Frederick Douglass quarters.