Coin production in the United States slowed for a second straight year after peaking to a 14-year high, annual figures from the U.S. Mint show.
In 2017, production facilities in Denver and Philadelphia shipped over 14.8 billion coins to Federal Reserve Banks for distribution into the economy, marking a 7.2% decrease from the more than 16 billion coins made in 2016. A year earlier, demand for coinage bounced to such a height that the U.S. Mint expanded operations and hired more people. That year — with over 17 billion coins struck — marked a sixth straight for growth.
That said, the production pace in 2017 was easily the third quickest for a year since 2001, and 318.8% faster than in 2009 when production hit bottom at just over 3.5 billion coins.
Here is a summary of the annual coin production levels adjusted on a per coin basis from 2016 to 2017:
US Mint Annual Coin Production (2017 vs 2016)
|Year 2016||Year 2017||2017 Unit Gain / Loss||2017 % Gain / Loss|
|Native American $1||4,900,000||3,360,000||-1,540,000||-31.4%|
Mintages of Kennedy half-dollars and Native American dollars are smaller than other coins because they are no longer produced for circulation — Federal Reserve Banks do not order them from the U.S. Mint. The two coins are now made only for collector products. Also, Presidential dollars were not made in 2017 because the 10-year series ended in 2016 with the final three dollars honoring Nixon, Ford and Reagan.
All U.S. coins for circulation originate from either the Denver Mint or Philadelphia Mint. Last year, the facility in Denver made over 7.2 billion coins while the plant in Philadelphia made nearly 7.6 billion coins.
In unit totals and keeping with practice, Lincoln cents won among denominations with more than 8.6 billion made, representing 58.1% of the 2017 production total. Ironically, each costs 1.5 cents to strike and distribute so the most made U.S. coin is a money-loser.
On the topic of Lincoln cents, 2017-dated circulating editions from the Philadelphia Mint bear a ‘P’ mint mark for the first time in history. The mark was a one-year-only embellishment, added as a part of the U.S. Mint’s 225th anniversary celebration. More than 4.36 billion of them were made.
This next table shows 2017 circulating coin mintages by production facility, denomination and 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||185,800,000||184,800,000||370,600,000|
|Ozark National Scenic Riverways Quarter||200,000,000||203,000,000||403,000,000|
|Ellis Island National Monument Quarter||254,000,000||234,000,000||488,000,000|
|George Rogers Clark National Historical Park Quarter||180,800,000||191,600,000||372,400,000|
|Native American $1 Coins||1,540,000||1,820,000||3,360,000|
Mintages of the U.S. Mint’s program of America the Beautiful Quarters® had grown stronger each year until 2016. The overall production of quarters slowed again in 2017 with a tad more than 2.11 billion million made, marking a 10.2% decline from 2016.
Annual quarter mintages since the start of the series include:
- 347 million in 2010,
- 391.2 million in 2011,
- 568 million in 2012,
- 1.455 billion in 2013,
- 1.58 billion in 2014,
- 2.99 billion in 2015, and
- 2.35 billion in 2016.
Five different quarter designs launch each year. The America the Beautiful Quarters for 2017 include:
- 2017 Effigy Mounds Quarter for Iowa, released on Feb. 6.
- 2017 Frederick Douglass Quarter for D.C., released on April 3.
- 2017 Ozark Riverways Quarter for Missouri, released on June 5.
- 2017 Ellis Island Quarter for New Jersey, released on Aug. 28.
- 2017 George Rogers Clark Quarter for Indiana, released on Nov. 13
George Rogers Clark Quarter Mintages
Official mintages for Indiana’s George Rogers Clark National Historical Park quarters were reported for the first time, registering at 180.8 million from Denver and 191.6 million from Philadelphia for a combined 372.4 million. The ‘D’ minted quarter ranks lowest in the series for 2017, yet its total is more than 8x higher than the scarcest piece.
Forty different quarter designs have been released from 2010 to 2017. The 2016 Harpers Ferry National Historical quarter for West Virginia remains the mintage leader by design at 858.63 million quarters. The 2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter for New Mexico remains at the bottom of the production charts with a total mintage of 44 million. The scarcest America the Beautiful quarter dollar issue by production facility is the Denver Mint-struck 2012-D Acadia National Park quarter at 21.6 million. The ‘P’ and ‘D’ Chaco Culture quarters follow with each at 22 million.
The U.S. Mint has made more than 11.8 billion America the Beautiful Quarters since the series start in 2010. Each quarter honors a different national park or national site in the United States or its territories. Here is a breakdown of production totals by quarter design and coin production facility:
2010 – 2017 America the Beautiful Quarters Mintages
|2010 Hot Springs National Park||34,000,000||35,600,000||69,600,000|
|2010 Yellowstone National Park||34,800,000||33,600,000||68,400,000|
|2010 Yosemite National Park||34,800,000||35,200,000||70,000,000|
|2010 Grand Canyon National Park||35,400,000||34,800,000||70,200,000|
|2010 Mount Hood National Forest||34,400,000||34,400,000||68,800,000|
|2011 Gettysburg National Military Park||30,400,000||30,800,000||61,200,000|
|2011 Glacier National Park||31,200,000||30,400,000||61,600,000|
|2011 Olympic National Park||30,600,000||30,400,000||61,000,000|
|2011 Vicksburg National Military Park||33,400,000||30,800,000||64,200,000|
|2011 Chickasaw National Recreation Area||69,400,000||73,800,000||143,200,000|
|2012 El Yunque Quarter||25,000,000||25,800,000||50,800,000|
|2012 Chaco Culture Quarter||22,000,000||22,000,000||44,000,000|
|2012 Acadia Quarter||21,606,000||24,800,000||46,406,000|
|2012 Hawai’i Quarter||78,600,000||46,200,000||124,800,000|
|2012 Denali Quarter||166,600,000||135,400,000||302,000,000|
|2013 White Mountain Quarter||107,600,000||68,800,000||176,400,000|
|2013 Perry’s Victory Quarter||131,600,000||107,800,000||239,400,000|
|2013 Great Basin Quarter||141,400,000||122,400,000||263,800,000|
|2013 Fort McHenry Quarter||151,400,000||120,000,000||271,400,000|
|2013 Mount Rushmore Quarter||272,400,000||231,800,000||504,200,000|
|2014 Great Smoky Mountains Quarter||99,400,000||73,200,000||172,600,000|
|2014 Shenandoah National Park Quarter||197,800,000||112,800,000||310,600,000|
|2014 Arches National Park Quarter||251,400,000||214,200,000||465,600,000|
|2014 Great Sand Dunes Quarter||171,800,000||159,600,000||331,400,000|
|2014 Everglades National Park Quarter||142,400,000||157,601,200||300,001,200|
|2015 Homestead National Monument of America Quarter||248,600,000||214,400,000||463,000,000|
|2015 Kisatchie National Forest Quarter||379,600,000||397,200,000||776,800,000|
|2015 Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter||505,200,000||325,616,000||830,816,000|
|2015 Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter||206,400,000||275,000,000||481,400,000|
|2015 Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter||215,800,000||223,000,000||438,800,000|
|2016 Shawnee National Forest Quarter||151,800,000||155,600,000||307,400,000|
|2016 Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter||223,200,000||215,400,000||438,600,000|
|2016 Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Quarter||424,000,000||434,630,000||858,630,000|
|2016 Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter||223,200,000||231,600,000||454,800,000|
|2016 Fort Moultrie Quarter||142,200,000||154,400,000||296,600,000|
|2017 Effigy Mounds National Monument Quarter||210,800,000||271,200,000||482,000,000|
|2017 Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Quarter||185,800,000||184,800,000||370,600,000|
|2017 Ozark National Scenic Riverways Quarter||200,000,000||203,000,000||403,000,000|
|2017 Ellis Island National Monument Quarter||254,000,000||234,000,000||488,000,000|
|2017 George Rogers Clark National Historical Park Quarter||180,800,000||191,600,000||372,400,000|
Coin Production in December 2017
December is traditionally a weak coin production month as the U.S. Mint readies its tooling for the next year’s coins. Some Decembers have actually come in at or near flat for production amounts. Last December was fairly strong historically with a production of 762.86 million coins, up 9.5% from December 2016. Compared to November, the production level fell 43.3%.
Here’s how the month ranks against others in the past year:
2016 – 2017 December Coin Production Figures
|December 2017||762.86 M||12|
|November 2017||1,346.26 M||4|
|October 2017||1,423.54 M||3|
|September 2017||1,316.22 M||5|
|August 2017||1,167.48 M||8|
|July 2017||1,254.74 M||6|
|June 2017||1,252.88 M||7|
|May 2017||1,156.34 M||9|
|April 2017||959.54 M||11|
|March 2017||1,445.8 M||2|
|February 2017||983.40 M||10|
|January 2017||1,790.30 M||1|
|December 2016||696.68 M||13|
Production for the month was limited to the four main denominations, the cent, nickel, dime and quarter. This last table shows how many of them were made in December.
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in December 2017
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|Native American $1s||0||0||0|
Coin production figures in this coin news article are based on data aggregated from the Mint’s webpage at: https://www.usmint.gov/circulating-coins-production.