U.S. coin production rebounded in May to its highest level since January after dropping to a four-month low in April, the latest manufacturing figures from the United States Mint show.
U.S. Mint coining presses struck for circulation more than 1.29 billion across cents, nickels, dimes and quarters, marking increases of 47% from April and 11.7% from May 2017.
Here’s how the month stack up against others in the past year:
May 2017 to May 2018 Circulating Coin Production
|May 2018||1,291.76 M||5|
|April 2018||878.74 M||12|
|March 2018||902.924 M||11|
|February 2018||1,066.51 M||10|
|January 2018||1,601.54 M||1|
|December 2017||762.86 M||13|
|November 2017||1,346.26 M||3|
|October 2017||1,423.54 M||2|
|September 2017||1,316.22 M||4|
|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|
The Federal Reserve always orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination even as it costs the U.S. Mint 1.82 cents to make and distribute each one. The bureau minted 723.2 million Lincoln cents in May, representing 56% of the circulating-quality coins produced for the month.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals increased by:
- 34.2% for Lincoln cents,
- 73.4% for Jefferson nickels,
- 127.7% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- 32.6% for America the Beautiful quarter dollars.
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 Kennedy Half-Dollar Mintages
However, the agency in February did produce 1.8 million more 2018-D Kennedy half-dollars. Then in March, it struck another 3.2 million from Denver and 1.2 million more for Philadelphia. None were made in April or May.
Mintages for the half-dollar are at 5.4 million from Denver and 4.8 million from Philadelphia for a combined 10.2 million coins — the most since 2001 and more than doubling 2017. Last year’s release ended with splits of 2.9 million from Denver and 1.8 million from Philadelphia for a combined 4.7 million coins.
Here’s a summary of all coins produced for circulation last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in May 2018
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|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 made 646.68 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 645.08 million coins.
For the year to date, the Denver Mint has produced 2,792,620,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint has struck 2,948,854,000 coins for a combined 5,741,474,000 coins — 9.4% fewer than the 6,335,380,000 coins minted in through the first five months of 2017.
This next table lists 2018 coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:
YTD 2018 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination
|1 ¢||5 ¢||10 ¢||25 ¢||50 ¢||N.A. $1||Total:|
The 2018 monthly average of about 1.15 billion coins tracks over 12 months to nearly 13.8 billion coins. In 2017, the U.S. Mint produced over 14.8 billion coins for circulation — the third quickest for a year since 2001, after the more than 16 billion coins were made in 2017 and the over 17 billion coins were made in 2015.
Mintages by Unique Design
The U.S. Mint so far has released four 2018-dated coins with one-year-only designs. They include the:
- 2018 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore quarter for Michigan, released on Feb 5.
- 2018 Native American $1 Coin, released on Feb. 15.
- 2018 Apostle Islands National Lakeshore quarter for Wisconsin, released on April 9.
- 2018 Voyageurs National Park quarter for Minnesota, released on June 11.
Reported mintages for the 2018 Native American dollars are 2.1 million from Denver and 1.4 million from Philadelphia for a combined 3.5 million coins. Last year’s release ended with splits of 1.54 million from Denver and 1.82 million from Philadelphia for 3.36 million coins.
In April, the U.S. Mint published Apostle Islands quarter mintages for the first time. It turns out that those were initial figures as they were updated in May to 213.4 million quarters from Denver and 223.2 million quarters from Philadelphia for a combined 436.6 million quarters — the highest amount since the fourth 2017-dated quarter commemorating Ellis Island in New Jersey.
The following table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:
2018 Circulating Coin Production by Design
|Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Quarter (MI)||182,600,000||186,714,000||369,314,000|
|Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Quarter (WI)||213,400,000||223,200,000||436,600,000|
|Voyageurs National Park Quarter (MN)||0||0||0|
|Cumberland Island National Seashore Quarter (GA)||0||0||0|
|Block Island National Wildlife Refuge Quarter (RI)||0||0||0|
|Native American $1 Coins||2,100,000||1,400,000||3,500,000|
There are 108.8 million in quarters that the U.S. Mint hasn’t officially assigned to a design yet. Most likely, they are a portion of the Voyageurs National Park quarters.