The U.S. has tons of $1 coins in storage, according to Federal Reserve data released Aug. 10, 2018, although their numbers are declining somewhat every year.
Reserve Bank inventories of dollars are down to 1.155 billion coins through the second quarter of 2018 after peaking to 1.440 billion coins in the third quarter of 2012.
Dollar inventories are trending lower from that peak by an average of about 4.3 million coins per month. Still, at that rate, it would take more than two decades for the Fed’s supply to run out.
Most of the vaulted dollars are Presidential $1 Coins. As directed by Public Law 109-145, the United States Mint struck circulation dollars in commemoration of former American presidents from 2007 to 2016. Then there are Native American $1 Coins, which the U.S. Mint continues to make under Public Law 110-82 at a rate of one new design each year.
The public never got behind the two programs, preferring paper money instead. Dollar inventories climbed as a result, surging by as much as 298 million coins a year. The trajectory had Fed officials talking about the need for more storage facilities.
The dollar build-up was eventually checked after Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner halted $1 coin production for commerce. Geithner’s order came down in December 2011 when Fed dollar inventories had already reached 1.42 billion coins.
Today, the United States Mint continues to strike circulating dollars but only for collectible products they sell to the public. The agency’s $1 coin production totals went from a combined 374.92 million in 2011 to 49.92 million in 2012. More recently in 2017, they dropped to just 3.36 million — all Native American $1 Coins. Dollar mintages as of this writing are at 3.5 million dollars for 2018. That is expected to climb some as the U.S. Mint introduces American Innovation $1 coins, the new dollar series for coin collectors that is directed under Public Law No: 115-197.
As a comparison to the most Fed ordered U.S. denomination, the U.S Mint produced over 4.2 billion 1-cent coins for circulation in the first half of this year alone.