Fewer coins for circulation dropped from U.S. coining presses in August than in July and a year earlier, manufacturing figures from the United States Mint show.
In the headline figure for the month, the U.S. Mint struck 767.3 million coins, marking declines of 36.2% from July and 7.7% from August 2018.
Here’s how the month compares against others in the past year:
August 2018 to August 2019 Circulating Coin Production
|August 2019||767.32 M||11|
|July 2019||1,202.10 M||5|
|June 2019||1,021.654 M||8|
|May 2019||485.24 M||13|
|April 2019||1,253.76 M||4|
|March 2019||1,054.90 M||6|
|February 2019||1,256.10 M||3|
|January 2019||1,507.30 M||1|
|December 2018||560.64 M||12|
|November 2018||1,031.24 M||7|
|October 2018||1,382.18 M||2|
|September 2018||976.82 M||9|
|August 2018||831.56 M||10|
The Federal Reserve always orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination even with the latest data showing it costs the U.S. Mint 2.06 cents to make and distribute each one. The bureau produced 460 million Lincoln cents in August, representing 59.9% of the circulating-quality coins produced for the month.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in August decreased by:
- 35.6% for Lincoln cents,
- 40.6% for Jefferson nickels,
- 32.4% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- 42.2% 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 finish for coin collectors. In January, the U.S. Mint tends to strike both coins to the expected amounts needed for the entire year.
That said, the bureau’s data for February did show an increase of 140,000 in 2019-D Native American dollars. Reported mintages for the space-themed piece are at 1.54 million for Denver and 1.4 million for Philadelphia for a combined 2.94 million coins — up from last year’s dollar mintages by the added 140,000.
Mintages for the 2019 Kennedy half-dollar remained the same for a seventh straight month, totaling 3.4 million coins with equal splits between the Denver and Philadelphia Mints. Last year’s half-dollar was the most produced since the one from 2001. It saw 6.1 million from Denver and 4.8 million from Philadelphia for a combined 10.9 million coins.
Here’s a summary of all circulating-quality coins produced last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in August 2019
|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 Philadelphia Mint produced 431.76 million coins and the Denver Mint produced 335.56 million coins.
Year-to-date, the Philadelphia Mint struck 4,439,334,000 coins and the Denver Mint struck 4,109,040,000 coins for a combined 8,548,374,400 coins — 6.8% fewer than the 9,174,534,000 coins minted through the first eight months of 2018.
This next table lists 2019 coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:
YTD 2019 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination
|1 ¢||5 ¢||10 ¢||25 ¢||50 ¢||N.A. $1||Total:|
The 2019 monthly average of about 1.07 billion coins tracks over 12 months to roughly 12.8 billion coins. The U.S. Mint made over 13.1 billion coins for circulation in 2018.
Mintages by Unique Design
Through August, the U.S. Mint released five annually issued coins with one-year-only designs. They include:
- the 2019 Lowell National Historical quarter for Massachusetts, released on Feb. 4;
- the 2019 Native American $1 Coin, released on Feb. 13;
- the 2019 American Memorial Park quarter for Northern Mariana Islands, released on April 1;
- the 2019 War in Pacific quarter for Guam, released June 3; and
- the 2019 San Antonio Missions quarter for Texas, released Aug. 26.
The following table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:
2019 Circulating Coin Production by Design
|Lowell National Historical Park Quarter (MA)||182,200,000||165,800,000||348,000,000|
|American Memorial Park Quarter (MP)||182,600,000||142,800,000||325,400,000|
|War in the Pacific National Historical Park Quarter (GU)||114,400,000||116,600,000||231,000,000|
|San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Quarter (TX)||0||0||0|
|Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Quarter (ID)||0||0||0|
|Native American $1 Coins||1,540,000||1,400,000||2,940,000|
There are 159 million in quarters that the U.S. Mint has yet to officially assign to a design. These are a portion of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarters that debuted in late August.
5 BILLION pennies, seriously, 5 billion, with a B. This madness must stop…forever.
100,000,000 rolls of pennies, the year ain’t over, and nobody in the country wants or needs them.
I think I have ‘only’ like 50,000 @ home… in jars, in cars, on the bars, in my shorts on the tennis courts. Need a penny next time l00k on the ground…… Zinc mining power!!
I haven’t seen any BEP production reports for some time now. I think they only released two this year (for February and May). I wonder what’s going on there?
What happened to all the 2017p pennies????
Someone cornered the market it seems. Here on the West Coast I have yet to see ONE of he billions made with the “P” MM. Really, what they that someone will pay a buck for them, not likely. I collected Lincolns but stopped in 2009. 100 years is enuf. Still need the 22 ‘plain’ o’wise I’m fini……..
I live in the Northeast and only saw maybe a dozen or so of them. They got snapped up here too, I guess.
I’ve read that so few people now carry cash when traveling that the rate of “mixing” from different mints has tanked. I now rarely find Denver coins around home, and see almost none from Philly when I go the Midwest or farther. Back in the, uh, good old days as a young collector I was able to put together almost complete P-D-S sets of recent-date coins from my parents’ change boxes… no more, sadly.
I’m still waiting for news of a 2017 “plain” cent to be discovered, made by processes identical to or similar to what gave us 1922 “plain” cents.
If they stopped making the cent at a loss, maybe they could reduce some of the overpricing on the collector products? I’m guessing that is how they make the budget work out – 5 billion cent coins this year at 2 cents a piece means they have to find 50 million dollars profit from somewhere to make up for that money loser cent coin. There are more than enough cent coins to go around – about 350 billion made since just 1982 when they went to all zinc, which is about 1000 for every single person in the US. Heck… Read more »
The one cent coin has a tremendous value. I had the privilege of taking a tour at the Denver Mint yesterday and this subject briefly came up. This article does not state that the cost to produce the nickel is also higher than face value. However the cost to produce the dime, quarter, half dollar, and the one dollar coin are significantly lower than face value. This is a big help to absorb the loss on the one cent coin. I like to think of the one cent coin as job security for the men and women bringing us beautiful… Read more »
Yes, nickels are out-of-the-money also (6.2 cents per nickel to produce), but only slightly so compared to the cent. At least people still use nickels.
The only winners in cent coin production are the zinc mines and a couple dozen mint employees. Everyone else loses: it actually costs more in employee time to count out cent coins than they are worth, it costs a lot in fuel to transport them around the country, they are very poisonous to dogs, they pollute the water if they wind up in drains (which they do because nobody picks them up off the street).
Not only are zinc cents poisonous to dogs, they can sicken little kids who also just love to eat “interesting” objects.
And the “keeping people employed” argument has been used for ages to defend propping up obsolescent products and industries. It’s the main theme used by Crane Paper and its successors when lobbying (so far very successfully) for continued production of that other wasteful piece of US currency, the paper dollar.