U.S. coin production picked up in May but registered below the 1 billion level for a third straight month, according to the latest manufacturing figures from the United States Mint.
The Mint produced just over 904 coins for circulation, marking increases of 12.8% from April and 86.3% from May of last year when the pace was notably the slowest for a month since December 2013.
Here’s how the month stacks up against others in the past year:
May 2019 to May 2020 Circulating Coin Production
|May 2020||904.12 M||7|
|April 2020||801.84 M||10|
|March 2020||898.86 M||8|
|February 2020||1,094.30 M||4|
|January 2020||1,228.08 M||1|
|December 2019||400.88 M||13|
|November 2019||898.38 M||9|
|October 2019||1,154.94 M||3|
|September 2019||939.66 M||6|
|August 2019||767.32 M||11|
|July 2019||1,202.10 M||2|
|June 2019||1,021.654 M||5|
|May 2019||485.24 M||12|
The Federal Reserve orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination despite data that shows it costs the U.S. Mint 1.99 cents to make and distribute each one. The Mint produced 484 million Lincoln cents last month, representing 53.5% of the circulating-quality coins produced in May.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in May saw:
- 20% more Lincoln cents,
- 45% more Jefferson nickels,
- 5.3% more Roosevelt dimes, and
- 14.7% fewer 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. Usually in January, the U.S. Mint tends to strike both coins to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. That wasn’t the case for halves at least until the second month of this year.
In February, mintages of Philadelphia Mint-struck Kennedy half-dollars rose by 1.8 million after none were reported out of the plant in January. That added to the earlier 1.8 million produced Denver halves for a combined 3.6 million. For reference, last year’s half-dollar ended with equal splits of 1.7 million for Denver and Philadelphia for a combined 3.4 million.
Published mintages of the Native American dollar remained unchanged — 1.26 million from Denver and 1.4 million from Philadelphia for a combined 2.66 million coins. Last year’s dollar had splits of 1.54 million for Denver and 1.4 million for Philadelphia for a combined 2.94 million coins.
Here’s a summary of all circulating-quality coins produced last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in May 2020
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|Native American $1s||0||0||0|
U.S. Mint plants in Denver and Philadelphia manufacture all of America’s coins for commerce. Last month, the Denver Mint made 456.56 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 447.56 million coins for a combined 904.12 million coins.
Year-to-date, the Denver Mint struck 2,576,920,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint struck 2,350,280,000 coins for a combined 4,927,200,000 coins — 20.7% fewer than the 5,557,300,000 coins minted through the first five months of 2019.
This next table lists 2020 coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:
YTD 2020 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination
|1 ¢||5 ¢||10 ¢||25 ¢||50 ¢||N.A. $1||Total:|
If the current production pace stretched through to the end of this year, the annual mintage for 2020 would top 11.8 billion coins. Usually, however, the production pace slows significantly in December as the Mint prepares for newly dated coinage for the upcoming year. The U.S. Mint made over 11.9 billion coins for circulation in 2019.
Mintages by Unique Design
The Mint to date has released three annually issued coins with one-year-only designs. They include:
- the 2020 National Park of American Samoa quarter, which launched on Feb. 3,
- the 2020 Native American dollars, released on Feb. 12, and
- the 2020 Weir Farm National Historic Site quarter for Connecticut, which launched into circulation on April 6.
The following table offers a mintage breakdown for it and other denominations:
2020 Circulating Coin Production by Design
|National Park of American Samoa Quarter||212,200,000||286,000,000||498,200,000|
|Weir Farm National Historic Site Quarter (Connecticut)||155,000,000||125,600,000||280,600,000|
|Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve Quarter (U.S. Virgin Islands)||0||0||0|
|Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park Quarter (Vermont)||0||0||0|
|Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Quarter (Kansas)||0||0||0|
|Native American $1 Coins||1,260,000||1,400,000||2,660,000|
There are 145.8 million in quarters that the U.S. Mint has yet to officially assign to a design. These are a portion of U.S. Virgin Islands’ Salt River Bay quarters that entered circulation on June 1 and are scheduled for release in U.S. Mint roll and bag products on July 10.