U.S. Coin Production Tops 904 Million in May

by Mike Unser on June 26, 2020 · 3 comments

US Lincoln cents

The United States Mint struck over 904 million coins in May. More than half of them were Lincoln cents.

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

Month Mintages Rank
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.

Month-Over-Month

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

Denomination Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 249,200,000 234,800,000 484,000,000
Jefferson Nickels 48,960,000 45,360,000 94,320,000
Roosevelt Dimes 124,000,000 93,000,000 217,000,000
ATB Quarters 34,400,000 74,400,000 108,800,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 0 0 0
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Total 456,560,000 447,560,000 904,120,000

 

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:
Denver 1408M 251.76M 457.5M 456.6M 1.8M 1.26M 2576.92M
Philadelphia 1264.4M 205.68M 409M 468M 1.8M 1.4M 2350.28M
Total 2672.4M 457.44M 866.5M 924.6M 3.6M 2.66M 4927.2M

 

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 following table offers a mintage breakdown for it and other denominations:

2020 Circulating Coin Production by Design

  Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 1,408,000,000 1,264,400,000 2,672,400,000
Jefferson Nickels 251,760,000 205,680,000 457,440,000
Roosevelt Dimes 457,500,000 409,000,000 866,500,000
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
Kennedy Half-Dollars 1,800,000 1,800,000 3,600,000
Native American $1 Coins 1,260,000 1,400,000 2,660,000
Total 2,487,520,000 2,293,880,000 4,781,400,000

 

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.

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Vachon

Still trying to figure out how there’s a coin shortage going on when massive drops in employment typically bring many unused coins back into the circulation pool…

BJK

From my observation working in retail banking, coins virtually stopping coming in when the lobbies closed. Now being back open, we’re seeing people slowly bringing back the coffee cans, jars, bags, etc. full of coins. Orders from our courier are still being rationed, but not as bad as a few weeks ago.

Chas. Barber

Coin shortage whoopie…I can spend those cents!!! Big 5 here welcomes all change~~~!!