U.S. coin production soared for a third straight month, manufacturing figures from the United States Mint show. The new data also revealed mammoth mintages for U.S. Virgin Islands’ Salt River Bay quarter, the third of this year’s five quarters with unique designs.
U.S. Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver struck more than 1.65 billion coins for circulation in August, marking their second highest monthly output — right behind July — since January 2017. The level marks a 2.4% decline from July’s total but an increase of 116% from the amount made in August 2019.
Here’s how the month compares against others in the past year:
August 2019 to August 2020 Circulating Coin Production
|August 2020||1,657.06 M||2|
|July 2020||1,697.74 M||1|
|June 2020||1,596.48 M||3|
|May 2020||904.12 M||8|
|April 2020||801.84 M||11|
|March 2020||898.86 M||9|
|February 2020||1,094.30 M||6|
|January 2020||1,228.08 M||4|
|December 2019||400.88 M||13|
|November 2019||898.38 M||10|
|October 2019||1,154.94 M||5|
|September 2019||939.66 M||7|
|August 2019||767.32 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 814.4 million Lincoln cents last month, representing 49.1% of the circulating-quality coins produced in August.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in August saw:
- 1.9% more Lincoln cents,
- 5.8% fewer Jefferson nickels,
- 4.2% fewer Roosevelt dimes, and
- 8% 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 — more were produced in February and then again in July.
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. In July, the Philadelphia Mint made another half million for a new total of 2.3 million. Those added to the 1.8 million produced in January by the Denver plant combine to 4.1 million halves in 2020. 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 issue 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 August 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 749.64 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 907.42 million coins for the combined 1,657,060,000 coins.
Year-to-date, the Denver Mint produced 5,037,440,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint struck 4,841,040,000 coins for 9,878,480,000 coins in total — 15.6% more than the 8,548,374,400 coins minted through the first eight 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:|
The 2020 monthly average of roughly 1.2 billion coins tracks over 12 months to more than 14.8 billion coins. The Mint made over 11.9 billion coins for circulation in 2019.
Mintages by Unique Design
As mentioned earlier, the U.S. Mint published mintages for the 2020 Salt River Bay quarter. They registered at 515 million from Denver and 577.8 million from Philadelphia for a combined 1,092,800,000 coins — the most for any quarter since the New York design from early 2001.
Through August the U.S. Mint released four 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,
- the 2020 Weir Farm National Historic Site quarter for Connecticut, which went into circulation on April 6, and,
- the 2020 Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve quarter, which launched into circulation on June 1.
The following table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages by coin design:
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)||515,000,000||577,800,000||1,092,800,000|
|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|
In subtracting the totals by coin design from the overall production figures by denomination, there is one difference — mintages of quarters are higher by 7.6 million. These are likely a small portion of Vermont’s Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park quarters which were originally scheduled to begin circulating on Aug. 31. The U.S. Mint will release them in roll and bag products on Sept. 21.