The United States Mint maintained a rapid pace of striking coins in September, marking a fourth straight month in which more than one billion were produced, logging the fourth highest production month of 2020, and registering the eighth highest monthly total over the last 45 months.
In headline comparisons, the U.S. Mint manufactured over 1.42 billion coins for circulation — spread across cents, nickels, dimes and quarters, slipping 14.2% from the amount made in August and 51.4% above the number minted in September 2019.
Here’s how the month stacks up against others in the past year:
September 2019 to September 2020 Circulating Coin Production
|September 2020||1,422.59 M||4|
|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||9|
|April 2020||801.84 M||12|
|March 2020||898.86 M||10|
|February 2020||1,094.30 M||7|
|January 2020||1,228.08 M||5|
|December 2019||400.88 M||13|
|November 2019||898.38 M||11|
|October 2019||1,154.94 M||6|
|September 2019||939.66 M||8|
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 734 million Lincoln cents last month, representing 51.6% of the circulating-quality coins produced in September.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in September declined:
- 9.9% Lincoln cents,
- 19.1% Jefferson nickels,
- 19.8% Roosevelt dimes, and
- 16.6% 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. Then 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 September 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. In September, the Denver Mint made more than 183 million coins than the Philadelphia Mint, returning some balance from August when the Philadelphia Mint led by some 158 million coins. In the latest monthly totals, the Denver Mint struck 802.98 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint struck 619.61 million coins for the combined 1,422,590,000 coins.
Year-to-date, the Denver Mint produced 5,840,420,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint struck 5,460,650,000 coins for 11,301,070,000 coins in total — 19.1% more than the 9,488,034,400 coins minted through the first nine 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 1.26 billion coins tracks over 12 months to more than 15 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.
The U.S. Mint through September has released five annually issued coins with one-year-only designs. They include:
- the 2020 National Park of American Samoa quarter,
- the 2020 Native American dollars,
- the 2020 Weir Farm National Historic Site quarter for Connecticut,
- the 2020 Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve quarter for U.S. Virgin Islands, and
- the 2020 Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park quarter for Vermont.
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 Mint’s totals by coin design from their overall production figures by denomination, there is one difference — mintages of quarters are higher by 300.8 million. These are likely a portion of Vermont’s Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park quarters.