U.S. coin production surged in 2020, snapping a streak of four straight yearly declines, as the United States Mint stepped up their pressing pace to help stem coin circulation issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Production facilities in Philadelphia and Denver shipped over 14.77 billion coins to Federal Reserve Banks in 2020, marking an increase of 23.7% from the over 11.9 billion coins made in 2019. The U.S. Mint’s annual production levels had retreated since 2015. That year, when more than 17 billion coins were made for circulation, the Mint expanded operations and hired more workers as demand for circulating coinage ran quicker for a sixth consecutive year.
Here is a summary of U.S. coin production totals in 2020 compared to those from 2019:
US Mint Annual Coin Production (2020 vs 2019)
|Year 2019||Year 2020||2020 Unit Gain / Loss||2020% Gain / Loss|
|Native American $1||2,940,000||2,660,000||-280,000||-9.5%|
U.S. Mint plants in Philadelphia and Denver manufacture all of America’s coins for commerce. In 2020, the Philadelphia Mint made 7,081,100,000 coins while the Denver Mint made 7,693,300,000 coins.
Mintages of Kennedy half-dollars and Native American dollars are lower than other coins because they are no longer produced for circulation — Federal Reserve Banks do not order them from the U.S. Mint. The two coins are now made by the Mint only for their numismatic products.
Reported mintages for the 2020 Kennedy half-dollar totaled 5.7 million with splits of 3.4 million from Denver and 2.3 million from Philadelphia. 2019-dated half dollars ended with equal splits of 1.7 million for Denver and Philadelphia for a combined 3.4 million. In contrast, the 2018 half dollar was the most made in 17 years with 6.1 million from Denver and 4.8 million from Philadelphia for 10.9 million coins.
Published mintages of the 2020 Native American dollar came in at 1.26 million from Denver and 1.4 million from Philadelphia for a combined 2.66 million coins. The 2019 dollar had splits of 1.54 million for Denver and 1.4 million for Philadelphia for 2.94 million coins.
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 nearly 7.6 billion struck for the year represents 51.4% of the combined production total for 2020.
This next table shows 2020 circulating coin mintages by production facility, denomination and 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||580,200,000||1,095,200,000|
|Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park Quarter (Vermont)||345,800,000||304,600,000||650,400,000|
|Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Quarter (Kansas)||142,400,000||101,200,000||243,600,000|
|Native American $1 Coins||1,260,000||1,400,000||2,660,000|
Mintages of the U.S. Mint’s series of America the Beautiful Quarters® had strengthened annually until 2016. In 2020, they snapped the string of four year-over-year declines with 2.768 billion million quarters made, marking an increase of 67.6% from 2019.
Annual quarter mintages since the start of the program include:
- 347 million in 2010,
- 391.2 million in 2011,
- 568 million in 2012,
- 1.455 billion in 2013,
- 1.58 billion in 2014,
- 2.99 billion in 2015,
- 2.35 billion in 2016,
- 2.11 billion in 2017
- 1.85 billion in 2018,
- 1.6516 billion in 2019, and
- 2.768 billion in 2020.
Five unique quarter designs are issued every year. Those for 2020 include:
- the 2020 National Park of American Samoa quarter,
- 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,
- the 2020 Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park quarter for Vermont, and
- the 2020 Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve quarter for Kansas.
Tallgrass Prairie Quarter Mintages Revealed
The Mint’s latest round of figures include mintages of Kansas’ Tallgrass Prairie quarter, that last of the five 2020 quarters released. They registered at 142.4 million from Denver and 101.2 million from Philadelphia for a combined 243.6 million — the lowest of the 2020 quarters but nowhere near a mintage low in the series.
Fifty-five unique America the Beautiful quarter designs have been released from 2010 to 2020. The 2016 Harpers Ferry National Historical quarter for West Virginia remains the mintage leader at 858.63 million and the 2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter for New Mexico remains at the bottom of the pack at 44 million.
The scarcest America the Beautiful quarter dollar issue by production facility is the Denver Mint-struck 2012-D Acadia National Park quarter at 21.6 million. The ‘P’ and ‘D’ Chaco Culture quarters follow with each at 22 million.
The U.S. Mint has produced over 18 billion America the Beautiful Quarters with each celebrating a different national park or national site in the United States or its territories. The final, 56th-quarter in the series honors Alabama’s Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. It will be released in February.
Here is a breakdown of production totals by quarter design and coin production facility:
2010 – 2020 America the Beautiful Quarters Mintages
|2010 Hot Springs National Park||34,000,000||35,600,000||69,600,000|
|2010 Yellowstone National Park||34,800,000||33,600,000||68,400,000|
|2010 Yosemite National Park||34,800,000||35,200,000||70,000,000|
|2010 Grand Canyon National Park||35,400,000||34,800,000||70,200,000|
|2010 Mount Hood National Forest||34,400,000||34,400,000||68,800,000|
|2011 Gettysburg National Military Park||30,400,000||30,800,000||61,200,000|
|2011 Glacier National Park||31,200,000||30,400,000||61,600,000|
|2011 Olympic National Park||30,600,000||30,400,000||61,000,000|
|2011 Vicksburg National Military Park||33,400,000||30,800,000||64,200,000|
|2011 Chickasaw National Recreation Area||69,400,000||73,800,000||143,200,000|
|2012 El Yunque Quarter||25,000,000||25,800,000||50,800,000|
|2012 Chaco Culture Quarter||22,000,000||22,000,000||44,000,000|
|2012 Acadia Quarter||21,606,000||24,800,000||46,406,000|
|2012 Hawai’i Quarter||78,600,000||46,200,000||124,800,000|
|2012 Denali Quarter||166,600,000||135,400,000||302,000,000|
|2013 White Mountain Quarter||107,600,000||68,800,000||176,400,000|
|2013 Perry’s Victory Quarter||131,600,000||107,800,000||239,400,000|
|2013 Great Basin Quarter||141,400,000||122,400,000||263,800,000|
|2013 Fort McHenry Quarter||151,400,000||120,000,000||271,400,000|
|2013 Mount Rushmore Quarter||272,400,000||231,800,000||504,200,000|
|2014 Great Smoky Mountains Quarter||99,400,000||73,200,000||172,600,000|
|2014 Shenandoah National Park Quarter||197,800,000||112,800,000||310,600,000|
|2014 Arches National Park Quarter||251,400,000||214,200,000||465,600,000|
|2014 Great Sand Dunes Quarter||171,800,000||159,600,000||331,400,000|
|2014 Everglades National Park Quarter||142,400,000||157,601,200||300,001,200|
|2015 Homestead National Monument of America Quarter||248,600,000||214,400,000||463,000,000|
|2015 Kisatchie National Forest Quarter||379,600,000||397,200,000||776,800,000|
|2015 Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter||505,200,000||325,616,000||830,816,000|
|2015 Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter||206,400,000||275,000,000||481,400,000|
|2015 Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter||215,800,000||223,000,000||438,800,000|
|2016 Shawnee National Forest Quarter||151,800,000||155,600,000||307,400,000|
|2016 Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Quarter||223,200,000||215,400,000||438,600,000|
|2016 Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Quarter||424,000,000||434,630,000||858,630,000|
|2016 Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter||223,200,000||231,600,000||454,800,000|
|2016 Fort Moultrie Quarter||142,200,000||154,400,000||296,600,000|
|2017 Effigy Mounds National Monument Quarter||210,800,000||271,200,000||482,000,000|
|2017 Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Quarter||185,800,000||184,800,000||370,600,000|
|2017 Ozark National Scenic Riverways Quarter||200,000,000||203,000,000||403,000,000|
|2017 Ellis Island National Monument Quarter||254,000,000||234,000,000||488,000,000|
|2017 George Rogers Clark National Historical Park Quarter||180,800,000||191,600,000||372,400,000|
|2018 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Quarter (MI)||182,600,000||186,714,000||369,314,000|
|2018 Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Quarter (WI)||216,600,000||223,200,000||439,800,000|
|2018 Voyageurs National Park Quarter (MN)||197,800,000||237,400,000||435,200,000|
|2018 Cumberland Island National Seashore Quarter (GA)||151,600,000||138,000,000||289,600,000|
|2018 Block Island National Wildlife Refuge Quarter (RI)||159,600,000||159,600,000||319,200,000|
|2019 Lowell National Historical Park Quarter (MA)||182,200,000||165,800,000||348,000,000|
|2019 American Memorial Park Quarter (MP)||182,600,000||142,800,000||325,400,000|
|2019 War in the Pacific National Historical Park Quarter (GU)||114,400,000||116,600,000||231,000,000|
|2019 San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Quarter (TX)||129,400,000||142,800,000||272,200,000|
|2019 Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Quarter (ID)||251,600,000||223,400,000||475,000,000|
|2020 National Park of American Samoa Quarter (AS)||212,200,000||286,000,000||498,200,000|
|2020 Weir Farm National Historic Site Quarter (CY)||155,000,000||125,600,000||280,600,000|
|2020 Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve Quarter (USVI)||515,000,000||580,200,000||1,095,200,000|
|2020 Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park Quarter (VT)||345,800,000||304,600,000||650,400,000|
|2020 Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Quarter (KS)||142,400,000||101,200,000||243,600,000|
Coin Production in December 2020
December is generally a sluggish month of coin production as the U.S. Mint readies their tooling for the upcoming year’s coins. There was a slowing in pressing coins last month but nowhere near typical December levels as 903.5 million were made — more than double the amount produced in December 2019.
Here’s how the month stacks up against others in the past year:
December 2019 to December 2020 Circulating Coin Production
|December 2020||903.50 M||10|
|November 2020||1,165.10 M||7|
|October 2020||1,404.69 M||5|
|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||11|
|February 2020||1,094.30 M||8|
|January 2020||1,228.08 M||6|
|December 2019||400.88 M||13|
This last table shows productions totals by denomination for December:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in December 2020
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|Native American $1s||0||0||0|