The pace of producing U.S. coins was somewhat sluggish in January compared to past first months of a new year, United States Mint figures show, but then again the production output in December was much higher than typical for a year’s last month.
U.S. Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver struck more than 919 million coins for circulation last month, marking an increase of 1.8% from December and a drop of 25.1% from January 2020.
Here’s how the month compares to others in the past year:
January 2020 to January 2021 Circulating Coin Production
|January 2021||919.52 M||9|
|December 2020||903.50 M||11|
|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||10|
|April 2020||801.84 M||13|
|March 2020||898.86 M||12|
|February 2020||1,094.30 M||8|
|January 2020||1,228.08 M||6|
The Federal Reserve orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination even as data shows it costs the U.S. Mint 1.76 cents to make and distribute each one. The Mint struck 383.2 million Lincoln cents last month, representing 41.7% of the circulating-quality coins produced in January.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in January saw:
- 12% fewer Lincoln cents,
- 19.3% more Jefferson nickels,
- 13.9% more Roosevelt dimes, and
- 8.1% more 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. Typically in January, the U.S. Mint strikes both coins to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. That wasn’t the case for halves as the Mint’s data shows none were produced last month.
Published mintages of 2021 Native American dollars show equal splits of 1.26 million from Denver and 1.26 million from Philadelphia for a combined 2.52 million coins. In contrast, the 2020 dollar saw 1.26 million for Denver and 1.4 million for Philadelphia for 2.66 million coins.
The U.S. Mint started selling rolls and bags of 2021 Native American dollars on Feb. 16. Rolls and bags of 2021 Kennedy halves are scheduled for release on May 11.
Here’s a summary of all circulating-quality coins produced last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in January 2021
|Kennedy Half Dollars||0||0||0|
|Native American $1s||1,260,000||1,260,000||2,520,000|
In addition to the Native American dollar, the U.S. Mint so far has released one other coin with a one-off design — the 2021 Tuskegee Airmen quarter for Alabama. The quarter figures above show just a portion of those minted so far. Final mintages for the quarter should be available by March.
In overall production totals for January, the Denver Mint made 536.06 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 383.46 million coins for the combined 919,520,000. If the current production pace stretched through to December, the annual mintage for 2021 would top 11 billion coins. The U.S. Mint made over 14.77 billion coins for circulation in 2020.