U.S. Mint Produces Over 1.1 Billion Coins for Circulation in February

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modern Lincoln cents
The United States Mint produced over 1.1 billion coins for circulation in February. Nearly 46% of them were Lincoln cents.

U.S. coin production snapped back in February following an atypically slower month in January, the latest figures from the United States Mint show.

Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver produced over 1.1 billion coins for circulation last month, posting increases of 26.5% from January and 6.3% from February 2020.

Here’s how the month compares against others in the past year:

February 2020 to February 2021 Circulating Coin Production

Month Mintages Rank
February 2021 1,163.40 M 7
January 2021 919.52 M 9
December 2020 903.50 M 11
November 2020 1,165.10 M 6
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

 

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 532.8 million Lincoln cents last month, representing 45.8% of the circulating-quality coins produced in January.

Month-Over-Month

In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in February increased:

  • 39% Lincoln cents,
  • 8.9% Jefferson nickels,
  • 6.9% Roosevelt dimes, and
  • 56.1% 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 2021 halves. Mint data shows none were produced until February, and then only 1.6 million from Denver. Philadelphia’s total should be available soon. Last year’s half-dollar ended with 3.4 million from Denver and 2.3 million from Philadelphia for a combined 5.7 million.

Published mintages of 2021 Native American dollars have remained unchanged since January with 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 February 2021

Denomination Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 342,800,000 190,000,000 532,800,000
Jefferson Nickels 82,600,000 82,100,000 164,700,000
Roosevelt Dimes 143,500,000 145,000,000 288,500,000
Quarters 114,000,000 61,800,000 175,800,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 1,600,000 0 1,600,000
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Total 684,500,000 478,900,000 1,163,400,000

 

U.S. Mint plants in Denver and Philadelphia manufacture all of America’s coins for commerce. Last month, the Denver Mint made 684.5 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 478.9 million coins for the combined 1,163,400,000 coins.

In the January to February period, the Denver Mint struck 1,220,560,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 862,360,000 coins. They combine for a year to date total of 2,082,920,000 coins, which is 10.3% less than the 2,322,380,000 coins minted in the first two months of last year.

This next table lists 2021 coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:

YTD 2021 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination

1 ¢ 5 ¢ 10 ¢ 25 ¢ 50 ¢ N.A. $1 Total:
Denver 549.2M 160.6M 300.5M 207.4M 1.6M 1.26M 1220.56M
Philadelphia 366.8M 155.3M 258M 81M 0M 1.26M 862.36M
Total 916M 315.9M 558.5M 288.4M 1.6M 2.52M 2082.92M

 

If the current production pace stretched through to December, the annual mintage for 2021 would end near 12.5 billion coins. The U.S. Mint made over 14.77 billion coins for circulation in 2020.

Mintages by Unique Design

In addition to the Native American dollar, the U.S. Mint released another coin with a one-year-only design — the 2021 Tuskegee Airmen quarter for Alabama. The quarter figures above show just a portion of those minted so far. Their final mintages should be available in the next report.

This last table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages that have been reported by coin design:

2021 Circulating Coin Production by Design

Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cent 549,200,000 366,800,000 916,000,000
Jefferson Nickel 160,600,000 155,300,000 315,900,000
Roosevelt Dime 300,500,000 258,000,000 558,500,000
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site Quarter (Alabama) 0 0 0
George Washington Crossing the Delaware Quarter 0 0 0
Kennedy Half-Dollar 1,600,000 0 1,600,000
Native American $1 Coin 1,260,000 1,260,000 2,520,000
Total 1,013,160,000 781,360,000 1,794,520,000

 

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Kaiser Wilhelm

Looks like the Mint struck 532.8 million cents last month, and at a sizeable loss due to a production cost of 1.76 cents each. But because the Mint has to fulfill the Federal Reserve’s coin order and since cents are, numerically at least, the biggest part of that order, there’s no choice but to crank out millions upon millions of these increasingly useless little coins, the bulk of which are headed straight to jars, cigar boxes, bottles, piggy banks, drawers, buckets, and let us not forget, sidewalk, street and parking lot pavements everywhere.

Cents in bank.jpg
Last edited 18 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Kaiser Wilhelm

And yet, for what I can only surmise quite likely amounts to an entire range of essentially extraneous factors, the powers that be here in the U.S. A. will not – unlike what has already been accomplished in so many other first world nations who apparently have fewer intransigent entrenched interests, at least in regard to this particular area of concern – even begin to consider the possibility of putting the old cent to rest.

One cent minds.jpg
Last edited 18 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Jim Longacre

The Congress is wasting 1.8 trillion dollars. I’m not greatly concerned with 1.8 cents, under the circumstances.

Kaiser Wilhelm

The Mint produced 532,800,000 cents last month which equals $5,328,000.00. At a cost of $00.0176 to make each $00.01 worth of coinage the Mint incurred a total of $9,377,280.00 in production expenses, resulting in a net cash value loss of $4,049,280.00. That is a bit more than “1.8 cents”, and it is a fact. Whether or not the 1.8 trillion dollars allotted by Congress is being wasted is an opinion.

Last edited 18 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
erv

Do not worry. The mint makes up for the loss on the dimes and other larger denominations. I prefer the amount stamped on the coin to be the actual value of the coin.

Kaiser Wilhelm

That’s an excellent point, erv; I must admit I had neglected to take that into account. This speaks to Jim’s contribution to the discussion also, and in that regard he was closer to the truth than I previously imagined. As for the issue of coins displaying their actual value, the one that confounds me the most in that way is the ATB Silver 5 oz. piece, as in having “Quarter Dollar” on a $229 retail price coin!

ATB 5 oz..jpg
Last edited 17 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Kaiser Wilhelm

P.S.- To be fair, Jim, I admit that 1.8 trillion dollars – $1,800,000,000,000 – of government largesse requires a division into its constituent parts for each of them to be separately analyzed regarding their soundness and necessity.

Trillion Dollars.jpg
Last edited 17 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
vadim

Yet. I a simpleton can’t get a brand new roll of anything at my TCF bank in Michigan. They can’t give it to me because of shutdown or COVID excuses.

Kaiser Wilhelm

It’s certainly possible that it’s not actually the lack or reduction of supply itself that is the root of a particular shortage but another component in the system that is getting in the way; the logistics process may have somehow slowed to a crawl or stalled completely. Or it might even be simpler than that: a) there is some extreme not-caring and/or laziness afoot; or b) somebody simply has their head too far up their butt to think effectively.

Last edited 8 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm