U.S. coin production in April ran the quickest for a month since October, according to the latest round of manufacturing figures from the United States Mint.
The U.S. Mint struck over 1.3 billion coins for circulation last month, marking increases of 16.3% from March and 64.7% from April of last year.
Here’s how the month compares against others in the past year:
April 2020 to April 2021 Circulating Coin Production
|April 2021||1,320.28 M||6|
|March 2021||1,134.84 M||9|
|February 2021||1,163.40 M||8|
|January 2021||919.52 M||10|
|December 2020||903.50 M||12|
|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||11|
|April 2020||801.84 M||13|
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 made 598.4 million Lincoln cents last month, representing 45.3% of the circulating-quality coins produced in April.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in April saw:
- 1.7% fewer Lincoln cents,
- 13% fewer Jefferson nickels,
- 49.1% more Roosevelt dimes, and
- 58.6% more 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. Often 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 finally showed up in March at 1.9 million. Then in April, amounts for both facilities jumped with 6.8 million from Denver and 4.8 million from Philadelphia for a combined 11.6 million — already the most for a year since 2001. 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.
Here’s a summary of all circulating-quality coins produced last month:
US Mint Circulating Coin Production in April 2021
|Kennedy Half Dollars||5,200,000||2,900,000||8,100,000|
|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 576.5 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 743.78 million coins for the combined 1,320,280,000 coins.
Year-to-date, the Denver Mint struck 2,424,160,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 2,113,880,000 coins for a combined 4,538,040,000 coins, which is 12.8% more than the 4,023,080,000 coins minted through the first four months of 2020.
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:|
If the current production pace stretched through to December, the annual mintage for 2021 would top 13.6 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 (on Feb. 8) another coin with a one-year-only design — the 2021 Tuskegee Airmen quarter for Alabama. Its mintage remained unchanged in April.
This last table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages that have been reported by coin design:
2021 Circulating Coin Production by Design
|Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site Quarter (Alabama)||304,000,000||160,400,000||464,400,000|
|George Washington Crossing the Delaware Quarter||0||0||0|
|Native American $1 Coin||1,260,000||1,260,000||2,520,000|
There are 293.6 million in quarters that the U.S. Mint has yet to officially assign to a design. These are 2021 George Washington Crossing the Delaware quarters. Hundreds of millions more of them will be made until the first American Women quarters are issued in 2022.