U.S. Mint Produces Over 1.5 Billion Coins for Circulation in July

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cents and quarters
The U.S. Mint struck over 1.5 billion coins for circulation last month

The pace of producing U.S. coins for circulation in July was the quickest since August 2020, according to the latest batch of manufacturing figures from the United States Mint.

More than 1.5 billion coins — spread across cents, nickels, dimes and quarters — were struck last month, marking an 11.6% increase from June and an 11.3% decline from July of last year when more coins were minted than in any month since January 2017.

High Coin Production Output During COVID

The United States Mint was asked to step up their pressing pace to help stem coin circulation issues brought about by the COVID pandemic. With another high output month now in the books, the Mint extended its streak of producing 1+ billion coins to six months in a row. The bureau has actually minted over 1 billion coins in thirteen of the last fifteen months. For some perspective, it registered only 7 months of production levels atop 1 billion coins in each of the calendar years 2018 and 2019.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the U.S. Mint has been working "almost six days a week with mandatory overtime at our circulating facilities throughout the country," Mint Director David J. Ryder noted Aug. 25 in a roundtable discussion with members of the numismatic media. "The Federal Reserve is taking absolutely everything we manufacture."

Sustaining full production since the coronavirus started is "a testament to Dave Croft (Associate Director of Manufacturing) and his team and the workers at our facilities who have just been doing a fabulous job while maintaining a safe environment."

In getting back to the numbers, here’s how July compares to others in the past year:

July 2020 to July 2021 Circulating Coin Production

Month Mintages Rank
July 2021 1,505.24 M 3
June 2021 1,348.60 M 7
May 2021 1,473.06 M 4
April 2021 1,320.28 M 8
March 2021 1,134.84 M 11
February 2021 1,163.40 M 10
January 2021 919.52 M 12
December 2020 903.50 M 13
November 2020 1,165.10 M 9
October 2020 1,404.69 M 6
September 2020 1,422.59 M 5
August 2020 1,657.06 M 2
July 2020 1,697.74 M 1

 

The Federal Reserve orders more 1-cent coins from the U.S. Mint than any other denomination even as data shows it costs 1.76 cents to make and distribute each one. The Mint made 858 million Lincoln cents last month, representing 57% of the circulating-quality coins produced.

Month-Over-Month

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

  • 9.7% more Lincoln cents,
  • 3.1% fewer Jefferson nickels,
  • 21.3% more Roosevelt dimes, and
  • 20.9% more quarters.

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 advanced by 5.2 million from Denver and 2.9 million from Philadelphia. Finally in May, production increased by 900,000 from Denver and 300,000 from Philadelphia.

Together, the months add to a combined 12.8 million halves — 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 total of 5.7 million halves.

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 half dollars debuted on May 11.

Here’s a summary of all circulating-quality coins produced last month:

US Mint Circulating Coin Production in July 2021

Denomination Denver Philadelphia Total
Lincoln Cents 417,600,000 440,400,000 858,000,000
Jefferson Nickels 78,000,000 78,240,000 156,240,000
Roosevelt Dimes 141,000,000 138,000,000 279,000,000
Quarters 106,600,000 105,400,000 212,000,000
Kennedy Half Dollars 0 0 0
Native American $1s 0 0 0
Total 743,200,000 762,040,000 1,505,240,000

 

U.S. Mint plants in Denver and Philadelphia manufacture all of America’s coins for commerce. Last month, the Denver Mint made 743.2 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 762.04 million coins for the combined 1,505,240,000 coins.

YTD Totals

Year to date, the Denver Mint has struck 4,622,340,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint has struck 4,242,600,000 coins for a combined 8,864,940,000 coins, which is 7.8% more than the 8,221,420,000 coins minted through the same period in 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:
Denver 2358M 536.88M 989.5M 729M 7.7M 1.26M 4622.34M
Philadelphia 2223.2M 520.54M 886.5M 606M 5.1M 1.26M 4242.60M
Total 4581.2M 1057.42M 1876M 1335M 12.8M 2.52M 8864.94M

 

If the current production pace stretched through to December, the annual mintage for 2021 would near 15.2 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 July.

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 2,358,000,000 2,223,200,000 4,581,200,000
Jefferson Nickel 536,880,000 520,540,000 1,057,420,000
Roosevelt Dime 989,500,000 886,500,000 1,876,000,000
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
Kennedy Half-Dollar 7,700,000 5,100,000 12,800,000
Native American $1 Coin 1,260,000 1,260,000 2,520,000
Total 4,197,340,000 3,797,000,000 7,994,340,000

 

There are 870.6 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.

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Kaiser Wilhelm

Yes, there are likely more boondoggles occurring at the Mint on a fairly regular basis, but I believe one would be hard pressed to find one as egregious as the ongoing cent debacle. Year to date, the U.S. Mint has struck 4,581,200,000 cents at a production and distribution cost of 1.76 cents per coin. That amounts to a total expenditure of $80,629,120.00 to make $45,812,000 worth of cents, a good percentage of which will once again inevitably wind up everywhere but in circulation. And yet there is clearly no one in government who has the fortitude to step up and… Read more »

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Last edited 30 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Antonio

As Canada ended their cent production in 2012.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Antonio,

Thanks for pointing that out. At least someone has realized this is the way to go. By the way, the Eurozone still has 1 and 2 denomination Eurocents; just trying to outdo us in pointlessness, I suppose.

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Mammoth

Yes, and in it’s infinite wisdom the Eurozone also finds it necessary to regulate the size and classification of peas.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Mammoth,

I always amuses me that those who have neither lived in or traveled extensively throughout Europe think our American bureaucracy is unnecessarily complex when in contrast our governmental systems are simplicity itself. It is only when one has had to deal with the rules, directions, regulations and paperwork of the Eurozone that one begins to understand the meaning of the terms byzantine and labyrinthine.

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Last edited 29 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Mammoth

Kaiser, it amazes me the ‘climate change’ (formally the ‘global warming’) folks have not yet taken issue with the penny’s contribution to the rising sea level.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Mammoth,

Well, I do know that whenever a coin is tossed into Rome’s storied Trevi Fountain the world famous landmark’s water level rises by an equivalent amount.

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Antonio

So the Washington Crossing the Delaware quarters won’t be a scarcity. I like the obverse, wish they had returned to the eagle reverse. Oh well, can’t please everyone.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Antonio,

When you say you prefer the eagle reverse do you mean as opposed to the Washington Crossing the Delaware reverse? Just curious.

Mammoth

I am still waiting for the Mint to send me a consolation prize of a shiny new 2021 Kennedy Half Dollar, for missing out on the Type II ‘S’ ASE due to their #%&! website.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Mammoth,

“Consolation prizes” are among the most grossly misnamed of items as they are neither bringers of any real consolation nor typically very much of a prize.

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Last edited 29 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Seth Riesling

“I got a rock…” – Charlie Brown, from “A Charlie Brown Halloween”. The U.S. Mint gave a free logo-branded tote bag made in Vietnam a few years ago to those who made certain purchases. The U.S. Mint also gave away a 50-States quarter coin to each kid under age 18 who attended its launch ceremonies held around the country & Washington D.C. & the 5 USA territories and the same for each of the ATB quarters & were in a “Made in China” circular snap-shut soft plastic capsule. The U.S. Mint also gives a Lincoln cent to anyone who purchases… Read more »

Rich

The Mint once gave me $4.95 free shipping (credit card) credit because I complained about something.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Rich,

Speaking of complaining in general, I must say that all those here who have been voicing their disapproval in regard to the new packaging format for ASEs with them coming in wafer-thin easily breakable plastic rather than the nice solid clamshell cases we were previously graced with are 100% correct; the new packaging stinks! Talk about a step down in class, this is actually more like several floors down, perhaps even into the sub-basement. Two thumbs down!

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Last edited 29 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Rich

Yes Sir Kaiser, the new packaging stinks! The crappy new packaging format for both the ASEs and AGEs began with the issuing of the new reverse design Type-2 American Eagles. What a way to usher in “A New Era for American Eagle Coins” as the Mint puts it.

Kaiser Wilhelm

Rich,

As a simple example of the absence of even a pretension of sturdiness in the Mint’s new ultra-flimsy packaging, all I had to do to put a crack in it was to take the 2021-S Type 2 ASE out of its holder to look at the reverse, and bingo, a slit appeared up the side of what might very generously be called “plastic”. How bad is that!

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Last edited 28 days ago by Kaiser Wilhelm
Kaiser Wilhelm

Rich,

And by the way, it is a “new era” for ASEs, just not a good one.

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Kaiser Wilhelm

Seth, One shouldn’t have any cause to look up the meaning of the word “faith” after having watched Charlie basically volunteer to fall for the same trick for the umpteenth time as Lucy promises not to pull the football out from under him when he goes to kick it but always does anyway; that young Master Brown is the absolute king of the optimists! Everybody loves giveaways at shows and/or conventions, and it must be especially fun for the kids as they tend to get more excited in general than adults do under similar circumstances. That ANA Mint Passport with… Read more »

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