In May, the pace of producing U.S. coins for circulation slowed for a second month, according to the latest manufacturing figures from the United States Mint, but the level still hurdled 1.1 billion for a fifth straight month and for the fifteenth time in the last sixteen months.
Specifically, the U.S. Mint struck over 1.25 billion coins in May, representing declines of 1.8% from April and 14.8% from May 2021.
Here’s how the month compares against others in the past year:
May 2021 to May 2022 Circulating Coin Production
|May 2022||1,255.32 M||7|
|April 2022||1,278.88 M||5|
|March 2022||1,452.58 M||3|
|February 2022||1,260.12 M||6|
|January 2022||1,249.84 M||8|
|December 2021||953.37 M||13|
|November 2021||1,104.7 M||12|
|October 2021||1,213.86 M||9|
|September 2021||1,169.28 M||11|
|August 2021||1,187.32 M||10|
|July 2021||1,505.24 M||1|
|June 2021||1,348.60 M||4|
|May 2021||1,473.06 M||2|
The U.S. Mint’s main mission is to manufacture coins based on the nation’s demand and transport them to Reserve Banks and their coin terminals for distribution into circulation.
The Federal Reserve orders more 1-cent coins from the U.S. Mint than any other denomination even as data shows that it costs 2.1 cents to make and distribute each one. The Mint struck 588.4 million Lincoln cents in May, representing 46.9% of the circulating-quality coins produced last month.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in May saw:
- 17% fewer Lincoln cents,
- 21.8% more Jefferson nickels,
- 14.6% more Roosevelt dimes, and
- 15.4% more quarters.
Native American $1 coins are no longer ordered by the Federal Reserve, but they are still made in circulating quality for coin collectors. The same is true, or was until last year, for Kennedy half-dollars. Traditionally in January, the U.S. Mint produces both denominations to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. That turned true for Native American dollars in 2021 and for this year (so far), but not for halves which saw their mintages increase this year in May and last year in February, March, April, May and August.
Published mintages of 2022 Native American dollars were unchanged in May, as mentioned, with equal splits of 980,000 from Denver and 980,000 from Philadelphia for a combined 1.96 million coins. In contrast, the 2021 dollar logged splits of 1.26 million for Denver and 1.26 million for Philadelphia for 2.52 million coins.
Mintages for the 2022 Kennedy half-dollar increased in May by a combined 3.6 million (divided equally with 1.8 million for each plant) — more than doubling the amount last made in January. Half dollar mintages now stand at 3.4 million from Denver and 3.4 million from Philadelphia for a total of 6.8 million. Last year’s half-dollar ended with a mix of 7.7 million from Denver and 5.4 million from Philadelphia for a combined 13.1 million.
The U.S. Mint started selling rolls, bags and boxes of 2022 Native American dollars on Feb. 9. It released rolls and bags of 2022 Kennedy halves on May 5.
Here’s a summary of all the circulating-quality coins produced last month:
U.S. Mint Circulating Coin Production in May 2022
|Native American $1 Coin||0||0||0|
Minting facilities in Philadelphia and Denver are tasked with making all U.S. coins for commerce. Last month, the Denver Mint struck 626.38 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint minted 628.94 million coins for the combined 1,255,320,000 coins.
Year-to-date, the Denver Mint made 3,358,240,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 3,138,500,000 coins. They combine to 6,496,740,000 coins, which is 8.1% more than the 6,011,100,000 coins minted in the first five months of last year.
This next table lists coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:
YTD 2022 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 2022 would near 15.6 billion coins. The U.S. Mint manufactured nearly 14.5 billion coins for circulation in 2021.
2022 Quarter Mintages
In addition to the 2022 Native American dollar with its one-year-only design, the U.S. Mint through May released the first two issues from their four-year program of American Women quarter dollars. Each features a unique design. They include:
- the 2022 Maya Angelou quarter which began circulating in early January. (The Mint started selling collectible Maya Angelou quarters in rolls and bags on Feb. 7.)
- the 2022 Dr. Sally Ride quarter which began circulating toward the end of March. (The Mint started selling collectible Dr. Ride Sally Angelou quarters in rolls and bags on March 22.)
From the overall production total, there are 5.6 million in quarters that the U.S. Mint has yet to officially assign to a design. These are likely the first of many more quarters depicting Wilma Mankiller. Mankiller quarters started circulating in June.
This last table offers a breakdown of this year’s mintages that have been reported by coin design, including the first two quarters:
2022 Circulating Coin Production by Design
|Maya Angelou Quarter||258,200,000||237,600,000||495,800,000|
|Dr. Sally Ride Quarter||278,000,000||275,200,000||553,200,000|
|Wilma Mankiller Quarter (expected release in June)||–||–||–|
|Nina Otero-Warren Quarter (expected release in summer)||–||–||–|
|Anna May Wong Quarter (expected release in fall)||–||–||–|
|Native American $1 Coin||980,000||980,000||1,960,000|