United States Mint coining facilities slowed last month, striking the lowest number of coins for circulation since January 2021, and registering August as the first month since December where the production total ended under 1.1 billion coins.
U.S. Mint production plants in Philadelphia and Denver shipped just over 948 million coins to Federal Reserve Banks for distribution into the economy, representing declines of 13.9% from July and 20.2% from August 2021.
Here’s how the month compares against others in the past year:
August 2021 to August 2022 Circulating Coin Production
|July 2022||1,100.62 M||11|
|June 2022||1,141.60 M||9|
|May 2022||1,255.32 M||4|
|April 2022||1,278.88 M||2|
|March 2022||1,452.58 M||1|
|February 2022||1,260.12 M||3|
|January 2022||1,249.84 M||5|
|December 2021||953.37 M||12|
|November 2021||1,104.7 M||10|
|October 2021||1,213.86 M||7|
|September 2021||1,169.28 M||8|
|August 2021||1,187.32 M||6|
The U.S. Mint’s main mission is to manufacture coins based on the nation’s demand and then 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 446 million Lincoln cents in August, representing 47% of the circulating-quality coins produced last month. That’s lower than typical, but higher than each of the prior two months with cents per totals of 39.4% in July and 40.2% in June. Generally, the percentage ranges from the low to mid 50s.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in August saw:
- 3% more Lincoln cents,
- 28% fewer Jefferson nickels,
- 22.7% fewer Roosevelt dimes, and
- 25.2% fewer 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 was the case for Native American dollars in 2021 and for this year (so far), but not for Kennedy halves which saw their mintages increase in multiple months both this year (January, May and June) and last year (February, March, April, May and August).
Published mintages of 2022 Native American dollars show 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.
In May, mintages for the 2022 Kennedy half-dollar increased for the second time this year, posting a combined increase of 3.6 million to more than double the 3.2 million made in January. They climbed again in June by 2.9 million. Unchanged since, half dollar mintages stand at 4.9 million from Denver and 4.8 million from Philadelphia for a total of 9.7 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 August 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 359.8 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint pressed 588.26 million coins for the combined 948,060,000 coins. The monthly total was the lowest since January 2021 when mintages combined to 919.52 million coins.
Year to date, the Denver Mint made 4,845,520,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 4,841,500,000 coins for a total of 9,687,020,000 coins, which is 3.6% fewer than the 10,052,260,000 coins minted through the same period in 2021.
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 top 14.5 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 August released the first four 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 started circulating toward the end of March. (The Mint started selling collectible Dr. Ride Sally Angelou quarters in rolls and bags on March 22.)
- the 2022 Wilma Mankiller quarter which began circulating in early June. (The Mint started selling collectible Mankiller quarters in rolls and bags on June 14.)
- the 2022 Nina Otero-Warren quarter which started circulating mid-August. (The Mint started selling collectible Nina Otero-Warren quarters in rolls and bags on Aug 16.)
From the overall production total, there are 68 million in quarters that the U.S. Mint has yet to officially assign to a design. These are likely Nina Otero-Warren quarters with many more yet be produced.
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||296,800,000||310,000,000||606,800,000|
|Nina Otero-Warren Quarter||–||–||–|
|Anna May Wong Quarter (expected release in fall)||–||–||–|
|Native American $1 Coin||980,000||980,000||1,960,000|