In January, U.S. coin production rebounded to an eight-month high and hurdled the billion level for the first time in three months, manufacturing figures from the United States Mint show.
U.S. Mint production facilities made just over 1.2 billion coins for circulation last month — spread across all possible denominations, jumping 41.8% higher than in December although slipping 4% compared to January 2022.
Here’s how the month ranks against others in the past year:
January 2022 to January 2023 Circulating Coin Production
|January 2023||1,200.46 M||6|
|December 2022||846.50 M||13|
|November 2022||906.00 M||12|
|October 2022||1,177.14 M||7|
|September 2022||1,003.72 M||10|
|August 2022||948.06 M||11|
|July 2022||1,100.62 M||9|
|June 2022||1,141.60 M||8|
|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|
Again, Fewer Pennies
The U.S. Mint’s top mission is to manufacture coins in requested quantities to meet public demand. The Mint produces, sells and then delivers circulating coins to Federal Reserve Banks to support its service to commercial banks and other financial institutions.
The Federal Reserve always orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination even though the latest available data shows that it costs the Mint 2.72 cents to make and distribute each one.
The Mint struck 485.2 million Lincoln cents in January, representing 40.4% of the circulating-quality coins made for the month. This continues a sub-50 trend which began in May. Historically, before then, more than half of the coins produced in any given month were cents. As an example, last year’s high-water mark happened in January when 59.8% of the circulating coins minted were cents.
In month-over-month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in January increased:
- 63.9% for Lincoln cents,
- 51.9% for Jefferson nickels,
- 17.9% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- 31.4% for quarters.
Mintages of Native American Dollars and Kennedy Halves
The U.S. Mint also strikes other coins in circulating quality, namely dollars and half dollars. 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 was true for Kennedy half dollars until recently — years 2021 and 2022.
Usually in January, the U.S. Mint produces both denominations to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. That has not been the case for Kennedy halves in each of the two prior years, however, as the Federal Reserve unexpectedly ordered millions more for circulation — roughly 12 million and then 7 million in fiscal years 2021 and 2022, respectively.
It has not been disclosed whether any 2023 Kennedy half dollars will be produced for general circulation. Figures to date have this year’s halves at 2.2 million from each production plant for a total of 4.4 million coins. These compared to production runs in 2022 totaling 4.9 million from Denver and 4.8 million from Philadelphia for 9.7 million coins.
2023 Native American dollar mintages are not expected to change with splits of 1.12 million each from the Denver and Philadelphia Mints for a combined 2.24 million coins. In contrast, the 2022 dollar recorded equal splits of 980,000 from each facility for a total of 1.96 million coins.
On Feb. 6, U.S. Mint started selling rolls, bags and boxes of 2023 Native American dollars. In May, the bureau is expected to offer collectors rolls and bags of circulating 2023 Kennedy halves.
This next table shows 2023 circulating coin mintages by production facility, denomination, and design.
U.S. Mint Circulating Coin Production in January 2023
|Native American $1 Coin||1,120,000||1,120,000||2,240,000|
In overall production totals for January, the Denver Mint made 637.74 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 562.724 million coins for the combined 1,200,460,000 coins, which is 4% fewer than the 1,249,840,000 manufactured in January 2022. If the current production pace stretched through to December, the annual mintage for 2023 would top 14.4 billion coins. The U.S. Mint manufactured over 13.6 billion coins for circulation in 2022.
Lastly, U.S. Mint figures show 246 million quarters were struck in January. These are Bessie Coleman quarters with more yet to be minted. As a part of the Mint’s series of American Women Quarters™, the Bessie Coleman quarter is the sixth issue overall and first of five for 2023. Bessie Coleman quarters started circulating Jan. 3. More recently, on Feb. 14, the Mint released rolls and bags of them for sale to the public.