The U.S. Mint’s pace of striking coins for circulation slowed in February from January and from the same month a year earlier, but the overall output topped a billion for a second month in a row.
Manufacturing figures from the United States Mint show just over 1.05 billion coins pressed for the month — spread across cents, nickels, dimes and quarters, marking declines of 12.2% from January and 16.3% from February of last year.
Here’s how the month ranks against others in the past year:
February 2022 to February 2023 Circulating Coin Production
|February 2023||1,054.16 M||9|
|January 2023||1,200.46 M||5|
|December 2022||846.50 M||13|
|November 2022||906.00 M||12|
|October 2022||1,177.14 M||6|
|September 2022||1,003.72 M||10|
|August 2022||948.06 M||11|
|July 2022||1,100.62 M||8|
|June 2022||1,141.60 M||7|
|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|
Again, Fewer Pennies
The U.S. Mint’s main 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 data shows that it costs the Mint 2.72 cents to make and distribute each one.
The Mint struck 426.8 million Lincoln cents in February, accounting for 40.5% 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 a given month were cents. As an example contrasting the change, 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 February decreased:
- 12% for Lincoln cents,
- 16.3% for Jefferson nickels,
- 10.8% for Roosevelt dimes, and
- 9.3% 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 — specifically, 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 been the case so far this year, but was not for Kennedy halves in each of the two prior years when the Federal Reserve unexpectedly ordered millions more just for circulation (in amounts of about 12 million and 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. Around 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 February 2023
|Native American $1 Coin||0||0||0|
In overall production totals for February, the Denver Mint struck 540.08 million coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 514.08 million coins for the combined 1,054,160,000 coins.
For the year to date, the Denver Mint struck 1,177,820,000 coins and the Philadelphia Mint made 1,076,800,000 coins for a total of 2,254,620,000 coins, which is 10.2% fewer than the 2,509,960,000 coins manufactured through the first two months of 2022.
If the current production pace stretched through to December, the annual mintage for 2023 would top 13.5 billion coins. The U.S. Mint manufactured over 13.6 billion coins for circulation in 2022.
This next table lists coin production totals by denomination and by U.S. Mint facility:
YTD 2023 Circulating Coin Production by Denomination
|1 ¢||5 ¢||10 ¢||25 ¢||50 ¢||N.A. $1||Total:|
Lastly, U.S. Mint figures show 469.2 million quarters have been manufactured since January. These are most of the Bessie Coleman quarters with more yet to be made. 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.