The United States Mint produced over 3.4 billion coins during the first quarter of 2022. This is down from last year’s amount of 3.96 billion coins. However, it’s worth noting that last year’s amount was the highest first quarterly total since 2017.
In March, the Mint ramped up its pace of producing coins for circulation. Their production plants in Philadelphia and Denver shipped over 1.18 billion coins, including cents, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars. Although this reflects a 12.7% increase from February, it marks an 18.2% decrease from the same month last year.
Here’s how the month ranks against others in the past year:
March 2022 to March 2023 Circulating Coin Production
|March 2023||1,187.94 M||5|
|February 2023||1,054.16 M||9|
|January 2023||1,200.46 M||4|
|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||3|
|April 2022||1,278.88 M||2|
|March 2022||1,452.58 M||1|
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 their 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 400.4 million Lincoln cents in March, accounting for 33.7% of the circulating-quality coins made for the month. This continues a trend below 50% 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 March saw:
- 6.2% fewer for Lincoln cents,
- 21% more for Jefferson nickels,
- 25.5% more for Roosevelt dimes, and
- 27.2% more for quarters.
Mintages of Native American Dollars and Kennedy Halves
The U.S. Mint also produces other coins in circulating quality, namely dollars and half dollars. Although Native American $1 coins are no longer ordered by the Federal Reserve, they are still minted in circulating quality for coin collectors. The same was true for Kennedy half dollars until recently, specifically in 2021 and 2022.
Usually, in January, the U.S. Mint produces both denominations in the expected amounts needed for the entire year. This remained the case for Native American dollars but not for Kennedy halves, which saw their mintages increase in multiple months in 2021, 2022, and now 2023. In the prior two years, 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, but the total struck in Denver increased in March by 2.2 million, the first additional gains since January. Figures to date have this year’s halves at 4.4 million from Denver and 2.2 million from Philadelphia for a combined total of 6.6 million. This 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 have not changed 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. On May 15, 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 March 2023
|Native American $1 Coin||0||0||0|
In terms of overall production totals for March, the Denver Mint struck 644.26 million coins, while the Philadelphia Mint made 543.68 million coins, resulting in a combined production of 1,187,940,000 coins.
First Quarter 2023
During the first quarter of this year, the Denver Mint struck 1,822,080,000 coins, and the Philadelphia Mint made 1,620,480,000 coins, for a total production of 3,442,560,000 coins. This figure is 13.1% lower than the 3,962,540,000 coins manufactured in the first quarter of 2022.
If the current production pace were to continue through December, the annual mintage for 2023 would surpass 13.7 billion coins. In 2022, the U.S. Mint produced over 13.6 billion coins for circulation.
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:|
2023 Bessie Coleman Quarter Mintages
In addition to the 2023 Native American dollar with its one-year-only design, the U.S. Mint has also released the first two of five issues for 2023 from their four-year program of American Women Quarters™. These two issues represent the sixth and seventh overall in the series, and each one features a unique design.
The Bessie Coleman quarter, the first quarter design for this year, began circulating on Jan. 3. On February 14, the Mint made rolls and bags of the quarter available for purchase by the public. According to the latest figures from the Mint, a total of 619.2 million Bessie Coleman quarters were minted, with 317.2 million coming from Denver and 302 million from Philadelphia. This is the highest mintage total for any quarter in the series to date.
Of the total production, 133.8 million quarters have not yet been officially assigned to a design by the U.S. Mint. This is a portion of many more Edith Kanakaʻole quarters yet to be made. Kanakaʻole quarters entered circulation on March 27 and are now available for purchase in rolls and bags offered by the U.S. Mint.