In April, the United States Mint increased its pace of striking coins for circulation for the third straight month, resulting in the highest monthly output this year.
The Mint produced over 1.25 billion coins, including cents, nickels, dimes, quarters, and half dollars, representing a 5.3% increase from March but a 2.2% decrease from April 2022. This marks the fifth consecutive month in which the 1 billion production level has been exceeded.
Here’s how the month ranks against others in the past year:
April 2022 to April 2023 Circulating Coin Production
|April 2023||1,250.32 M||3|
|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||2|
|April 2022||1,278.88 M||1|
The main mission of the U.S. Mint is to manufacture coins in response to 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.
Despite the fact that it costs the Mint 2.72 cents to make and distribute each 1-cent coin, the Federal Reserve always orders more of them than any other denomination.
In April, the Mint struck 481.6 million Lincoln cents, which accounted for 38.5% of the circulating-quality coins made for the month. This continues a trend that began in May 2022, when the percentage of cents produced in a given month fell below 50%. Historically, before May 2022, more than half of the coins produced in a given month were cents. For instance, in January of last year, 59.8% of the circulating coins minted were cents, which contrasts with the current situation.
In month-over-month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in April saw:
- 20.3% more for Lincoln cents,
- -0.5% fewer for Jefferson nickels,
- -4.3% fewer for Roosevelt dimes, and
- -1.2% fewer for quarters.
Mintages of Native American Dollars and Kennedy Halves
In addition to cents, nickels, dimes, and quarters, the U.S. Mint also produces dollars and half dollars in circulating quality. While the Federal Reserve no longer orders Native American $1 coins, they are still minted in circulating quality for coin collectors. This was also true for Kennedy half dollars until recently, specifically in 2021 and 2022.
Typically, in January, the U.S. Mint produces both denominations in the expected amounts needed for the entire year. However, this remains the case only for Native American dollars, as Kennedy halves saw their mintages increase in multiple months in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
In the past two fiscal years (2021 and 2022), the Federal Reserve unexpectedly ordered millions more Kennedy half dollars for circulation, with amounts of about 12 million and 7 million, respectively. It’s unclear whether any 2023 Kennedy half dollars will be produced for general circulation, but the total struck increased by 2.5 million in April, 2.2 million in March, and 4.4 million in January. As of now, the combined total of halves is 9.1 million, with 5.4 million from Denver and 3.7 million from Philadelphia. This is in comparison to the 2022 production runs, which totaled 4.9 million from Denver and 4.8 million from Philadelphia, for a total of 9.7 million coins.
The mintages of 2023 Native American dollars have remained unchanged, with splits of 1.12 million from the Denver Mint and 1.12 million from the Philadelphia Mint, for a combined total of 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 scheduled 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 April 2023
|Native American $1 Coin||0||0||0|
Regarding overall production totals for April, the Denver Mint struck 636.08 million coins, while the Philadelphia Mint made 614.24 million coins, resulting in a combined production of 1,250,320,000 coins.
Year-to-date, the Denver Mint has struck 2,458,160,000 coins, and the Philadelphia Mint has made 2,234,720,000 coins, for a total production of 4,692,880,000 coins. This figure is 10.5% lower than the 5,241,420,000 coins manufactured during the same period in 2022.
If the current production pace were to continue through December, the annual mintage for 2023 would near 14.08 billion coins. In comparison, the U.S. Mint produced 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:|
|Denver||951.6 M||313.44 M||662 M||524.6 M||5.4 M||1.12 M||2458.16 M|
|Philadelphia||842.4 M||277.2 M||601.5 M||508.8 M||3.7 M||1.12 M||2234.72 M|
|Total||1794 M||590.64 M||1263.5 M||1033.4 M||9.1 M||2.24 M||4692.88 M|
2023 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.
Out of the total production year-to-date, 414.2 million quarters have not yet been officially assigned a design by the U.S. Mint. These quarters are part of the many more Edith Kanakaʻole quarters yet to be made. Kanakaʻole quarters began circulating on March 27 and are available for purchase in rolls and bags from the U.S. Mint. The third issue of this year’s quarters, honoring Eleanor Roosevelt, is set to launch on June 5.