U.S. coin production soared for a second month in a row, manufacturing figures from the United States Mint show.
In July, U.S. Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver struck nearly 1.7 billion coins for circulation, marking their highest monthly output since January 2017. The production pace picked up 6.3% from the previous month and ran 41.2% quicker than in July of last year.
The Mint has increased production to help stem coin circulation issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I want to assure you that the men and women of the Mint workforce are working as hard as we possibly can to get newly produced coins into the economy. In fact, we are on track to mint more coins this year than we have produced in almost 20 years," U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder said Aug. 5.
Here’s how the month compares against others in the past year:
July 2019 to July 2020 Circulating Coin Production
|July 2020||1,697.74 M||1|
|June 2020||1,596.48 M||2|
|May 2020||904.12 M||8|
|April 2020||801.84 M||11|
|March 2020||898.86 M||9|
|February 2020||1,094.30 M||6|
|January 2020||1,228.08 M||3|
|December 2019||400.88 M||13|
|November 2019||898.38 M||10|
|October 2019||1,154.94 M||5|
|September 2019||939.66 M||7|
|August 2019||767.32 M||12|
|July 2019||1,202.10 M||4|
The Federal Reserve orders more 1-cent coins than any other denomination despite data that shows it costs the U.S. Mint 1.99 cents to make and distribute each one. The Mint produced 799.2 million Lincoln cents last month, representing 47.1% of the circulating-quality coins produced in July.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in July saw:
- 10.2% fewer Lincoln cents,
- 33.1% more Jefferson nickels,
- 7.1% fewer Roosevelt dimes, and
- 72.4% more America the Beautiful quarter dollars.
Native American $1 Coins and Kennedy half-dollars are no longer ordered by Federal Reserve Banks but they are still made in circulating quality for coin collectors. Usually in January, the U.S. Mint tends to strike both coins to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. That wasn’t the case for halves — more were produced in February and then again in July.
In February, mintages of Philadelphia Mint-struck Kennedy half-dollars rose by 1.8 million after none were reported out of the plant in January. In July, the Philadelphia Mint made another half million for a new total of 2.3 million. Those added to the 1.8 million produced in January by the Denver plant combine to 4.1 million halves for the year. For reference, last year’s half-dollar ended with equal splits of 1.7 million for Denver and Philadelphia for a combined 3.4 million.
Published mintages of the Native American dollar remained unchanged — 1.26 million from Denver and 1.4 million from Philadelphia for a combined 2.66 million coins. Last year’s issue had splits of 1.54 million for Denver and 1.4 million for Philadelphia for a combined 2.94 million coins.
Read a summary here of all circulating-quality coins produced last month: