In May, the pace of producing U.S. coins for circulation slowed for a second month, according to the latest manufacturing figures from the United States Mint, but the level still hurdled 1.1 billion for a fifth straight month and for the fifteenth time in the last sixteen months.
Specifically, the U.S. Mint struck over 1.25 billion coins in May, representing declines of 1.8% from April and 14.8% from May 2021.
The U.S. Mint’s main mission is to manufacture coins based on the nation’s demand and transport them to Reserve Banks and their coin terminals for distribution into circulation.
The Federal Reserve orders more 1-cent coins from the U.S. Mint than any other denomination even as data shows that it costs 2.1 cents to make and distribute each one. The Mint struck 588.4 million Lincoln cents in May, representing 46.9% of the circulating-quality coins produced last month.
In month-over month comparisons for coins used daily by Americans, production totals in May saw:
- 17% fewer Lincoln cents,
- 21.8% more Jefferson nickels,
- 14.6% more Roosevelt dimes, and
- 15.4% more quarters.
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 is true, or was until last year, for Kennedy half-dollars. Traditionally in January, the U.S. Mint produces both denominations to the expected amounts needed for the entire year. That turned true for Native American dollars in 2021 and for this year (so far), but not for halves which saw their mintages increase this year in May and last year in February, March, April, May and August.
Published mintages of 2022 Native American dollars were unchanged in May, as mentioned, with equal splits of 980,000 from Denver and 980,000 from Philadelphia for a combined 1.96 million coins. In contrast, the 2021 dollar logged splits of 1.26 million for Denver and 1.26 million for Philadelphia for 2.52 million coins.
Mintages for the 2022 Kennedy half-dollar increased in May by a combined 3.6 million (divided equally with 1.8 million for each plant) — more than doubling the amount last made in January. Half dollar mintages now stand at 3.4 million from Denver and 3.4 million from Philadelphia for a total of 6.8 million. Last year’s half-dollar ended with a mix of 7.7 million from Denver and 5.4 million from Philadelphia for a combined 13.1 million.