US Coin Production Falls to Pre-Pandemic Levels

After three successive years of bumper coin production to meet COVID-induced shortages in the cash cycle, volumes of coin produced for circulation by the US Mint in 2023 finally fell back to pre-pandemic levels. A total of 11.38 billion coins were minted, with the Philadelphia Mint producing just over 5.73 billion and the Denver Mint minting around 5.65 billion.

The production figure is 16.4% fewer than in 2022 and the lowest number since 2012 – when it produced 9.34 billion circulation coins. This is also the third successive year that the circulating coin production rate has continued to decline.

Last year, more than 4.5 billion cents were struck, versus 6.3 billion in 2022, marking the lowest annual amount since 4 billion were minted in 2010. The 1 cent, or penny, accounted for 39.7% of the total combined coin production for 2023. The production of 5 cents (nickels) fell by 7.8% to 1.4 billion and of 10 cents (dimes) by 13.7% to 2.7 billion.

Production of the higher denominations all increased – for 25 cents (quarters) by 3.8% to 1.6 billion, for half dollars by nearly 500% to 58 million, and for dollar coins by 14.3% to 2.2 million.

The Federal Reserve only resumed ordering half dollar coins in 2021, with last year’s mintage figures reaching the highest number since 1983. Although produced to circulating quality, dollar coins are only sold to the numismatic market.