US Mint Circulating Coin Production January 2012

The United States Mint has provided the first figures on circulating coin production for the year. These figures include coins struck for circulation at the Philadelphia and Denver Mint facilities during January 2012.

For the month, total production reached 802.50 million. This is up significantly from the previous month when 431.78 million coins were produced, although December is typically a light month for production. The current month total is up about 5% from the year ago period of January 2011 when 764.73 million coins were produced.

Looking at the production figures by denomination reveals big shifts in production for certain denominations.

2012 US Mint Coin Production Figures
Jan 2012
Lincoln Cent – Denver 162.40 M
Lincoln Cent – Phil. 306.00 M
Jefferson Nickel – Denver 41.04 M
Jefferson Nickel – Phil. 42.24 M
Roosevelt Dime – Denver 84.00 M
Roosevelt Dime – Phil. 110.00 M
Quarters – Denver 25.00 M
Quarters – Phil. 25.80 M
Kennedy Half – Denver 1.70 M
Kennedy Half – Phil. 1.80 M
Native Am Dollar – Denver 0.84 M
Native Am Dollar – Phil. 0
Pres Dollar – Denver 0.84 M
Pres Dollar – Phil. 0.84 M
Total 802.50 M

The US Mint struck 468.4 million cents across both mint facilities. This compares to 398 million cents struck in the year ago period. Within the US Mint’s most recent annual report, the acting CFO had warned that demand for cents and nickels were expected to increase in the coming year. Cents accounted for 58% of all circulating coins produced by the US Mint for the current month.

The number of nickels produced at 83.28 million showed a slight decline from the year ago level, while dimes at 135 million were up slightly.

Quarter production at 50.8 million was down from the 61.2 million production in the year ago period. Towards the end of last year, quarter production seemed to be on the increase, so the latest numbers are somewhat surprising. However, it is still early in the year and it may take a few more months for a clear trend to emerge.

Following the announcement that production of Presidential Dollars for circulation would be suspended, the number of $1 coins produced is dramatically lower than the prior year. For the month of January 2012, the US Mint produced in 2.52 million $1 coins including both Presidential Dollars and Native American Dollars. This compares to production of 78.96 million $1 coins during January 2011.

The production of Presidential Dollars of 0.84 million each at the Philadelphia and Denver Mint was most likely for the next release of the series featuring Chester A. Arthur. The US Mint has not indicated this amount as the final mintage for the design, so likely more will be struck in the coming months.

The release date for the first 2012 Presidential Dollars is still unknown. Prior to the announcement of the suspension, the Chester Arthur Dollars had a circulation release date of February 16, 2012. Until recently, the US Mint had preliminary product pages on their website for the Chester Arthur Dollar rolls and the 2012 Presidential Dollar Proof Set. These pages were removed about a week ago and the products listed as “TBD” within the product release schedule. So far the US Mint’s website has not made any mention of the 100-coin bags, 250-coin boxes, and 500-coin boxes that were listed within a product pricing notification.

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  1. says

    I am likewise surprised at the low quarter production. Those half-dollars listed makes me think the 2012 kennedy rolls must be coming any day now.


    Is it possible they might just release the “jumbo” dollar coin sets without an announcement, at the same time they release the two roll set?

  2. Starter Set says

    Have these entered into circulation yet? This is my first year collecting and never have paid attention before. In general how long does it take coins to circulate to all the states?

  3. Broooster says

    Quarter production, 25 Million from each mint, still, hardly any ATB quarters in circulation. I still buy rolls of them at the bank, for myself, but is everyone else buying them to save as well??? I keep hearing how ugly they are, and no one is interested in them. Someone must be saving them for something, maybe the next rainy day, idk.

  4. Michael says

    I have seen one report of someone receiving the 2012 El Yunque Quarters in change, so they have been released into circulation to some extent, in some places.

    The circulation of new issues seems to vary greatly based on location. For a few years, Puerto Rico would get new coins well in advance of other areas.

  5. jemakat says

    I received a 2012 El Yunque Quarter in change last weekend. I am in the New York City metro area.

  6. Shutter says

    I haven’t seen any quarters in circulation dated past 2008. Prior to that, I typically began seeing coins about a year after issue. I think a lot depends on the distance from you to your Federal Reserve Bank or one of its branches, as well as which Fed covers your state. I’m in Phoenix and the nearest branch is in Salt Lake City. Puerto Rico is covered by NY Fed and it cycles through the most cash, so it makes sense that PR would see new coins sooner than most of us.

    I think most states in the state quarter program were around 500M each, the slowest year for states was around 2.25B coins. The lowest volume was for Northern Mariana (around 70M).

  7. says


    I’m mostly in the same boat. Once in a great while, I’ll get lucky and find the occasional 2009 or 2010 quarter, but by and large they don’t appear to be circulating where I live. And I’m not all that far from a local Federal Reserve either, the branch in my town is maybe 30-35 minute drive from my home assuming decent traffic.

    The only post 2008 coin I tend to see in large numbers is the penny.

  8. Broooster says

    I honestly think it depends on the banks, not how close you are to a Federal Reserve Bank. I live outside of Detroit, Mi, in a small town, which is in the seventh district, served by the branch in Chicago. There is only 1 bank chain in all of my area that gets the rolls of ATB. On top of that, I work in Toledo, OH, which is in the forth district, served by the branch in Cleveland. I have called many many branch chains in the Toledo area, and notta one has any of the ATB quarters. In retrospect, Cleveland is 120 miles closer to Toledo than my home town is to Chicago.

  9. Louis says

    What’s ugly about ATB quarters? I thought most collectors like them. Personally I much prefer them to most of the state quarters. Presidential dollars are another story.

  10. Silver Surfing Scott says

    More useless information. I’m not interested in any of this
    circulation coinage. Never made any money on any of it.
    Mintage is always to much. I’m looking forward to another
    blog. Thanks for the information anyway. I do appreciate it.
    Thankyou! 🙂

  11. Brad says

    My local bank usually gets at least one $500 box of unmixed ATB quarters for each design so far. It’s just a small independent bank in Du Quoin IL. My area is serviced by the 8th district of the Federal Reserve Bank, St. Louis MO.

    I’ll see if DQSB has any of the new 2012 El Yunque quarters when I go there tomorrow morning. If so, I’ll go ahead and pick up a roll or two.

  12. says


    I don’t think they’re ugly at all. In general I think the design quality of them is far better than the 50 State Quarter Program. The only real criticism I might make is some of the details are a bit too fine to make out very well on the regular quarter.

    As for why you can’t find them, there’s two problems. First, I think the majority of them are sitting in bank vaults. The second is that, yes, when they are circulated they are probably being hoarded by people. I know for a fact I keep any I find, because they’re just so rare. I’ve found only five regular AtB quarters in circulation in the past two years.

  13. DR JOE says


  14. ClevelandRocks says

    I’ve seen two Yellowstones and a Hot Springs ATB in NE Ohio in the past week. Love the designs on the ATBs way more than the State quarters. The pennies are rediculous. Just round to the nearest 5 cents….
    What’s the plan with the Penny reverse? Are we going to get the Lincoln Memorial back?

  15. says


    The shield penny is a permanent change. The Mint seems to like to change the penny about every 50 years or so. They changed to the memorial in 1959 and they’ve now changed it to the shield. The 2009 four penny release was a one-off they did to essentially commemorate the changeover. The penny, theoretically, will now have the shield until 2059.

    I’m okay with this change; I never liked the memorial cent that much. I think the shield is better looking and more appropriate for a coin.

  16. auxmike says

    I too wonder why they have to crank out SO many new coins every year. It’s not like the really wear out. I think I have found about three ATBs and mabye 5 2009 lincolns! Good thing is I loaded up with the 5 box limit from the mint on the 2009 lincolns, I LOVE those…

  17. Zaz says

    The ATBs are out there, I get 1 or 2 a week now, because I made an effort this year to stop relying on plastic, particularly my debit card. Last year, I could go for weeks without handling any kind of change, because using plastic is almost nearly universal except in the small mom & pops, and also way more convenient than handling cash. It’s also easier to spend more, too, and just charge it to the card. With cash you actually have to pick and choose and make decisions.

  18. Hidalgo says

    @Zaz – I wonder how many folks are like you and me who buy most of our items with a credit/debit card. I prefer to use plastic, rather than carrying coins/change, to buy my items. That way, I can get bonus points as well…

  19. VA Bob says

    Zaz makes a good point. Folks use debt and credit cards, even for small purchases these days. This does have an impact on the amount of coins ordered from the Fed by banks. I’m sure there are plenty of quarters from many years previous sitting in bags at the Federal Reserves. I often get state quarters that look almost mint fresh in change. I have picked up a few ATB’s in change though.

    Also, with the economy the way it is, many are dumping their piggy banks. Coin Star pumps millions back into circulation on a regular basis, via a return to the Fed’s.

    I believe there will be many good examples that appear in change for years to come.

  20. EvilFlipper says

    Those 2009 pennies are hard to come by. I was looking for one for my kids project and couldn’t find any!! Except in my proof set….

  21. says

    I was lucky and found a fair supply of pennies – one of the businesses I frequent has a little “take a penny” cup. It’s always loaded with fresh penny rolls from banks, and I can get 2009-2011 fairly easily.

  22. Rolling Thunder says

    Perth Mint-ophiles

    Look at the blog on the Perth Mint internet site for a post about Mint News Blog, Michael’s article on “Some Things That Other World Mints Are Doing”, and some quotes from “Captian, Shutter, and Schalk”

    Way to go everyone!

    Sorry US coin purists – I know this is primarily a blog for US Mint products
    Hope you will indulge worrld coin interests once-in-awhile

  23. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    I agree with you, Zaz.
    In addition we have long been a society that just thinks “Just charge it on the card.” My buddy doesn’t like to carry any cash or coins. He just charges everything on the card, even a $6 lunch when we go to the deli. Bt he’s in a lot of debt along with my other friends all about $6,000. Using a cradit card makes it hard to keep track of how much you’re spending. Yeah, just charge it on the card. You borrowing accumulates to about $4,000. But with 15% interest, you suddenly owe $6,000!!!
    I cut my credit cards long ago and have $0 debt. I just keep one for travel and rent-a-car reservations. Moreover, I buy everythging in cash so I know EXACTLY how much I have left! The best thing about it is I get lots of coins in change. Found 2009 PR quarter and 1939S nickel in change the other day.

  24. Hidalgo says

    Question: what was the last >>non-error<< general circulation coin that was produced by the US Mint? I can't think of a single one in decades…..

  25. says


    For pure bullion purchases I use Provident Metals.

    Rolling Thunder and Michael,

    Thanks for the heads up! It’s pretty neat that we got noticed and quoted like that.

  26. SmallPotatos says

    I like the AtB’s much more than the state quarters. when i do get a rare one in my change, it is easy to pick out with the bordered edge. i think that type of border frames the image of the particular park rather nicely. i am looking forward to finding my first 2012 coin. will it be the penny, nickel, dime, or quarter?

  27. Hidalgo says

    I’m uncertain about all of you, but one of the joys of coin collecting I have found is the thrill of the hunt! I enjoy passing my free time by assembling a collection of easy and hard to find coins (to include the ATB quarters). Collecting coins would be boring if all of the ATBs were easy to find!

  28. Jon in CT says

    I just noticed that the 2012 Infantry Soldier Silver Dollar Defenders of Freedom Set will go on sale this Thursday, Feb 16, at noon ET. According to the Mint’s page at it contains a PROOF silver dollar and the production of this set has been limited to 50,000 and there’s a household ordering limit of 100 sets.

    Given a cost only $2 more than the “early-bird” price of the “simple” proof silver dollar and the relatively low production, this product smells like a winner. If you’re at all interested in this, I recommend you get your order in as early as possible.

  29. Jon in CT says

    BTW, the quote on the inside of the Defenders of Freedom set is from JFK’s inaugural address given on Jan 20, 1961:

    “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

  30. says

    Jon, I saw the release too on CoinUpdate. I was also thinking the DoF might have some potential, too, though given how unexcited the collecting community tends to be over US commems, I’ll reserve judgment until I see first week sales numbers. I do think a sellout will take place, but probably not for several months.

    Of course, I wouldn’t mind being wrong, especially since I’m planning to buy one! 🙂

  31. Shutter says

    Just curious. $49.95 is introductory price for the proof coin. After 3/19/2011 it goes up to $54.95. So far, so good. The DoF set is $51.95, but there is nothing about the price going up later. So is this an oversight or does the mint just assume that Dof will sell out in a month?

  32. G says

    I love that they quoted captainoverkill and shutter on the Perth mint blog! I know some people don’t like the foreign mint coins, but the thing about coin collecting, is it really is a micro-history collection, and in this world we live in- no museum collection is complete without the whole of the globe being admired. I have to say- I wasn’t very excited about the infantry coin, but that defender set looks awesome. It’s almost lincoln chronicle-esque in its creativity. Way to go US Mint! Now, about that 2011 W gold burnished that is set to deliver on 2/28…

  33. Samuel says

    Gee! G! u still have the AGE in ur mind?! Forget about it. I dont know how many people on the backordered list, or call it a waiting list? Should be around a couple of hundreds. For such a small quantity stuff, unless they r still mining the gold for this coin, there is not reason to delay this long.

  34. Samuel says

    And, after I placed the order and saw backordered, I immediately ordered one at APMEX, and got it a while ago. The bad thing about APMEX is that, they took out the barcode at the bottom of the mint box, and made it messy.

  35. Kelly says

    Hey G

    I am backordered also for the AGE. Tried to get an answer from the mint for the last week to see if they were actually going to fill the order and all I got was a run around and promise of return calls that never happened. Even tried to email them and was told I had to call the 6468 number also.

  36. Two Cents says

    Shutter, you bring up a very valid point about the regular price of the individual Proof Infantry silver dollar ($54.95) being higher than the price of the Defenders of Freedom Set ($51.95), which according to the Mint’s website is supposed to include the Proof version of the coin.

    I wonder if that is a mistake in the wording of the sales description. I can’t recall the last time, if ever, the Mint used a Proof silver dollar in one of its special sets. I believe they have always used an Unc. coin. The picture that they use on their website also shows an Unc. coin in the set.

    If it is indeed an Unc. coin in the set, then the regular price of that version of the coin ($49.95) will still be less than the set’s price.

  37. G says

    Kelly and Samuel:

    I just called the Mint about the backordered ’11 W gold- they said:
    “most likely they are looking to see if they have more in the warehouse- the hold up is if they are trying to see if they have any left, and they’ll either send it out or send you a notice they’re sold out. They give it a while to make sure there aren’t any extras- for example if there are returns or anything. It usually lasts about a month. It’s up to the warehouse- they don’t give us a time frame.”

    well…okay then! that clears that up! lol

  38. Samuel says

    They don’t keep good track of such an expensive coin?! Can’t believe it. No wonder there are some 33 double eagles out there.

  39. Shutter says

    I can’t recall the last time, if ever, the Mint used a Proof silver dollar in one of its special sets.

    Sure you can. All those anniversary eagle sets (1995, 2006, 2011)? Lincoln Coin and Chronicles (2009). Lewis & Clark Coin & Pouch (2004). Not even counting all those Legacy and Prestige sets.

  40. T1 browserman says

    No mention of Royal Mint which began in 1968 ?

    Visited the site and some nice 5 pound coins and take a look at those 1 Kilo OLYPIAD silver and gold coins with mintages of 2,012 and 60 respective.

    I picked up a couple of silver Diamond Jubilee coins; the regular 5 pound and the Piedfort double headed coin look like true nice heirlooms.

    BTW a 5 coin 22 karat sovereign set sold out its 395 mintage for what I believe was over 3,000 pounds but i see one set available on ebay for 4,285 pounds. (my laptop does not have the Bristish pound symbol). It was on their site http:// as ‘Sold Out’ but was removed either today or yesterday.

  41. T1 browserman says

    Sorry, just saw the litte note re OLYMPIAD coins filed under Low Mintage products in the Some things that other world mints are doing.

  42. Hidalgo says

    Michael, do you know if the US Mint plans to stop sales of the Eliza Johnson FS gold coin by the end of Februrary/early March 2012? Wouldn’t that be in line with the originally-intended anniversary for the gold coin?

  43. Michael says

    The US Mint has timed the end of sales for each First Spouse Coin with the release of the issue one year ahead in the schedule. By this method, the Eliza Johnson sales would end to coincide with the release date for the Alice Paul coins.

    However, there is also the possibility of an earlier sell out, depending on the remaining inventory of Eliza Johnson coins.

  44. says

    My bank is telling me no more Pres dollars, they are not for sale on Mint website, yet I see on eBay folks are listing for pre-sales? Scam?

    Is this the end of Pres dollars? What a shame! I have been building up a good collection and looked forward to years more of the program. My family and I sure have learned a lot about our Presidents due to this program. It ends at Chester Arthur, reeeely?

    Is this the end or will the mint sell at outrageous markups in the future?

  45. says

    Ya, so looks like Pres Dollar rolls are not going to be in banks, 3 of my banks that I typically get rolls from are telling me they are not making them any longer, and the US MInt raised price from $32.95 per roll to $39.95, what a crock!

  46. Tom Dvorak says

    Got an El Yunque quarter in change today! Wow! And, the same day, I also received an Olympic quarter . . .

    Seems the ATBs are starting to circulate. I hadn’t received one since the Yellowstone quarters back in 2010.

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