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Denver takes lead

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Denver had a faster start in 2011 coin production than the Philadelphia Mint did. For every coin struck by Philadelphia, Denver struck more than two.

Philadelphia churned out 240,430,000 coins during the first month of the year and Denver struck 524,300,000. The two together produced 764,730,000.

This compares to the much slower start to the year in 2010 when the Great Recession drastically reduced coin demand. January 2010 production was just 218,410,000 coins.

Nickels and dimes made a strong start in 2011. For nickels, Philadelphia struck 15,840,000 coins, but Denver struck a whopping 77,280,000. The combined total of 93,120,000 equals nearly 19 percent of the 490,560,000 struck in 2010. At this monthly rate, nickel production would exceed last year’s in June.

Philadelphia lagged in dime production at 20 million, but Denver’s contribution was over five times that level at 110 million. The combined total of 130 million compares to 1.119 billion struck last year. If the current monthly rate is sustained for 12 months, the 2011 dime production total would be 1.56 billion pieces.

Cent production registered a respectable 398 million between the two mints. At that rate, almost 4.8 billion will be struck compared to 4 billion in 2010.

Quarter production still lags the heady pace set during the glory years of the state quarter program, but at 61.2 million pieces divided evenly between the two mints, the U.S. Mint is setting a monthly pace that would more than double last year’s 347 million coins.

Half dollars coined for the roll and bag market are at a similar levels to last year at 3.5 million.

Native American dollars, which had a fast start in 2010, only to slow down as the year went on, had an initital 2011 monthly mintage of 6.3 million, a pace at which if kept up the 12-month output would be 75.6 million coins, almost identical to last year’s 80.78 million.

Presidential dollar production in January totaled 72.66 million coins. They are still benefiting from the Federal Reserve’s legal obligation to support the issue despite low public interest in them.

Interestingly, this number is almost identical to the starting 2010 monthly number of 74.48 million. In 2011, the production pace is likely to slow as it did in 2010. Final production last year was 321.44 million Presidential dollars.

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