This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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Here’s a riddle:
In December, the Denver Mint struck 87 million coins yet the overall production increase recorded by the U.S. Mint for the month was just 80.2 million pieces. What happened?
Well, while Denver was actually busy producing coins, the accountants were apparently busy with the Philadelphia totals and 6.8 million cents were subtracted from the 11-month total reported for November.
Nevertheless, production of 2010 cent managed to squeeze past 4 billion pieces, up 70 percent from the 2.354 billion cents struck in 2009.
Some 490.56 million nickels were struck in 2010, up from just 86.64 million in 2009. The 3.36 million struck by Denver in December brought the Colorado mint’s 2010 annual output to 229.92 million, somewhat less than Philadelphia’s 260.64 million.
Denver added just 13.5 million more 2010 dimes to the annual tally, but for the year, the “P” and “D” mints together cranked out 1.119 billion pieces, up from 146 million in 2009, an output increase of nearly eightfold.
Not surprisingly, even Denver struck no quarters in December, leaving the annual total for Denver and Philadelphia combined at 347 million, down from 2009’s 533.92 million.
In December no half dollars or Presidential dollars were struck at either mint, while 5.74 million Presidential dollars were produced in Denver.
Half dollar mintage of 3.5 million in all of 2010 was 300,000 fewer than in 2009.
The annual Native American total of 80.78 million in 2010 is 9.52 million more than the 71.26 million struck in 2009.
Presidential dollar output declined in 2010 by 30.94 million from 2009’s tally to 321.44 pieces.
Overall coin production in 2010 was 6,373,110,000 pieces, up 80 percent from 2009’s 3,548,000,000.