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Circulating coinage totals continue fall

There may be a mad scramble by the public to obtain quantities of the U.S. Mint’s gold and silver bullion coins, but such cannot be said of demand for plain old circulating coinage placed into the banking system.

In November the Mint struck just 76.06 million coins across all of the denominations; there were 61.6 million cents, 11.8 million quarters and 2.66 million Presidential dollars.

These numbers are hardly enough to justify starting up the equipment. Remember the days of less than a decade ago when the Mint was striking 2 billion coins a month? Now we are at an 11-month total in 2009 of 3.548 billion coins combined.

The trend lines of lower and lower mintages for the D.C. and Territories quarters and Presidential dollars continued right through to the end.

The sixth and final Territorial quarter, both the Denver and the Philadelphia issues, have taken the distinctions of being the lowest mintages at each respective minting facility for the six designs.

Denver cranked out 37.6 million Northern Mariana Islands quarters and Philadelphia struck 35.2 million, for a combined total of 72.8 million coins. This combined total is 9.2 million lower than the previous low, 82 million, for the U.S. Virgin Islands coins.

Only the Denver American Samoa quarter at 39.6 million joined the Northern Mariana totals at fewer than 40 million pieces.

The 88.8 million Denver D.C. quarter number now seems huge in comparison. It is hard to believe that this coin has the highest total for any facility for the six designs.

The combined total of 636.2 million for all six quarter designs from both mints is lower than many of the individual mintages for state quarters.

The fourth Presidential dollar design also came in below the other three.

The Denver Zachary Taylor coin registered 36.68 million and Philadelphia followed at 41.58 million.

There was less variability in the Presidential coin mintages. For the denomination, as low as they might seem in sequence with the other Presidential coins starting with Washington, when compared to mintages of Ike dollars in the 1970s, the totals seem ordinary.