Are you short of dimes?
You might think a lot of people are judging from January Mint production numbers.
The Denver and Philadelphia coining facilities teamed up to strike 194 million dimes. At that rate over the 12 months of the calendar year, output would rise by 55 percent to 2.328 billion dimes when compared to the 2011 mintage total of 1.502 billion pieces.
Not since the booming days before the recession has output of dimes been so high.
For comparison, dime production in 2006 totaled 2.828 billion pieces.
Production of cents, too, is climbing, but at a slower rate.
The 468.4 million struck in January annualizes to a rate of 5.6208 billion coins, up 13.8 percent from 2011, but still far below the 8.234 billion struck in 2006.
Nickel output in January of 83.28 million coins annualizes to roughly 1 billion coins, up by 10 million, or hardly any increase in output in 2012 as compared to 2011.
Quarter output is coming to life again. The 50.80 million struck in January annualizes to a rate of 609.6 million coins. That would be up 56 percent from 2011’s 391.2 million, but still the number is far below output levels in the heyday of state quarter production.
In 2006, the Mint churned out 2.9 billion quarters and that was not even a banner state quarter year.
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The big story in December was the suspension of production of dollar coins for circulation.
In January, the few dollar coins struck were destined to be offered to collectors.
Half dollar production was also limited as it has been since 2002 to those that will be offered for sale to collectors.
Overall, if the January coining pace is kept up, 9.63 billion coins will be produced in 2012, just about the 10-billion figure that Deputy Mint Director Richard A. Peterson said the Mint was staffed for in an interview two weeks ago.