This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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What a difference a year makes. Mint coin output in the first quarter of calendar year 2011 is turbocharged compared to the pace set in early 2010.
Cent production of 1.0724 billion pieces through March 2011 is almost double the 572.03 million struck in 2010’s first quarter.
But the output differences get truly large when you look up the denominational ladder.
For nickels, the 153.84 million coins this year compare to zero last year.
Dime output of 275 million pieces is over 14 times 2010’s production of just 19 million coins.
2011 quarter production of 122.8 million pieces is roughly three times the 42.4 million coins struck in 2010’s first quarter.
Similar output numbers were achieved by half dollars, which at 3.45 million compares to last year’s 3.5 million in the first quarter.
Native American dollar output of 27.72 million coins is roughly half the 46.06 million 2010 output, while 2011 Presidential dollar production at 118.16 million pieces is virtually identical to 2010’s 114.24 million thanks to the Federal Reserve’s ongoing support of the program.
If the quarterly production rates are kept up to the end of the calendar year, it appears that the Mint expects to boost cent production by just 7 percent.
Quarter output on the other hand will jump by over 40 percent and reach nearly 500 million pieces.
Nickel output would also jump by roughly 125 million pieces, to 615 million pieces, up over 25 percent.
Output of dimes in 2011, while large at well over 1 billion pieces annually, would virtually tie 2010’s production rate.
Dollar coin output is likely to be similar to 2010’s as well, though monthly production can fluctuate widely.
Overall, the U.S. Mint is on track to produce 7.09348 billion coins in 2011, up over 11 percent from 2010.