Soaring sales of American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins in fiscal year 2009 masked declines in the Mint’s numismatic sales program and circulating coinage seigniorage.
In the year ending Sept. 30, 2009, the Mint in its annual report said that overall sales reached $2.91 billion, up from $2.80 billion in the prior fiscal year and $2.64 billion in fiscal year 2007.
However, seigniorage and net income declined to $501.6 million from $806.4 million.
Seigniorage is the difference between the face amount of a coin and the cost of its manufacture. On average, the Mint makes 55 cents for every dollar of face value in coins that it produces, but this amount swings from a negative sum for the cent and nickel to positive sums for the dime through dollar coins.
The proportion of coins shipped in fiscal 2009 saw the dollar coin component jump to 58.9 percent from 36.7 percent in the prior fiscal year.
The face value of coins shipped in fiscal 2009 totaled $777.6 million, down 39.9 percent from the prior year. The decline in seigniorage was 39.4 percent to $427.8. The slightly smaller drop was due to a drop in the price of metals during the year.
Numismatic program sales dropped 21 percent to $440 million from the prior year’s $557.2 million. Profit from the numismatic program dropped 63.6 percent to $21.8 million. Seigniorage on these numismatic coins sold dropped by 14.2 percent from the prior year to $19.3 million.
During the year the Mint pared the number of numismatic offerings from 550 individual products to 186.
Bullion coin sales soared 78.6 percent to $1,694.8 billion. Profit rose by 83.7 percent to $32.7 million. The Mint work’ on a two-percent profit margin for bullion coins.
Overall, the total amount of money transferred by the Mint to the U.S. Treasury was $475 million in 2009, down from $750 million in 2008 and $825 million in 2007.
Despite falling metal prices that took the metallic values of the cent and nickel below face value during the year, production and overhead costs kept the Mint’s cost per coin well above face value.
The cent cost 1.61 cents to mint in 2009 while the nickel cost 6.05 cents. The dime cost 5.7 cents to make, the quarter, 11.25 cents and the dollar cost 30 cents. So few half dollars were struck in 2009 that the Mint made no calculation of cost.
Part of the reason overhead had such a great impact on production is that coinage numbers fell so dramatically in 2009. The costs are distributed over fewer coins, thereby raising the individual coin’s cost.
The Mint’s shipments to the Federal Reserve dropped by nearly half from fiscal year 2008, from 10 billion pieces to 5.2 billion.
(Mintage totals in calendar year 2009, which ended Dec. 31, dropped by two-thirds.)
The annual report revealed that the Mint had 1.06 million customers in the fiscal year.