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Cent leads Mint’s production jump

Production of cents, nickels and dimes were revved up by the U.S. Mint in May even as production of the other denominations slowed or stopped altogether.

The result is May’s output of 807.41 million coins outpaced all other months in the 2011 calendar year thus far.

Cents set the pace with 440.94 million struck and divided fairly evenly between the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. So far this year, almost 1.9 billion cents have been coined. This is the second year of the new Union Shield reverse design.

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Dime output was next in line at 214 million pieces struck during the month. In the first five months of 2011, 605 million dimes have been produced.

Nickels saw 133.44 million pieces coined, bringing the 2011 total to 357.36 million.

Quarter production dropped to 16.8 million, the lowest monthly total in 2011. So far this year the Mint has struck 183.8 million quarters. The Mint is striking roughly 61 million of each of the five designs this year, so that means by the end of the year totals will be over 300 million. Monthly output numbers can be adjusted up or down as demand for new coins warrants.

Production of half dollars and Native American dollars stayed at zero for the second month in a row. All half dollars in 2011 were struck in January.

Presidential dollar output fell to just 2.23 million in May. With four designs a year and each one having a mintage of roughly 75 million means this series is on track to hit 300 million in 2011.

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