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One 2012 quarter down, four to go

Just two months into 2012 and the U.S. Mint has already finished striking the El Yunque National Forest quarters and the Chester A. Arthur Presidential dollars.

Denver cranked out 25 million of the first of five America the Beautiful quarter designs to be struck in 2012 while Philadelphia minted 25.8 million of the coins for a total of 50.8 million quarters with that design.

Following the Presidential order in December to suspend dollar coin production for circulation, the Arthur dollar totals declined dramatically. Just 2.8 million of the 2012 dollars were struck in Denver while 2.94 million came off the presses in Philadelphia.

The combined 5.74 million mintage for the Arthur dollars is down by 92 percent from the 72.66 million coins struck for the first Presidential dollar in 2011.

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February 2012 monthly mintage totals generally were lower when compared to January. Overall production at 579.86 million pieces was off 27.74 percent from the January output level of 802.5 million coins.

February cent production totaled a combined 348.4 million pieces from the two minting facilities, down from 468.4 million struck in January.

Dime production also fell by nearly half from 194 million coins in January to 103 million in February.

Production of nickels fell by a tad. The 75.84 million total struck in February was down by 7.44 million coins.

Quarters, too, slipped a bit to 43.8 million coins from 50.8 million in January.

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Denver output of cents, nickels and dimes is falling behind the output of Philadelphia. In the first two months of the year Philadelphia has struck nearly twice as many cents as Denver, while the Philly lead in nickels and dimes is narrower.

No half dollars were struck in February as all of the coins likely to be offered to collectors this year, some 3.5 million of them, were struck in January.

Native American dollars, called Golden Dollars in Mint production reports, saw 4.76 million struck in February, bringing the two-month total to 5.6 million coins.

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