The U.S. Mint was established to create coins for commerce use in the country. The current U.S. Mint as we know it was a result of the Coinage Act of 1792, which established the first Mint building in Philadelphia. In 2020 alone, the Mint produced more than 14 billion coins worth $1.1. billion. But do you know which coins are minted the most?
WizardPins.com created a graphic that visualizes how many coins were minted each year for the past one hundred years. Can you guess the most popular coin?
In the last 100 years, this is the breakdown of coin production:
- Penny (1¢): 532,526,921,514
- Nickel (5¢): 66,480,447,520
- Dime (10¢): 108,961,661,303
- Quarter (25¢): 96,240,624,175
- Half dollar (50¢): 5,523,598,288
- Dollar ($1): 6,405,119,812
The penny is the most-minted coin of the last century, making up 65% of all new coins produced with a total value of $532.5 billion in today’s dollars. The penny was one of the first coins created by the U.S. Mint and was made of pure copper. Today, pennies are made of copper-plated zinc.
In recent years, there has been talk of eliminating the penny, although there are no plans to do so. It has a very high production cost — it costs nearly 2 cents to produce a penny. Some argue that the penny is also unnecessary as rising inflation has rendered it obsolete.
Wondering which years saw the largest production of new coins?
- 2000: 28.1 billion
- 1999: 21.9 billion
- 1995: 19.8 billion
- 1996: 19.5 billion
- 1982: 19.45 billion
The years with the lowest production of new coinage were during the Great Depression. Many banks closed, and government workers around the world were being laid off. Once the economy began to recover, coin production ramped back up.