The mintage for the first 2012 Presidential dollar is less than a
tenth of the total mintage for the final 2011 Presidential dollar.
The United States Mint reports that it struck 5.74 million
circulation-quality Chester A. Arthur Presidential dollars, the first
coin in the series not produced for circulation. By production
facility, 2.8 million coins were produced at the Denver Mint and 2.94
million pieces were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Mintages for the
2011 James A. Garfield Presidential dollar, the last Presidential
dollar produced for circulation, totaled 74.2 million coins — 37.1
million each at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints.
The drastically lower mintage for the Arthur coin is a result of
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s Dec. 13 directive suspending
the production of Presidential dollars for circulation. He suspended
production in an effort to save $50 million to $75 million annually on
dollar coin production costs since Federal Reserve Banks and their
storage facilities hold in inventory some $1.4 billion Presidential
dollars. According to the Treasury Department, the inventory is
sufficient to meet commerce needs for dollar coins for the next 10 to
12 years without the need to strike and release additional
The Mint is required by law to strike Presidential dollars,
although the Treasury secretary holds broad powers in determining the
number of coins that will be struck and the Federal Reserve is not
required to order the coins.
Although authorizing legislation required that 20 percent of all
dollar coins struck and released for circulation be Native American
dollars, the actual number of 2012 Native American dollars struck so
far is nearly equal to the number of Chester A. Arthur dollars struck,
and three other Presidential dollars are scheduled to be struck in
2012. U.S. Mint officials report that 5.6 million circulation-quality
2012 Native American dollars have been struck for numismatic products,
with the production of the coins evenly divided between the Denver and
The U.S. Mint struck 80.78 million 2010 Native American dollars
and 77.56 million 2011 Native American dollars.
Starting in 2012, circulation-quality Presidential and Native
American dollars will only be available as numismatic products from
the U.S. Mint and from secondary sellers who buy them from the Mint.
The Mint plans to offer unmixed quantities of circulation-quality
Presidential dollars at premiums above face value in various ordering
options, with Arthur Presidential dollar rolls being offered beginning
at noon Eastern Daylight Time April 5. ■