US Coins

Cent, 5-cent coins still cost more than face value to produce, ship

It still costs more than face value for the United States Mint to strike and distribute the Lincoln cent and Jefferson 5-cent coin into circulation, according to the bureau’s just released 2019 Annual Report.

The report spans coin and medal production activities for Fiscal Year 2019. FY 2019 ran from Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019.

All figures given in this article represent the costs of production and distribution for each denomination.

According to the report, the copper-plated zinc cent costs 1.99 cents to produce and distribute, a slight decrease from the 2.06 cents it cost in FY 2018, but still more than the 1.82-cent cost in FY 2017.

For the Jefferson copper-nickel 5-cent coin, the cost increased to 7.62 cents in FY 2019 from the 7.53-cent cost in FY 2018 and 6.6 cents in FY 2017.

Costs for the Roosevelt copper-nickel clad dime were 3.73 cents in FY 2019, the same as for FY 2018, but more than the 3.33-cent cost in FY 2017.

Costs for the America the Beautiful copper-nickel clad quarter dollars totaled 9.01 cents in FY 2019, 8.87 cents in FY 2018 and 8.24 cents in FY 2017.

On a related note, circulating coin shipments dropped 8.8 percent in FY 2019 from FY 2018, to just under 12.5 billion coins. Circulating coin revenue dipped 7.5 percent to $798.1 million.

Seigniorage — profit from the difference between face value and the cost of production and distribution, decreased 0.9 percent to $318.3 million. Seigniorage per dollar issued increased to 40 cents from 37 cents during FY 2018. 

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