Increase Production Costs Highlighted in The United States Mint’s 2022 Annual Report

The United States Mint has released its 2022 Annual Report, highlighted by the increase in the cost of production of all circulating coinage for the United States. As has been the case since 2015, the Lincoln Cent and the Jefferson Nickel cost more to produce their face value. The 2022 Annual Report is available on the Mint’s website.

In the report, the Mint highlights that coin shipments to the Federal Reserve bank decreased by 2.6 billion pieces or 17.6%. In total, the Mint shipped 12.1 billion coins in 2022. The decrease in shipments in all denominations, except for the Washington Quarter, “resulted in decreased revenue and seigniorage compared to last year.”

The report also outlines the costs of each coin minted for circulation.

  • Lincoln Cent cost 2.72 cents, up from 2.1 cents in 2021
  • Jefferson Nickel costs 10.41 cents, up from 8.52 cents in 2021
  • Roosevelt Dime costs 5.03 cents, up from 4.39 cents in 2021
  • Washington Quarter costs 11.11 cents, up from 9.63 cents in 2021
  • Kennedy Half Dollar costs 17.15 cents, up from 11.67 cents in 2021

The cost increases can largely be blamed on the increase costs of copper, nickel, and zinc. For nickel, the average spot price was up 41.4% last year, while copper saw an increase of 6.3% and zinc had a 26.5% increase.

Below is a breakdown of the total costs of each denomination from the Mint’s report

One-CentFive-CentDimeQuarterHalf Dollar
Cost of Goods Sold0.02430.09170.04420.09750.1286
Sales, General & Administrative0.00260.01090.00540.01200.0286
Distribution to Reserve Banks0.00030.00150.00070.00160.0143
Total Unit Cost0.02720.10410.05030.11110.1715
Total Costs of Each Denomination in 2022

It was not all bleak in the report. According to Mint Director Gibson’s statement in the report, the Mint had net earnings for the year thanks to the bullion program and numismatic products program.

The Mint’s bullion program had a particularly strong year, generating $3,747.5 million in revenue and $81.9 million in net earnings. This success was complemented by the performance of our numismatic program which sold more than 4.6 million units, resulting in $559.4 million in revenue and $129.5 million in net earnings. The success of the bullion and numismatic programs, combined with seigniorage generated by our circulating coin program, allowed the Mint to transfer $534 million to the United States Treasury General Fund.

United States Mint

Undoubtedly, this report will cause debate within the government and the numismatic community on the value of retaining the Cent in circulation. The Mint could move the Cent to a collectors-only coin, much like the Kennedy half dollar had been for the last twenty years until two years ago. That change, however, would require all businesses to round costs and sales to the nearest five cents ($19.95 versus $19.99, for example), which requires pricing changes and software changes to Point of Sale terminals to support it. 

It is not an easy task and with other more pressing matters facing the United States government, this one is likely to not even make it to the back burner of the stove.

The Mint’s 2022 Annual Report is a long but interesting read that I encourage all readers of USCoinNews to review.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: