Penny Costs 3.07 Cents to Make in 2023, Nickel Costs 11.54 Cents; US Mint Realizes $249M in Seigniorage

The United States Mint revealed in its 2023 Annual Report that the production costs of all coin denominations went up. It's been eighteen years in a row that the unit cost of pennies and nickels went higher than their face values.

During the current fiscal year, the United States Mint produced more than 10.5 billion coins for circulation, which is a decrease from the previous year's total of 12.1 billion coins.

Shipments of circulating coins to the Federal Reserve Bank in FY 2023 fell short of previous year's total of 10.5 billion coins, a decline of 1.6 billion units, or 13.2 percent. Revenue and seigniorage were down from previous year due to lower shipments of all denominations except half dollars, according to the U.S. Mint's annual report.

Coins that are sent to Federal Reserve Banks for distribution into circulation generate money for the United States Mint. This revenue is generated from the selling of coins at their face value.

To create, administer, and distribute the one-cent currency, the United States Mint increased its toll to 3.07 cents from 2.72 cents (12.9%) in the fiscal year 2023. Additionally, the unit cost of the five-cent coin climbed to 11.54 cents from 10.41 cents (10.9%) in the same fiscal year.

Throughout the course of the year, the United States Mint did see a break in the prices of the metals that are used in the manufacturing of coins. This occurred despite the fact that decreased production totals led to increasing per-unit expenses.

Copper makes up 2.5% of the composition of Lincoln cents, while zinc makes up the remaining 5%. On the other hand, nickel makes up 25% of 5-cent pieces, while copper makes up the remaining 5%. Nickel makes up 8.33% of the composition of dimes, quarters, and half dollars, while copper makes up the remaining 73.75 percent.

Due to the fact that the cost of making and distributing dimes, quarters, and half dollars was lower than their face values, the United States Mint was able to generate a profit from the minting of these coins, in contrast to the pennies and nickels.

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