As part of my perusal of the Internet looking for numismatic-related stories, I stumbled upon an article at the website for The Guardian about the Royal Mint’s operating income and profits. The story touted how the Royal Mint, whose history can be traced back over 1,000 years, increased over 70-percent from the previous year.
Using The Guardian’s reporting, I wondered how the Royal Mint would stack up against the U.S. Mint. Even though the story was published on July 23, 2015 and the U.S. Mint’s data is for Fiscal Year 2014 that ended on September 30, 2014, I am using the conversion rate of at the time I write this of £1 is equivalent to $1.55.
The Guardian reported that the Royal Mint earned £260 million in revenues. This is equivalent to just over $404 million. In contrast, the U.S. Mint boasted revenues of over $3.1 billion or a bit over £1.995 billion. Yes, that is BILLION with a “B.” While the Royal Mint’s revenue was depicted as being the most in the institution’s history, the U.S. Mint’s record revenues came in 2011 when it earned $4.970 billion.
What good is making money if there are no profits. The Royal Mint reported a record profit of £11.5 million or just over $17.7 million. The U.S. Mint did slightly better by reporting a seigniorage of $367.9 million or more than £236.756 million. Even if you take it as a percentage, the Royal Mint’s profit margin is 4.38-percent while the U.S. Mint has a profit margin of 11.86-percent.
Benefit to their respective governments
The Royal Mint is wholly owned by the British Treasury. They pay a £4 million ($6.218 million) dividend to the British government. By law, the seigniorage earned by the U.S. Mint is deposited in their Public Enterprise Fund. The Treasury Department requests a budget for the U.S. Mint which is then approved by congress. The funds are withdrawn from the Public Enterprise Fund. Allowing for overages, the Secretary of the Treasury then transfers the rest of the money to the U.S. General Funds where it is used to pay whatever the government needs. In 2014, $272 million (£174.971 million) was deposited into the General Funds, more than 43-times the dividend that the Royal Mint pays the British government.
The U.S. Mint is the most profitable agency in the United States government. No other mint in the world can match the U.S. Mint’s production, income, and profit. The U.S. Mint even out performs private industry. The average profit margin in the United States is 5.1-percent.
The next time someone complains that it costs too much to make a specific coin, remind them that the U.S. Mint provides more benefit to the government than the loss of a little profit on a few coins.
U.S. Mint seal courtesy of the United States Department of the Treasury.