Circulating Quality 2012-S America the Beautiful Quarters for Collectors

by Rhonda Kay on May 23, 2012 · 20 comments

This year the United States Mint facility in San Francisco will produce circulating quality 2012-S America the Beautiful Quarters® which will be sold only within collector products.

2012 America the Beautiful Quarters

Traditionally, circulating quality coins like the America the Beautiful Quarters have been minted in Philadelphia and Denver. This year the U.S. Mint will also strike them in San Francisco, but these will only be offered in collector products.

These quarters with the "S" mint mark will not enter normal commerce via banks and other financial institutions like most other American coinage produced for circulation. Instead, the new coins will be offered by the U.S. Mint directly to the public as numismatic products, with premiums above their face value, which is similar to the 2012-dated Presidential $1 coins, Native American $1 coins, and Kennedy half-dollars.

"We were looking for a new numismatic product with an "S" mark. Feedback we had received from customers was that there was always great anticipation with products that had the "S" mint mark," explained Michael White, a U.S. Mint spokesman.

The United States Mint anticipates the new strikes could be popular with collectors while also improving the program’s visibility.

"We felt that an "S" mint mark on America the Beautiful quarters would bring some additional visibility to the program," added White. "A business case was developed that supported moving forward with the product."

For years, coins for circulation have been struck at the U.S. Mint facilities in Denver and Philadelphia with the respective "D" or "P" mint marks, while the San Francisco facility strikes proof quality coins for numismatic sets, such as the core Proof Set, the core Silver Proof Set, and the America the Beautiful Quarters proof sets in clad and in silver. The last time the California facility produced any type of circulation quality coin was in the early 1980’s.

Minimally, bags and rolls of the San Francisco quarters are expected, with other products and perhaps even sets with them possible. The quarters will also have limited mintages.

Considering that the U.S. Mint has been selling a little over one million quarters in bags and rolls from each of the Philadelphia and Denver Mints already, the new products could be exceedingly popular and sell out. Should circulating quality quarters from San Francisco prove popular, it is possible similar issues could continue into next year and beyond.

The U.S. Mint will "evaluate the program in subsequent years and make a determination if the program should continue," White indicated.

This year’s America the Beautiful Quarters include:

  • 2012-S El Yunque National Forest Quarters (Puerto Rico)
  • 2012-S Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarters (New Mexico)
  • 2012-S Acadia National Park Quarters (Maine)
  • 2012-S Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Quarters (Hawaii)
  • 2012-S Denali National Park Quarters (Alaska)

So far this year, Philadelphia and Denver minted quarters featuring El Yunque National Forest and Chaco Culture National Historical Park have been released into circulation. The other quarters have only been seen within various numismatic proof sets and the just released 2012 U.S. Mint Set.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Vachon May 23, 2012 at 8:17 am

Stop it U.S. Mint. Just stop it. You need fewer products, not more. If you want to make business strike San Francisco mint coins, then reopen the mint. Stop emulating other countries’ mints by putting out garbage. The U.S. Mint and BEP should be dignified institutions, not glorified souvenir shops.

jim May 23, 2012 at 8:37 am

Well one glorified souvenir mint – Canada’s – is profitable where the US Mint isn’t. The mint is stretching their minds trying to figure some way to make money without doing anything. Limited by old technology and unimaginative designers there’s not much else they can do.

I like the fact that they’re doing something for collectors for a change. We’ll see if that is actually true or if it’s just another boondoggle for dealers to take advantage of.when they announce how this is going to happen

lopital May 23, 2012 at 9:50 am

I think the mint is making it really hard to be a collector with so many variations… I like Canada’s originality, i.e. the Wild Life Series (relatively few variations, reasonably priced and with a mintage limit), and the Silver Commemorative Coins at Face Value, but they also have way too many products…

You could argue that they are profitable, but they are probably not stacking vaults with Sacagawea and Presidential dollars. I think the entire monetary system should be revised, and agreed upon. This survival of the fittest is actually kind of sad…

billymac11 May 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

Also, why introduce a whole new thing in the middle of a coin series?

Josh May 23, 2012 at 11:14 am

What’s wrong with you all? Canada’s products suck because they have a million products, most of which suck.

I for one am very excited to see the S mintmark on circulating coins again. I think it’s really cool.

This will also give a great opportunity for pocket change. Crackheads are going to spend these and if you get a box of quarters to look through, maybe you’ll find one. I’ve found proof quarters before so we’ll see.

bill May 23, 2012 at 11:52 am

But why stop there, make some 5 oz quarters with an S mark and have them acid washed like so many san franciscans did to themselves back in the 60’s. Oooooohh how about some tye died coins with a war on drugs logo to celebrate 40 years of failure?

I’ll be content with the proof set with the S mark lol

A&L Futures May 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

“In a bold move, the United States Mint announced that they will be slashing the number of product offerings available for sale. The move comes in response to complaints from collectors that the Mint is offering too many products.”

http://mintnewsblog.com/2008/11/us-mint-cuts-product-offerings-by-60_10/

bill May 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm

The article was written on Monday, November 10, 2008 hahahahaha

Birth Set anyone? How about a Birth Set with an S mark lol

lopital May 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I don’t know why, but Bill reminded me of that SNL sketch on Taco Town… Now that’s a taco!

jim May 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm

I think the proof silver eagle would sell in a much grander scale if the US Mint modernized and plated the frosted parts with gold like the Canadian silver proof commemorative dollar these last few years. The proof silver eagle looks great now but adding the gold would make it a spectacular coin.

Having an S mint mark meant a lot more back in the old days when there was no internet, coin mintages were known only by looking in a blue book long after they were done with that year, and one could only look through their own pocket change for that special coin. Those days are gone and so is the value of an S mint mark.

FutureUser May 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm

So, how about releasing more of those stored-up dollar coins into circulation? I’m not seeing many of them, just a few types (early Presidents). I thought they were going to flood the market with them, but I guess not.

Dan Callaway May 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Geez…if they can make a change like that in the middle of a series, you’d think they would put Teddy Roosevelt on the obverse. Make a change that means something, US Mint!

RonnieBGood May 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Where is the Mint getting their Feedback from? Lets look at the “10” ways you can currently Purchase the “America the Beautiful Quarter Series”.
Here are numbered examples for 2011 & 2012 Quarters:
* Uncirculated 5 Coin Set (U12)
* Uncirculated Set (N94) Includes 5 P & 5 D quarters
* Mint Full Proof Set (P14)
* Clad Quarter Proof Set (Q5C)
* Silver Quarter Proof Set (SV7)
* Circulating Coin Set (N91) Includes 5 P & 5 D
* Uncirculated Coin Set (N93) Includes 5 P & 5 D
* Individual Two Roll Sets (R75) Includes 40 P & 40 D
* Individual 100 Quarter Bags (QY6) for D & (QY1) for P
* Individual 3 Coin Sets Including an Unc. P, Unc. D & “S” (N82)

Do we really want or need another Quarter in this series??

RonnieBGood May 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Oh yes, Lets not forget the 5 Ounce Quarters for a grand total of twelve ways to purchase an “America the Beautiful Quarter”!!

RonnieBGood May 24, 2012 at 7:37 pm

My apoligies. In my above post their will be a total twelve ways to purchase the ATB Quarter with the addition of the “S” mint Quarters for Collectors.

lopital May 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Percentage-wise, the mint makes most of its profits from clad coins. For example, the premium for a 3 quarter set is $9.95/$0.75*100 = 1326%. Pretty nice profit… This assumes it costs $0.25 to make a quarter; I don’t know how much they pay for packaging. Even if more expensive, they can only charge a fraction for precious metal coins, and they don’t sell as many. So, it does makes sense for them to reduce the number of high price products, but bombard us with clad ones.

What’s next, messing with the machines so that they create “error coins” for collectors?

Bubba Gamer May 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm

People sure do like to complain. If you don’t like the product, don’t buy it. Then down the road, you can pay the few of us a lot more money and wish you would have bought it when it first came out. US mint is more traditional than Canada Mint. They went out on a limb and created the 5 oz coins and they started out really popular and were selling out fairly quickly and now they sell fairly slowly. Wow Canada Mint has colored glow in the dark coins with dinosaurs! They are cupronickel quarters and only $29.95. A 1/2 oz silver Maple Leaf Forever coin is $34.95. People think those prices are cheap? A
S mint circulating quarter is historical. A glow in the dark coin is a fad.

Vachon May 26, 2012 at 7:13 am

I actually wouldn’t mind this offering so much if the Mint would A) make these business strike S-mint coins for all denominations and in numbers to satisfy demand and B) sell them for face-value plus actual postage costs to ship it to your door. Then leave it up to the collector to either hoard or spend them.

Rakkasan187 May 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm

My initial reaction to the new “S” is the obsoleting of all existing albums. That’s a lot of expense AND work and for that reason alone I wish it had been planned and executed with some foresight way back when. Now, as an aisde, I bought one set of the 2010 5 oz and will sit on that until the series ends out and prices settle in.

Big Bill June 19, 2012 at 8:47 am

Reminds me of the days that everyone saved rolls of 1950D BU nickles. It is easy to buy a BU but try to find one in a circulated grade. The same will apply to the 2012S Quarter with there being no shortage of uncirculated coins for collectors in the future.

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