This afternoon, Jan. 5, the United States Mint launched its first numismatic product of the year, a set of quarter dollars in proof quality.
Available for $14.95, the annual set offers collectors their first chance to acquire all five 2017-dated quarters with unique artwork commemorating these national sites:
- Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa
- Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.
- Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri
- Ellis Island (Statue of Liberty National Monument) in New Jersey
- George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Indiana
Designs emblematic of the sites are on the respective quarter’s reverses (tails side), and President George Washington’s portrait is shared on the five obverses (heads side).
The U.S. Mint’s series of America the Beautiful Quarters® was introduced in 2010. This year’s coins mark the 36 through 40 issues, and will be released into general circulation at regular intervals throughout 2017. (See the 2017 quarter release dates.)
Every coin of the program features a unique design celebrating one of the national parks or sites in a state, the District of Columbia or one of the five U.S. territories.
The San Francisco Mint produces the set, so the quarters carry its "S" mint mark. Proof coins are simply more attractive than regular circulating versions minted at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints.
Proof is the U.S. Mint’s highest quality finish. The blanks used in making them run through a burnishing mill for polishing, get washed and dried by hand, and are manually fed into coining presses. Specially prepared and polished dies strike each blank multiple times, creating a coin that features frosted designs on mirror-like backgrounds.
Quarters of the set are then placed in protective lens to protect their quality. This lens is packaged in an illustrated box along with a certificate of authenticity.
Previous Proof Set
Last year’s set launched on Jan. 11, 2016 but had its sales suspended after a printing error on the packaging was discovered. It re-launched on Feb. 23.
Still available, and also priced at $14.95, its sales through Jan. 1, 2017 total 85,032.
The newest proof set is available from this U.S. Mint online page, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). There are no mintage, product, or household order limits. Based on past trends, around 100,000 will sell.