Earlier this week, I had written a post relaying the news that the San Francisco Mint had struck circulating quality 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters bearing the “S” mint mark. There have been some changes to previously reported information and confirmation of exactly how the coins will be offered.
An initial report in Coin World had cited Tom Jurkowsky, director of the United States Mint Office of Public Affairs as indicating a total mintage of 7 million coins for “a maximum of 1.4 million each” for the 2012 quarter designs. I was a bit skeptical of this number, as it seemed much too low if the coins were to be offered in bag and roll quantities.
The United States Mint has now clarified that the the 7 million total coins is intended as the “initial mintage scheduled to be manufactured.” They are planning “to mint to demand for the product.”
This certainly changes the nature of the offering. The mintage of the circulating quality 2012-S America the Beautiful Quarters will still almost definitely be lower than the “P” and “D” mint marked versions, but the total mintage will remain opened ended for the unspecified duration of the offering.
A press release has been issued for the first release of the 2012-S El Yunque Quarters on June 21, 2012. The coins will be offered in 100-coin bags priced at $34.95 and 40-coin rolls priced at $18.95.
A mintage of 1.4 million per coin might have worked if the US Mint had offered the coins in a different format. For example, five coin sets of the “S” mint marked quarters could have been sold, or the five “S” quarters could have been added to the 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters Circulating Coin Set.
After complaints abounded for setting the maximum mintage of the 25th Anniversary Silver Eagle Set too low, the Mint now seems to be taking a very cautious approach with products that would have had the potential for a quick sell out. While this evens the playing field for all collectors, it does have an impact on the eventual secondary market prices of offerings.
What do readers think?