2013 Fort McHenry Quarter Three Coin Set

Today, September 19, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint began accepting orders for the America the Beautiful Quarters Three-Coin Set featuring the 2013 Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine Quarters.


The Fort McHenry Quarter features a portrayal of the site during the “Defenders Day” celebration. The fireworks above symbolize the “rocket’s red glare” and provide a link to the fort’s historic past.  In fitting fashion, the US Mint recently hosted the official launch ceremony for the quarter to kick off Star-Spangled Banner Defenders’ Day Weekend. Coverage and photos from the event can be found in this CoinUpdate article.

The three-coin set includes uncirculated versions of the quarter struck at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, along with a proof version struck at the San Francisco Mint. The three coins are mounted on a durable plastic card, which includes an aerial view of the fort. The back of the card includes a brief description of the site and coin, with a certificate of authenticity.

The Fort McHenry Quarter Three Coin Set is priced at $9.95 and offered with no product limit or ordering limits imposed. The Mint’s free shipping promotion for domestic web orders is still taking place, so eligible orders placed before September 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM ET will have free shipping.

Looking ahead, the US Mint’s product schedule currently indicates the next product release nearly a month away on October 17, 2013.

Earlier this week, the US Mint had issued a press release announcing a release date of September 24 for the 2013 Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set, however the press release was later removed making the release date uncertain. This set will include uncirculated versions of the four 2013 Presidential Dollars, the 2013 Native American Dollar, and the 2013-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle.

Collectors are also still awaiting the 2013 First Spouse Gold Coins, which are listed on the schedule with the release date to be determined. Back when the designs were announced in early August, the Mint indicated that the first of the five different coins would be released in “early fall.” Last year, the first of the 2012-dated issues was released on October 11.

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  1. joe says

    Michael – I’ve been reading this particular blog since 2008(ish), and have learned so much through your articles and the associated comments. I have received some timely advice here that turned out to be financially beneficial as well. I was wondering if this is a full-time job for you or a hobby? Either way, your efforts on this site are very much appreciated!

  2. Larry says

    Would it kill the mint to make this a four coin set and include the S mint unc. coin? It doesn’t take too much intelligence to figure out they would sell many more of these if it included the S mint coin. I might actually buy one. I won’t buy a roll or bag, when all I want is one.

  3. VARich says

    @tPhelps – received my 2nd FMH puck today, this one from Provident – mirror-like reverse, beautiful coin – just FYI

  4. high low silver says

    Good point Larry…..or extend free shipping .15 bucks for 75 cents is a crock in my book….

  5. MarkInFlorida says

    Got my Provident FMH puck today too and it’s also nice and mirror-like. The ones from APMEX had light abrasion. Last time APMEX had the nice ones and Provident had the ones with abrasion. I guess it’s just the luck of what they get from the Mint. Too bad the quality is so iffy.

  6. MarkInFlorida says

    Back on topic, this is way overpriced. Maybe in a museum gift shop it might sell as a souvenir, but probably not many to coin collectors.

  7. Brad says

    For some reason, the El Yunque set like this has been sold out for a few months now. However, no one ever seemed to mention it. It actually has commanded a somewhat nice premium on the secondary market.

  8. Ray says

    Ive been looking at buying a graded WP ASE set. Does anyone know where the signed Edmund Moy labels originate from? They really look to comand the highest premiums and thats what I’m looking to buy.

    I was just looking at the census numbers for the WP ASE sets and they are the highest graded proof coins to date (if you count the Special Enhanced coin as a proof, which I do as an SP).

  9. Broooster says

    Off Topic, but I picked up my St. George Royal Birth Coin from the post office today, man is that a sweet looking coin. Has anyone else received theirs yet?? For the price, I wish the packaging and case was just a little nicer, but it is what it is.

  10. taribor says

    Brooster – I got my two Royal Birth Coins a few days ago, you are right, they awesome. I am normally not impressed w/royal mint qc/quality, but of all the Britannia’s, etc., I have purchase, these two seem to be the highest quality. I sent both of mine in to be slabbed today.

  11. thePhelps says

    @VARich and MarkInFla… these bullion are tough for me. I gave up on Provident and went to APMEX on this one, and Provident is shipping clean coins and APMEX has issues this time… I see MCM is selling them on the bay for $141 or so as well… I may try another one – but I wish I could know I was getting a clean coin not spend $145 and hope.

    The FMH really really would be cool if the fireworks/flag had been frosted on the mirror surface.

  12. Zaz says

    @thePhelps: That’s why the ATB bullion is a challenge to collect raw. The only realistic solution is buying the PCGS MS69DMPL graded pieces when they come out. That way you’ll have a uniform set of clean, unblemished bullion ATB. Only draw back is how much larger the holder is. If the bullion came out DMPL every time, the Mint would’ve sold the uncirculated P’s as such and skipped the vapor blasting process, which removes most of the imperfections during the blanking and minting processes.

  13. Wes says

    OT If the Government shuts down in two weeks does the Mint shut down? Do orders still get processed? I didn’t try to order any coins when the last one took place. Does the website still operate?

  14. Jon in CT says

    I believe the Mint’s numismatics sales are deemed an essential service and will, therefore, be unaffected. 🙂

  15. simon says

    😉 !!!!

    11/14/2013 2013 United States Mint Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set $44.95

    For those of you awaiting this release – I know I am.

  16. Wes says

    Thanks Jon, Simon. Would be nice if they still offer free shipping for the Unc Dollar Coin set but it doesn’t look like it. Not a bad price considering the extra Dollar coins but no capsules with it.

  17. joe says

    Well…I received my RP Buff from Goldmart today and it’s a very nice coin. I have to admit I was holding my breath since it arrived about a week later than GM’s website said it would. But, it was a very good purchase…

  18. thePhelps says

    simon – that was to be the last of my free shipping purchases… figures! Now it is rolled into the same month as the Rushmore and right about the same time as the limited edition silver set… and Christmas… nice.

  19. VARich says

    I might add the Teddy set which will be a silver medal(IMHO) then Christmas, Nice!

    Oh, let’s not forget the FS Series…, so, how is all this stuff going to be produced & not ebb up on ’14 offerings?

  20. gary says

    The Mint is probably losing money on the First Spouse series. 5 coins a year requires 10 designs, plus dies and other overhead, besides the gold itself. Should have just been issued in medallic form only or in a gold 1/10 ounce size.

  21. thePhelps says

    @VARich…and the hoped for Theodore (don’t call me Teddy) set… man they are cutting in to my beer money here!

  22. Louis says

    Wes- Gov’t shutdown will not affect the Mint because it is not funded through the federal budget. Back when I was writing for Coin Update, I did a piece on this. Mint employees still go to work even if the gov’t shutsdown and not just essential employees.

  23. HarryB says

    @Jon CT and Wes: Mint num. sales appear to be “Non Appropriated Fund” activities, like an Army Post exchange, and should not be affected by a Govt shut down. The Agency I work for has started preparing for a shutdown, slowly. Sadly I have begun preparing for a shutdown as well, no Mint purchases until budget resolution. Harry.

  24. Dustyroads says

    Louis~I thought that was you, but wasn’t sure. I have to tell you, I’m really drawn to reading as much as I can about the coin collecting hobby, but at the same time, I realize that someone has to do the hard work of producing interesting and compelling pieces in hopes that a wide variety of readers will like them. I hope you don’t let the moss grow on your writing skills. Keep up the good work, you do it well.

  25. Louis says

    Thanks, Dusty- I am still at it but for understandable reasons I can’t discuss where I write now here. I appreciate your kind words.

    @Harry- No problem at all. Always good to read about the experience of others. As I have written here before, I was Fed back in 1995 during the last shutdown and had the distinction of being deemed “essential,” unlike my father who did more important work than I did. All it meant was I had to work and not know if I was going to get paid, while my father got a paid vacation! By the way, I don’t want to turn this into a political forum, but did you hear how the FBI director said the sequester as written will require him to close the entire FBI for 15 days unless there is a terrorist attack and then they will open for business? Is that any way to run a country? If you were a terrorist, wouldn’t you simply wait and read in the papers which days the FBI will be closed? God help us. Okay, back to coins….

  26. Louis says

    Anyone have any idea why the great mystery about the 2013 uncirculated dollar set? I thought I was dreaming when I read the release date for next week and then it was gone. Are we in the Twilight Zone or something?

  27. Taribor says

    Louis = FBI (and DEA and other Federal LEO agencies) talked about 15 days of furloughs………..not all at once. They would be rotated. Threatening to close “the entire FBI” is not going to happen, trust me on that one.

    On a different note, i bought two ’13 W sets and sold both in order to buy one ’70 set ……. low and behold, the enhance has developed all kinds of spots and haze so now i’m kicking myself for selling my perfect looking OGP sets. Oh well.

  28. Hidalgo says

    For speculators and flippers… Be prepared for some wild fluctuations in the precious metals markets (gold, silver, platinum, etc.). As Congress and the President deal with the lack of a FY14 budget and the upcoming budget ceiling, there will be concerns with a possible default. That will lead to a drop in the stock market, rattle worldwide financial markets, and impact the prices of precious metals.

    I don’t see any short-term resolution of the nation’s financial battles…. But I have faith in the US Government… Our elected politicians will eventually come to agreement for the American people….

  29. stephen m says

    Hidalgo, This budget thing is getting old year after year. I, for one, am tired of paying their salary to have to go thru this repeatedly each year. Let’s all be together on this and come election day vote the bums out. Taxpayers and our children and their children deserve better. I know, I’m off topic.

  30. stephen m says

    Taribor. Isn’t that irregular for a perfect coin to develop all kinds of spots and haze?Whom did you purchase that perfect 70 set from. Just wondering.

  31. GMS says

    Your right Taribor & Hidalgo, I wish the President and the Senate would finally sign a budget and stop thwarting attempts to rein in the deficits that our children and grandchildren will be forced to pay in this transformation of America. Sorry forgot this was the Mint News Blog.

  32. VARich says

    Louis as in Louis G.? Have really enjoyed reading your great articles – thanks for sharing your perspective on the ANA label & issues surrounding that event as of late.

    As for the Annual Unc Dollar set – still can’t believe they’re letting it go for a buck more than the eagle…, but that’s only when the slow boat arrives with the packaging!

  33. VARich says

    Off topic- if the mint plans to launch future hot offerings centered around ANA events, that may provide a little visibility as to when we can expect to see the JFK Special set. Spring ’14 event is in Hotlanta & Summer is back in Chicago.

    Hmmm.., might be good use of those frequent flier miles before they become useless.., just like everything ‘paper’

  34. VABEACHBUM says

    @ Louis and WRT the UNC Dollar Set – I had commented in a previous thread that I suspect the delays for this set, the LESPS set and the remaining RP Buffalos all go back to additional packaging delivery issues. I have no doubt that all of the respective coins have been struck for some time.

    Speaking of which, my RP Buffalo changed from a “9/27 Back Order” to an “In Stock and Ready For Shipping” overnight. Should see it on Tuesday or Wednesday.

  35. Taribor says

    Stephen – I got my set off ebay……spotting/hazing isn’t all that uncommon and reasons vary but coins were pcgs slabbed so I can’t blame the seller

  36. fmtransmitter says

    Just wanted to comment on Michael’s coin update email and the article and BBB warning about that company selling 18 Buff Nickels for $26.95 plus s&h. That company has worked under several different names and uses public hype to try and deceive consumers several times. It is people like that, that ruin this hobby. They were trying to say you could return them but they were packed in such a way you were not able to see them and if you opened the package you could NOT return them.

    Buyer beware out there!


  37. Wes says

    White spots are from contamination correct? Wouldn’t that be prevented by the TPG wearing gloves during the process? They should be wearing gloves instead of contaminating coins with oil from hands.

  38. Louis says

    @Hidalgo et al- Amen brothers. This is no way to run a country!

    @VA Rich- Thanks so much for your kind words.

    @Taribor- Sorry to hear about the spots. The second ed. of John Mercanti’s book on silver eagles has short chapter on this issue. The spots come from the production of the planchets when they are washed. I have been pretty lucky as very few of mine have any. But it really should mainly be an issue with the bullion versions. So far I do not remember seeing it on proofs, burnished, etc. though a number of you have noted your collector versions had them too.

  39. Hidalgo says

    I’ve been reading on different Mint News blogs about spotting on certified coins, primarily those that have been certified by PCGS. I recently purchased a PCGS – graded Peace dollar and when I received it, I noticed white spots on the reverse. Do these white spots, in general, appear on any coins certified by other Third Party Graders?

    Also, does the appearance of the white spots have any negative impact on the value of the coins?

    I find it interesting that none of my US Mint coins that are in their original packaging have developed any spots. Also, none of the brilliant uncirculated” – purchased coins that I encase in Air Tites or plastic flips have developed any spots over the years.

  40. fmtransmitter says

    @Wontaker: There is a pdf file you can download on the BEP site and print out explaining the new bill to be released in October. Haven’t heard about any ceremonies as it should be, it is worthless ink on cotton paper backed by the faith of the US Government and nothing more, IMHO. Money for nothing…Are the chicks for free?

  41. thePhelps says

    The clouding and spots issue on coins has been around. Many who collect commemoratives encountered the problem on the Eisenhower Proof in1990. After several months the coins started to cloud over and it was attributed to the mint wash solution being used.

  42. joe says

    I haven’t seen any spot issues on my PCGS coins, but perhaps I need to look closer. What I have seen (on PCGS-graded gold coins only) is a color change from gold to “orange.” Are the spots only showing up on silver coins?

  43. Brad says

    Ha ha! Careful fm, you’re dating yourself! So am I, since I’m acknowledging that I get the Dire Straits reference! 🙂

  44. Kevin says


    I never received any coins with milk spots from the U.S. mint. Coins that I still have in the original U.S mint mint packaging do not have any milk spots. I am starting to see a recent trend of all PCGS coins that are certified have spots. I just bought 11 west point sets graded 70 by pcgs and all of the Enhanced uncirculated coins have more spots then I have ever seen and for this reason I have stopped by pcgs graded coins until I find out what is going on. I check my 3 three sets that I bought in the original packaging and they are all spot free what is going on? Its funny because the coins pass through three companies before I am stuck with what is supposed to be a perfect coin that probably is very far from it. Very sad that most of my pcgs coins have spots and anybody that collect coins graded pcgs I would check to see if spot are occurring daily because I just recently looked at my 07,08,11 and 10 proof silver eagle all have some kind of milk spots.

  45. joe says

    Kevin – I know how you feel. I spent a lot of money (TWICE) to try and get a nice 2006 RP AGE PR70 coin, and in both cases the coins are now nasty looking. I keep waiting for a class action lawsuit against PCGS based on all the money they are taking from people and the degradation of what they touch. What I see is NGC settling out of court with ANA regarding “First Strike” labeling while PCGS gets a pass and continues to do exactly what ANA was supposedly so concerned about. It’s easy to tell the TPGs who really care about their product and those who are more concerned with image and fluffy marketing claims.

  46. samuel says

    Kevin, “I never received any coins with milk spots from the U.S. mint. ”
    it seems to me, US coins dont have “milky spots”, but they have large “water stain” kind of stuff. i would suggest everyone go home and check their Hotsprings, on washington side. i have several, all have water stain kind of thing. laterly, the white mountain. i ordered 2 at a time, and returned, re-ordered etc, i keep the 2 with less water stain now. i am just wondering, why it is always the washington side?!

    i buy 69 and/or 70 ones. i dont expect much from the 69 ones, but the 70s:
    -panda has both milky spots and water stain.
    -perth dragan, bought some while on sale, 80% of the 70 ones have milky spots.
    -israel 70 ones, bought and returned some for milky spots.
    -somalia elephant 70, they have something like mold.

  47. simon says

    Just my 2c : Several years back when I very naively believed the TPG hype, I had some very negative experiences with PCGS, particularly with Mr Hall, when faced with questions about their grading procedures and the detrimental effects on coins. Please keep in mind that they will clean off any residue they happen to leave utilizing very harsh methods and etchants. Your coin is no longer a USMint struck original but has been processed. I was told by Mr Hall – his exact words – “we only guarantee the grade!” My membership with them lasted all of 3 months before I wrote it off. Since I only collect and do not sell, the lesson I learned was that the coins ina collection are best left in OGP. Rationally thinking – what could really be better ? I have units which date back to the 1980’s which are pristine and stay that way if left alone. Absolutely nothing will happen to the OGP coins. One has no idea what these scammers do to your coins. If they are not honest, and cannot justify their ” First Strike ” nonsense, they could care even less about your coins. Once your coins leave your hands they are in the same category as a brand new car driven off the dealers lot. It’s gone together with its value.

  48. samuel says

    simon, please be aware. these days, the “OGP” u got from the mint, if it is not ordered the first several hours it is released, most likely, will be a return from someone, after been graded, and then cracked and put back in the “OGP”. so i would suggest mint to put a seal kind of thing to prevent greedy people from doing this kind of thing.

  49. simon says

    Samuel – It is a possibility and a reality – but I seem to have lucked out. I have made purchases late often a month or two after the initial offer phase and have received some very nice coins. A good example : I ordered a 2008-W 1/4 Oz AGE just minutes after the coin was listed as sold out. The status was uncertain for quite a while, and several weeks after the order I received an e-mail saying a unit was shipped. I was certain that the coin would be a reject but it was not. It is perfect and I have examined it even under high mag – nothing – not a flaw ! It made me think that they may have struck a few additional units to close out the product. I seldom receive poor coins. The ATBs I receive rarely do have 1-2 small spots and I keep those since they are not noticeable and do not affect the overall appeal of the coin. I just love the 5 Oz format with the quarter dollar designation, and all the themes. The price is unbeatable and nothing in world mint offerings comes close IMHO.

  50. GMS says

    You only have 7 days to return coins to the mint. Hardly time to submit it for grading, have it graded and sent back.

  51. stephen m says

    samual, i like the idea of a seal on coins and sets from the mint. Maybe with time it will happen.

  52. thePhelps says

    Samuel… I think it is a bit disingenous to think all coins sent out by the mint are returns after the first couple hours of ordering.

    I’ve said it before – the mint has a high standard of quality – and the number of returns for defects has been pretty low over the years. While we are probably more sensitive to returns than most, the fact is millions of coins are shipped we hear nothing about.

    I know I saw a chart made by the mint a couple of years ago that tracked returns and defects but I can’t find it on the net. It reflected a pretty low return rate. (I won’t try to quote numbers since I can’t find it).

    The US Mint is one of the best in the world – perhaps not as innovative with some oddball offerings like colorized coins or 3D coins etc… but the quality of the product has always been pretty high in my opinion.

    Granted more 3rd party resellers are buying from the mint, but that doesn’t mean they get to dump back to the mint unwanted coins either. That affects the mint as well and I would imagine they can get away with that once or twice but won’t have a free pass on every offering. It is speculation here and not based on any proven facts that I’ve read. There are already people here who think they get black listed by the mint for any returns.

  53. Jeff says

    Phelps: Although I too disagree somewhat, more needs to be done by the mint. The mint needs to show the number of returns in its weekly sales production.
    Transparency that will help the hobby…

  54. thePhelps says

    @Jeff… I think it would be good to know more about the returns in general.

    I am sure some of the returned coins are sold – I’d have little doubt about it. That doesn’t mean they were returned with obvious defects and resold.

    I am inclined to believe the mint inspects the returns for obvious defects and returns those with no visable signs of defect to the shelves for shipping. Those that fail a visual inspection are handled however they would handle the defect if it was found prior to shipping in the first place.

    I am pretty sure the mint does quality audits through out the production to limit defects being shipped to start with, and would hold those same standards when reselling a return.

  55. VABEACHBUM says

    @ ThePhelps – Michael had posted some interesting data earlier this year. The link is provided:


    A the time, I had indicated that I would be interested in seeing a detailed breakdown of “units shipped by type” vs “units returned by type” and respective dollar amounts affected.

    It was my opinion that the Mint skewed their data by mixing the high volumes of lower value “units” sold with the low volumes of the higher value “units” sold, then basing the measure on “units sold.” In effect, the Mint had washed the data to lessen the impact of any singlularly glaring QA/QC issue. At least as far as the public might be concerned.

  56. Samuel says

    a couple of points:
    -return rate: i keep 2 WMs with water stains, 1 WP set with scratches, 1 Unc AGE with dirty stuff inside capsule, i saw the defects but i decided not to return them, because i know i have a good chance to get worse ones. so, i work hard to keep the return rate low.
    -mint inspection: depends on the standards- urs, mint’s and other ppl’s.
    -i agree, US mint is probably the most generous mint.

    by the way, i m a collector who buy multiples and only use naked eye to check coins.

  57. thePhelps says

    @VAbeach – yeah that does kind of skew the data doesn’t it. A product run of 200,000 units is going to get washed inside the general coin sales data. That said the data point does still favor a low return rate overall.

    @Samuel – I guess to each their own. I also collect and buy lots of coins – well lots to me anyway… and have had very few actually show up that I’d return. If they did I’d return em until I was satisfied.

  58. Jeff says

    @Jon That’s it skewed in some financial report buried in the many of pages. Provide weekly returns like the weekly sales report how difficult would that be. That’s transparency not hidden I don’t want to know a yearly return rate. I would like to see weekly or even a monthly stat as to whats being returned. That maybe a way to gauge quality and verify if big buyers are returning product.

  59. dan says


    I am also a collector who buys numerous PM offerings in multiples and eye every piece when they arrive. If I can see a visible defect with the naked eye, unless it is a significant error, they go back. Sometimes they go back mulitple times, but really there is no excuse for damaged goods or poor quality control when dealing with the precious metal offerings. I cant understand your willingness to keep anything that is not up to par. BTW, I keep everything ogp.

    I would also like to see the return numbers by product offering and not just mixed in together, I wonder if the miint actually watches specific products for specific problems.

  60. Samuel says

    i actually dont want to do multiple returns on 1 coin.
    – the WM: i order 2 at a time, returned twice, still got water stained one, so i decided to keep the 3rd batch. i dont think i can get better ones.
    – WP sets, i got 5 sets recently, 4 sets got 2-mm scratch at the same position under the A in DOLLAR. return 3 sets, keep 2, one has scratch.
    – unc AGE, since it is not a new release, chances r i will get another returned next time, so i just decide to live with it. and let me son deals with it later.

  61. fmtransmitter says

    So I was considering grading my 2012 LESPS, PCGS is willing to grade it, NGC will not. After seeing the premiums they sold for and my set IMO was flawless, I thought it would be a good set to grade. Well PCGS got back to me and said “Thank you for contacting us,

    We will grade these as a set, as long as the entire set is submitted together and you request us to do so. There is no additional fee. Please do not send any mint packaging. Let us know if you have any questions.”

    So I guess anyone with the coins, whether they were actually in that set or not, can send them for the label. Where is the proof required like a receipt from the Mint etc, to prove it was from a Limited Edition of 50,000 set? I will pass…Looks great in it’s OGP.

  62. samuel says

    fm, i really doubt they will allow u to submit individual coins, probably have to be in that big plastic box. the packaging probably is the cardboard box etc.

  63. VABEACHBUM says

    @ FM – Interesting that a TPG has actually passed up on an opportunity to create a new label. After all, NGC recently announced their new, “UNC Dollar Set” Label that also is available to previously issued year sets. In their more recent precedent, NGC had separately created the 2012 Coin & Currency Label for the re-packaged SF PR ASE. Yet, they will not entertain a set / packaging label for the LESPS – a set that more TPG collectors probably would be interested in getting certified. I won’t even attempt to follow the (lack of) logic in that one.

  64. fmtransmitter says

    @samuel: it is what it is….The response says it all. Send in a 2012 proof SE, Half, Dime, and the 5 quarters and you can have them graded as from the LESPS. Ok so how many of you are submitting your coins to PCGS now? NGC responsed to me as well. I called. She said it was because the coins were issued earlier in the year. makes sense.

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