Last year, the United States Mint began offering circulating quality versions of the America the Beautiful Quarters struck at the San Francisco Mint and carrying the “S” mint mark. This represented an unexpected new numismatic product type and the first time in more than three decades that the “S” mint mark was used on circulating quality coins.
For the five 2012 designs, the “S” mint marked quarters were offered in 100-coin bags or 40-coin rolls. Initially, there were indications that the Mint would produce a maximum mintage of 1.4 million for each design, however the Mint later clarified that this was only the initial mintage and the coins would be produced to demand. Product pages indicated that the bags and rolls would remain available for one year from the original on-sale date. The first design featuring El Yunque National Forest went on sale June 21, 2012, with the remaining four designs released on subsequent dates.
Collectors were caught by surprise in late November 2012, when some of the product options began to sell out. Within the next few following weeks, more sell outs occurred until the “S” mint marked coins for some designs were no longer available. Secondary market prices for these rose, hastening the sell outs for remaining product options. When the dust settled, the final sales numbers suggested mintages around the 1.4 million level for four of the designs and 1.7 million for the El Yunque design.
The table below shows the last reported unit sales for the circulating quality 2012-S America the Beautiful Quarters products. The second column and totals calculate the number of coins that would be included in the units sold.
|2012 EL YUNQUE QUARTER BAGS & ROLLS||Units||Coins|
|100-coin bag (S)||10,017||1,001,700|
|40-coin roll (S)||16,961||678,440|
|2012 CHACO CULTURE QUARTER BAGS & ROLLS|
|100-coin bag (S)||7,279||727,900|
|40-coin roll (S)||16,528||661,120|
|2012 ACADIA QUARTER BAGS & ROLLS|
|100-coin bag (S)||7,254||725,400|
|40-coin roll (S)||17,093||683,720|
|2012 HAWAII QUARTER BAGS & ROLLS|
|100-coin bag (S)||7,100||710,000|
|40-coin roll (S)||17,478||699,120|
|2012 DENALI QUARTER BAGS & ROLLS|
|100-coin bag (S)||7,025||702,500|
|40-coin roll (S)||17,668||706,720|
This year, the United States Mint has once again offered circulating quality America the Beautiful Quarters bearing the “S” mint mark. The number of products which include the coins has been expanded. In addition to the 100-coin bags and 40-coin rolls, a new Three Roll Set has been offered, which includes one 40-coin roll each for the “P”, “D”, and “S” mint marks.
Once again a specific mintage amount for the coins has not been indicated. However, the product pages for this year’s releases indicate that the products will be available for one year from the initial on-sale date or until inventory is depleted prior to the one year timeframe.
The table below shows the last reported sales for the circulating quality 2013-S America the Beautiful Quarter products. The first column indicates the unit sales and the second column and total calculates the total number of “S” mint marked coins included in the unit sales.
|2013 WHITE MOUNTAIN QUARTER BAGS & ROLLS||Units||Coins|
|100-coin bag (S)||7,572||757,200|
|Single-Roll Set (40 coin) (S)||9,688||387,520|
|Three Roll Set (120 coin) (P,D&S)||8,521||340,840|
|2013 PERRY’S VICTORY QUARTER BAGS & ROLLS|
|100-coin bag (S)||6,085||608,500|
|Single-Roll Set (40 coin) (S)||6,957||278,280|
|Three Roll Set (120 coin) (P,D&S)||8,924||356,960|
|2013 GREAT BASIN QUARTER BAGS & ROLLS|
|100-coin bag (S)||5,222||522,200|
|Single-Roll Set (40 coin) (S)||5,377||215,080|
|Three Roll Set (120 coin) (P,D&S)||7,879||315,160|
|2013 FORT MCHENRY QUARTER BAGS & ROLLS|
|100-coin bag (S)||2,906||290,600|
|Single-Roll Set (40 coin) (S)||3,423||136,920|
|Three Roll Set (120 coin) (P,D&S)||5,985||239,400|
Despite the addition of a new product including the “S” mint mark and the positive secondary market performance for last year’s sold out products, the total number of coins sold is shaping up to be about flat compared to the prior year. At the time of this post, all of the products shown above still remain available for sale on the US Mint’s website, so unit sales and the number of coins sold will continue to grow.
With mintage levels for the circulating quality “P” and “D” mint marked quarters continuing to increase, the lower mintage “S” mint marked coins may represent an opportunity for collectors.
An interesting point of comparison may be certain “mint set only” coins issued during the modern era. For certain years, some denominations were not issued for circulation, but only included within the United States Mint’s annual Uncirculated Coin Set. As a result, these issues have mintages which are far lower when compared to the other issues which were minted in greater quantity for circulation. Most of these coins will carry premiums. Examples include the 1970-D Kennedy Half Dollar, 1973-P&D Eisenhower Dollars, 1981-P, D&S Susan B. Anthony Dollars, and the 1996-W Roosevelt Dime. Similar to the examples, the circulating quality “S” mint marked America the Beautiful Quarters will remain low mintage within the context of the series.
As a counterpoint, the United States Mint has progressively been moving towards more and more circulating quality coins which are only issued within numismatic products to collectors. Since 2002, the Kennedy Half Dollar has not been struck for circulation, but rather circulating quality coins have been offered to collectors in rolls and bags. The same transformation occurred with the Presidential Dollar and Native American Dollar series starting in 2012. This situation makes lower mintage circulating quality coins less remarkable.