Circulating Quality 2012-S El Yunque National Forest Quarters

Today June 21, 2012 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales of circulating quality 2012 El Yunque National Forest Quarters bearing the “S” mint mark for San Francisco.

This is a new product offering, which represents the first time that the “S” mint mark has been used on circulating quality coins in more than three decades. Although the coins are “circulating quality” they will not be released into circulation and will only be available through the US Mint’s numismatic bag and roll offerings.

As discussed in previous posts, the US Mint has produced circulating quality 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters with the “S” mint mark for each of the five designs for this year featuring El Yunque National Forest, Acadia National Park, Chaco Culture National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Denali National Park and Preserve. An initial mintage of 1.4 million for each design has been struck, although the US Mint intends to produce the coins to meet demand. As such production may be re-started within the calendar year, leading to higher mintages.

This is an interesting product which, if successful, would seem to open the door to similar offerings in later years for quarters or even other denominations. At this point, the US Mint has indicated that they have not yet determined whether production of “S” mint marked circulating quarters will continue for subsequent years.

The present offering is for 100-coin bags or 40-coin rolls containing 2012-S El Yunque National Park Quarters. Based on the images on the US Mint’s website, the packaging will be similar to that used for the numismatic bags and rolls of the regular “P” and “D” mint marked versions. There is an indication of the issue, state abbreviation, face value, and the mint mark.

Each 100-coin bag is priced at $34.95 and each 40-coin roll is priced at $18.95. The product pages indicate that the bags and rolls will remain available for one year from the release date.

How will collectors respond to this new offering?

Demand was unexpectedly high for this year’s 2012 Presidential Dollar bags, rolls, and boxes. This was driven by the fact that the coins would no longer be released into circulation, but only available within US Mint products. Many collectors of the series who had been acquiring the coins from banks were likely driven to the offering. Additional collector interest may have also been driven to the series based on the lower mintages compared to prior years. It is also possible that mass marketers purchased large quantities of the coins for later promotions.

The offering of 2012-S quarters will have these same factors impacting demand, although generally the series seems to carry a lower awareness with the general public, which mitigates some of the factors. The differentiation by mint mark may also be something that carries less of an impact compared to the situation for Presidential Dollars where absolutely none are being released for circulation.

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  1. says

    So, who is planning to get these things immediately? I’m undecided as to whether to wait and group it in with something else (like an AtB order) or join the rush.

  2. Rick says

    Good point with your last paragragh. I think I’ll still grab a bag for the next generation or beyond. Who knows, if PR becomes an official state, how would these and ’09 quarters fare in the future?

  3. says

    Got a roll, was surprised I dialed right in at noon and got right to a sales rep. Must not be a great demand or the Mint is better staffed for orders.

  4. Fosnock says


    I ordered them without a problem, and I grouped them with the Acadia, and Chaco rolls


    I got the P/D in an earlier order

  5. says


    I’ve been trying to collect the AtB series in rolls, so I plan to get P/D/S. I have all the rolls from Hot Springs up to Chaco Culture. I haven’t gotten Acadia yet because of the massive budget strain I’m suffering due to that notorious black hole for money, A.K.A. the Perth Mint. 🙂

    This seems like a good time to mention I still have yet to see any 2011 or 2012 quarters in circulation, though I know some other posters have reported finding El Yunques.

  6. Stomp says

    Captain Overkill. I just recieved a 2012 Acadia P mintmark, in my change, At Arby’s 2 days ago. I live in Illinois near St. Louis. Went to my bank to get $200.00 in quarters, to search for ATBs, for my whitman folder. I went in they told me they didnt have $200.00 in quarters! Rediculous. Went to another one they did have em but acted like they were doing me a favor. I hate banks. Out of 800 quarters I found 11 ATB quarters! That’s it! Just bought two bags of S mintmark quarters. One for me and one for my brother.

  7. Broooster says

    Jeremy, I think these are only available from the mint. I wish I could get them for face value, but I don’t see it happening.

  8. Jeremy says

    @Broooster, thank you for the informative response. 🙂 Also the last roll I picked up were the Chacos, did they happen to receive any more that you’re aware of?

  9. Stomp says

    Forgot to say that the quarters I got out of $200.00 worth were, excluding extras: 2010 Hot Springs P and D. 2010 Grand Canyon P. 2011 Gettysburg P. 2011 Glacier P. 2012 El Yunque D and 2012 Chaco Culture P.

  10. Jeremy says

    oh wonderful, thank you CO!

    Broooster, I just called the branch and was told they may possibly receive the Acadia Quarter rolls later next week.

  11. Dave in CT. says

    Think the “S” on these is Kool for the collectors. I might get a roll and take a few out to keep my HR Kangie company, for my pocket change that is.

  12. Piotr says

    There is an acceleration of orders on the EG1 set.
    I wonder if that has anything to do with the mint sending out catalogs. I got mine yesterday. The 2 coin set is displayed on the back.
    Sorry it’s off topic.

  13. Louis says

    Have a question for those of you who have purchased quarter bags and rolls in the past. Was the quality of the bag quarters a lot lower than the rolled ones?

  14. Shawn Irish says

    I’ve never bought circlating quality quarters before. what does that mean? I assume they go straight from the mint press to the roll/bag? shouldn’t they be virtually flawless? any chance of getting 70s in the roll/bags?

  15. george glazener says

    Think about it, the only point in time when the quarters are anywhere near “flawless” is that 1.5 seconds when they’re falling gracefully thru the air from the presses to the collection containers below. Then they slam into the thousands of other quarters. Then they get sloshed around as they’re packaged into the bags, sewn shut, and thrown onto the conveyor belts. Then they get banged around as they move from the packaging floor to the the stockroom, and again when they’re picked up for Fedex, then again when the 3 or 4 careless and overworked Fedex drivers smash your box around. Then they get thrown down again when the driver finally hurls the box onto your doorstep. I can’t imagine how a single one of these quarters escape damage.

  16. TomP says

    Since circulating coins haven’t been minted in San Francisco in more than 3 decades, what presses did the mint use? Uncirculated coins are minted with special presses using greater force, so did the San Francisco Mint use those presses (which they have), resurrect the old circulating presses, buy new ones or transfer presses from the other Mints?

    The question is what is the true quality of the quarters. If a five coin set is later produced, will it be a legitimate (?) addition to a previously purchased uncirculated mint coin set?

  17. Fosnock says

    @Shawn Irish

    It would be your bet chance of getting a MS70 coin, but saying that MS 68 is usually the best you can get with circulating coins

  18. Louis says

    Thanks, guys. I guess we will just have to see when we get them. Normally I would not buy clad, esp. for almost twice face value but since these are only available from the Mint, I think I can rationalize the purchase. They should retain some kind of premium down the line.

  19. Louis says

    At least the most you can lose if you buy one bag and one roll is about $19 of your $53 investment, which is less than you would lose in stocks or precious metals!!

  20. george glazener says

    Yep, I think they will. We all love genuine US MINT products and I think there will always be an appeal for these items. I can’t think of many items I regret buying; just that I didn’t buy enough of the right ones.

  21. Brad says


    That was a pretty entertaining read, your description of what happens to the quarters after they’re struck! Thanks for that. 🙂

    I concur, most of the quarters I’ve seen from both bags and rolls look like absolute CRAP. Lots of little nicks, gouges and scratches. Sometimes you can actually see where the reeded edge of another quarter “sunk in” to the surface! Unfortunately, these will very likely be no different. It would probably take an entire bag of 100 coins to find a couple of halfway decent specimens to keep as singles!

  22. TomP says


    Thanks for the alternative idea. By dialing back the pressure on the ‘special presses’ (and thus possibly speeding up the process), the Mint would save money and time.

  23. Val says

    That’s my view, I would really like to put a collection of these coins in 90% silver.

  24. Louis says

    I know this is off topic, but I am curious how many San Francisco sets you folks are getting. I did not want to pay $5 shipping for some SF quarters, so I added another SF set to my order. I think they may do better than people realize, and if the quality is good enough, I will get one set slabbed and keep the other in OGP.

  25. auxmike says

    It seems that buying by the bag is a lower cost per coin. I did’nt know they sloshed around in the bag that badly though…..
    I’ll probably buy one or two loose coins on Ebay and be happy……

  26. Hidalgo says

    So the circulating 2012-S El Yunque quarter will have an initial mintage of 1.4 million. That would mean its mintage would very likely be higher that the clad proof 2012 S El Yunque version and the silver proof 2012 S El Yunque version of the quarter.

    Would that make the ROI for the circulating version higher than the clad proof or silver proof version? Speculation time…!

  27. Dave in CT. says

    I have not ordered mine as of yet. I still am planning on 2 sets. Probably
    will get one slabbed. Not early release or anything in that way.
    One of the guys here emailed me and inquired as if I would be willing to
    part with another 2011-w-Unc AGE (in OGP). I sold one yesterday for $1800
    and I will have to give this some thought, especially after reading the next
    QE may be coming sooner than later (before his election).

  28. Louis says

    Dave in CT,
    May I ask what your local dealer offered for the 2011-W AGE? I think dealers really vary in what they pay, but you should be able to get more than $1800. You may want to try a major coin show if you can get to one. Or better yet contact Modern Coin Mart and ask for Jason and see what he offers. They are the biggest dealer in US modern coins.

  29. ClevelandRocks says

    ASE set counter shows a 5K increase from yesterday, a big jump from previous days. Wonder why?

  30. Samuel says

    the increase is 3029. yesterday was 138863, today is 141892. i use a spreadsheet to keep tracking the number and trend.

  31. Broooster says

    @ Jeremy, if you could get yourself a nice contact at the bank you are dealing with, see if they will call you when the rolls come in, thats the way I do it. They know me by name, and thats not even the bank I “bank” at, but hey, it works.

  32. T1 Browserman says

    My bank here in NJ has 1 manager, 2 bank clerks to discuss loans and 2 tellers. You can literally hear a pin drop ! IMO I do not think they are aware of the US Mint and anytime I ask for $1 coins they are thrown for a loop so asking for quarters would be futile and buying them above face value is not even worth contemplating.

    Used the atm and got $500 in $20s…..went in and asked for five $100 dollar bills…..needed the manager to come all the way over from her desk to open the safe.

    Sad days indeed. Who would like ‘CHANGE’ in November ?

  33. Jeremy says

    @Broooster, that would be the branch in AA, thanks for the recommendation btw. For the moment I don’t mind calling them to see if they have happened to receive any, although I suppose that means I must pay closer attention. 🙂

  34. John says

    Samuel says:
    June 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    the increase is 3029. yesterday was 138863, today is 141892. i use a spreadsheet to keep tracking the number and trend.

    …looks like I’m not the only one doing this. LOL

  35. Zaz says

    Really dislike these quarters, hope this is only a one year anomaly, but the Mint has the unfortunate habit of recycling old ideas into new varieties of existing coins. If they were really about celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the SF Mint, they could’ve created a new one-time reverse with the bldg. and the GGB in the background, strike 10M of the coins, seed a portion of them in the next Fed order of quarters, and play find the special quarter with the American public. Too much effort.

  36. Louis says

    @T1 Browserman- What does Obama have to do with the denominations you receive at the ATM? All ATM’s give out bills no higher than 20’s and that was the case under Bush, Reagan, and everyone else.

  37. Louis says

    Zaz, why do you have such a dislike of these quarters? Just don’t buy them and worry about something else while the rest of us enjoy the first SF circulation quarters in 49 years.

  38. Dave in CT. says

    Loius, Yes, I can answer this. I was offered $1700. I then handed him my
    business card (coin dealer), and I didn’t really want to pull that card (excuse the pun) and show him I’m right off the street. By showing him the card, and telling him $1700 will not work for me, $1800 was offered. Handing him this card told him, I’m not some little old lady coming in with her shoebox of change that has been tucked away for 50 years or so. This is what I mean when a dealer can’t offer a another customer a fair price for decent coin.I made aprox. $125.00 or close to it. This is a fair profit on a coin I have had since last year. I do not deal with E-bay. Taking into account their fees and then PayPal’s fees, the S@H, and I also looked on E-bay beforehand ($1895 to $2100-aprox.-asking),this figure of $1800 sounded good and I accepted.

    On the MCM/other coin dealers/shows, yes I will try this. I know of the bigger outfits such as the place you suggested.With the cherry picking that goes on, and then the added expense of S@H, going that way concerns be greatly. With this kind of urgent sale that I conducted Wednesday, I received
    fast money in a safe environment, and at very little cost($2 in gas) to me, to complete. Louis, do you remember all the issues with this coin ? I sent most of mine back for replacements. The quality was extremely poor. Seems
    on every other coin (mostly the obverse for me) had 1 or more blemishes.
    This is why it would be huge concern for me to ship it to MCM/ or ? for a better price that, in my opinion, wouldn’t be that substantial. The worries for me with all things considered, came out to be even. As I analyze everything now, with it being very late, or early in the morning, depending on your perspective, I would not sell this coin for that small amount of money (the potential premium in the next years) again. I had to sell this in a quick manner and this dealer will make probably $300 or more easily.
    and this gold eagle never left my sight. So to remind everyone else that might ship in a coin that might have some potentia, and are worried they might not get that exact coin back (would be hard to prove if no high resolution pics are not taken) take some time and weigh your facts with what you want to do with it, and then weigh everything else as far as a fair profit, will a dealer pull the old switch-a-roo,and what am I gaining or losing, and then the stress of it all. The shows is an excellent idea and in all honesty Louis, didn’t enter my mind.MCM is probably honest, but how much more would they have offered me……excuse me Louis, if part of this makes not a bit of sense, I am again going on 24 hours w/no sleep.

  39. Jim G says

    I believe the last time a SF circulation quarter was in 1954. That would be 58 years.

  40. george glazener says

    5oz El Yunque is down to $149.75 at Provident….Seems like a good price point to grab one. Correction, “Seemed Like”…..since I just ordered one

  41. guama says

    Just wondering if I buy both the roll and another 75 anniversary set….would the quarters ship first and then the ae set would be shipped separate. That way I could keep the Ae set in the unopened box

  42. simon says

    My order for a single S-ASE with the New Frontier medal was split. I did get the medal, and the set will ship as a single entity separately. I will also be placing another order for the The Montford Point Marines medal when it is released near EOM.

  43. Louis says

    Guama, Yes, I am sure the SF set will ship separately. The quarters are in stock supposedly and the sets won’t ship for around a month. And they almost always ship items separately for some reason.

  44. Dan says

    @Dave in CT, you’re right about eBay / PayPal fee’s. If you list the coin straight out, you higher fee’s, if you list the coin via a store front you can save some money in fee’s. Some people do the math ahead of time and figure they need to recover the cost of the fee’s and have to price their items much higher, having it take longer to sell. The only folks who make out on the deal are the seller and eBay/PayPal. On an $1800 sale you’d lose about $127.50 in fee’s before shipping which could cost anywhere from $5 – $30 depending on how you sent it and/or insured it, if you sold via an eBay store-front which would cost you another $15 per month.

    If you assume $30 to ship (worst case), you’d have to get at least $1860 for the coin to get $1700 clean.

    Earlier when I sold AGE’s I took that into consideration and then decided against eBay and took it to a local gold exchange who was buying them for 2% over spot.

  45. Dave in CT. says

    DAN, Thanks. I will take this into mind. But. yes, the fees are really something.
    I will wait until much later to see if I will part with another. Louis explained about the shows/local dealers and those might work out better. Still would
    like to find out if those “P” mint marks I see on my Kilo/10ouncer bullion Angel Halo’s, are suppose to be there. US Mint doesn’t put them on their bullion. Only numismatic. Any help on my question would be appreciated. Thanks Dan.

  46. VA Bob says

    I have to say I’m a little surprised. Here we have a “circulating” S mint quarter that will never circulate, which the mint will strike to demand, with at least 1.4 million. For all intensive purpose, a collectible without the concern for quality. Yet on the other page, people worry about a few hundred thousand ASE’s that also will not circulate, is a PM, and hopefully do have a high quality. Gotta love people.

    That said, I wish (for the folks collecting these) the Mint would have struck some for actual circulation. It would have made these a lot more attractive for those seeking a future return.Instead, it’s another “coin” that will never see the light of day. The Mint is wasting a huge opportunity that it hasn’t had since it removed silver from circulating coinage. Hopefully the clad quarter collectors are numerous enough to need one for their Whitman’s.

    I’m sure these will see some premium, but it could have been a much bigger winner for the hobby.

  47. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    the old man who owns the small store down my street says he’ll buy 2 rolls o’ the 12S quarters n’ mix ’em with the others. Kids playing baseball in the street will go there and buy candy hopin’ the’ll get a 12S quarter in change when they buy candy and pop. That’ll increase the old man’s business.

  48. Dave in CT. says

    On this latest ANGEL HALO. I do not care for the colorized, anything !
    But on this one, I prefer to have it colored. Something about looking at this bird,
    makes me want to see it in it’s natural colors and not silver. Got it.

  49. Zaz says


    I never said I disliked the ATB quarters, in fact, I believe it is the one of the best products to have come from the Mint in some time. That said, the S-minted ATB quarters are essentially a spurious product. As it is the much reduced mintages of the circulating quarter makes the ATB quarter a NCLT coin already. I can see issuing a NCLT S quarter product if the current mintages were anything like the state quarters in the 100’s of millions that is promoted to augment the collections of new collectors as happened with the 50SQ program. The Mint is really preaching to the choir again, and they know dedicated collectors will pay a premium on anything they market that’s relatively cheap and has the look and feel of the new, even though it’s merely a variation on a theme/money making scheme? I mean, seriously, how many times are you gonna let the Mint play pig in a poke with your wallet? And on base-metal clad product, no less.

  50. Zaz says

    P.S. These S-quarters are not meant to be “circulating” quarters, but they are created to that (careless) standard. This product opens the door the other base metal NCLTs in bags and rolls. Based on the responses to this thread, I am surprised there wasn’t a greater clamor for S-minted cents, nickels and dimes?? The old saying about being careful what you wish for applies forcefully. Why not another West Point minted dime or all five quarters? This kid of NCLT madness can easily debase all the offerings of the Mint, see the RCM, for example. Thanks Louis, for reminding me not to worry about this clad product, when the falling prices of PMs are much more intriguing and absorbing.  

  51. simon says

    IMHO I am amazed at the frequent USMint bashing which proliferates both the media and this blog. But I very seldom come across even a whisper about totally spurious claims to such absolute lies as “first strike” “special xxx label” “secure plus tracking” etc. perpetrated by PCGS and other TPGs, ( handily debunked by ours truly : USMint ), supplemented by their exorbitant pricing and “additional fees” of said vapid designations. Imagine paying an extra $20 for a large holder ( < than 25 c extra polycarbonate with molding ) for the 5 Oz ATB vs. an extra $ 20 for an absolutely beautiful original silver coin from the USMint, and you get my drift. The coin business ( not coin collecting, mind you ) is rapidly approaching windmill chasing. Sancho, hand me that high power loupe ! 😉

  52. says

    Ordered FOUR rolls on the 21st! Shipping to me on the 22nd! El Yunque Quarter “S” Mint! I ordered as soon as they went on sale—-got in and out the site quickly. No problems! looking forward to seeing the “S” Mint mark!

  53. Gary says

    I think this is a pretty unique offering! I am in for a bag…Maybe get lucky and these will be the next William Henry Harrisons???

  54. VA Bob says

    Dan – The Mint should be selling sell the three coins (like the eBay seller you mention above) for about $1.75. After all it only costs a fraction of that to mints them. No frills, no fancy packaging, each coin in a mylar pouch (like the older mint sets). In stead, they always do some over-priced offering, that tends to have inconsistent packaging. I don’t mind the mint making money, and at $1,75 for 3 quarters it still would, while serving the collector better.

  55. Brad says

    I really hope that the 2012 ATB Quarter Circulating Coin Set contains the “S” versions. I ordered a few sets of the 2010 and 2011, and they’re not too bad. Very simple, bare-bones packaging but still not a bad item. The plastic that houses the coins is much more rigid than what I was expecting, though. I always figured it was the same type of material that was used for the Uncirculated Mint Sets through 2006, but it’s definitely not.

    One thing that worries me is if this type of plastic can somehow tone the coins over time. It reminds me of an even tougher version of the type of plastic that those old baseball card album pages were made of back in the 1980’s. I’d always heard that the chemicals in those could migrate to the cards. In the case of coins, I thought that type of plastic eventually turned them green.

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