El Yunque National Park Quarter Bags and Rolls

On February 3, 2012, the United States Mint will begin sales of numismatic bags and rolls for the 2012 El Yunque National Park Quarter. This is the first release of the year for the America the Beautiful Quarters series, and the eleventh release overall.

The reverse design for the El Yunque Quarter depicts the Coqui tree frog sitting on a leaf and the Puerto Rican parrot behind an epiphyte plant with tropical flora in the background. This was designed by Gary Whitley and engraved by Michael Gaudioso. The obverse of the coin features the 1932 portrait of George Washington designed by John Flanagan.

The US Mint will offer two roll sets, which contain one 40 coin roll from the Philadelphia Mint and one 40 coin roll from the Denver Mint. The rolls have special wrappers which indicate the release, mint mark, and face value of the contents.

Pricing for the two roll sets will be $32.95. This is a reduction of from the price of $39.95 charged for the two roll sets offered for the 2011-dated quarters.

The US Mint will also offer 100-coin bags of El Yunque Quarters, either from the Philadelphia or Denver Mint. The mint-sewn canvas bags include labels which indicate the release and mint mark of the coins, with the face value printed on the bag.

Pricing for each bag is $34.95. Once again, this is a reduction from the prior year price, when the 100-coin bags were $49.95 each.

The US Mint indicates that sales of the El Yunque numismatic bags and rolls will continue for one year from the initial product release date.

The bags and rolls for each of the 2011 America the Beautiful Quarters still remain available for sale on the US Mint’s website. The Gettysburg Quarters are actually slightly over the indicated one year availability period. At the current time, pricing for the 2011 bags and rolls remains at the higher levels, rather than the new lower pricing.

Circulation Release Date and Launch Ceremonies

The El Yunque National Forest Quarters have already entered circulation on January 23, 2012, through distribution from the Federal Reserve Banks. For previous releases, the start of sales for the US Mint’s numismatic bags and rolls has been more closely aligned with the circulation release date.

It’s also worth noting that the El Yunque Quarters began circulating without an official launch ceremony. CoinWorld recently reported that these ceremonies remain in limbo as US Mint officials look at the procedures and processes of the events to make sure they are handled efficiently, mostly it seems from a cost perspective.

Launch ceremonies have been held for the first ten releases of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, nearly all releases of the Presidential Dollar Program, and the four releases of the 2009 Bicentennial Lincoln Cents. The events attracted hundreds or even thousands of attendees and were often preceded by a collector forum hosted by the US Mint. I had been able to provide coverage for many of these launch ceremonies thanks to reports and photos from collectors who had attended the events. (Here is the article for the Hot Springs Quarter.) While the costs of such events must be considered, the launch ceremonies did seem to build awareness of the series and generate excitement within the local communities.

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  1. J A says

    I’m excited about the fact that they’re lowering prices for this release. Had they had this price from the beginning though, I might have started collecting from the very beginning.

    They could have lowered the prices on their existing 2011 quarters and they would have possibly seen an upsurge in sales for those items.

  2. says

    I’ll probably buy the quarter rolls along with the Chickasaw AtB when it gets released next week on the 9th. I’ll be looking forward to the El Yunque 5 oz as well, regardless of whether it’s bullion only or gets a numismatic release. This is one of my two favorite designs for 2012, the other being Acadia.

    As for the launch ceremonies being cancelled, I am disappointed and hope this is a temporary state of affairs. I was looking forward to going to the ceremony for my state’s quarters next year, especially since I have never been to one before.

  3. Fosnock says

    I hated the Hawaiian coin until I got the silver proof. It looks sharp. APMEX has the El Yunque ATB listed (but as out of stock)

  4. ClevelandRocks says

    Wow, silver at $34/oz and Mint still selling 5oz numismatic ATBs for $40/oz, getting very close to bullion pricing. I thought Michael told us the Mint shouldn’t be doing this?

  5. says


    On the last thread, there was some discussion that the Mint might be having a “clearance sale” to get the AtBs and 2011-W ASEs moving regardless of what the spot price does. In the case of the latter coin, I received a promotional email from the Mint last night advertising the 2011-W ASEs which lends some credence to this – I cannot believe they would advertise a product they were planning to suspend shortly.

    I think it is pretty likely at this point that they are just trying to move that inventory out and will not raise the price unless spot actually passes the current sale price.

    Now, watch $35 come along and prove me wrong after I finally committed to this theory. 😉

  6. says


    Thanks for the note about the bullion El Yunque. Seems like the Mint will be releasing the bullion coins earlier this year – as I recall Gettysburg and Glacier didn’t go on sale until April.

    Hopefully we’ll get some news about whether the 2012 numismatic AtBs will be happening soon. I will be buying the bullion issues if the numismatic varieties are discontinued.

  7. Fosnock says

    Sales for the 2011-W ASEs are at 245,757. I would say they made 250K of these so it should go into wait status next week, unless silver bounces there will be no way to prove you wrong

  8. Frankie says

    Has anyone else noticed that the Chester Arthur $1 rolls have disappeared from the upcoming schedule…? Likewise the 2012 presidential dollar proof set is gone.

  9. says


    That’s pretty interesting. The picture makes it look like the coin might be an uncirculated rather than a proof like I expected. Seems like a clever way to get the less-popular uncircs moving. I hope the Mint provides a breakdown of each individual product when they release their weekly sales figures, it will be interesting to see how many the “lone” uncirculated sells vs. the more attractively packaged Defenders of Freedom set.

  10. Zaz says

    The Infantry dollar souvenir folder is interesting, I might get that instead of the uncirculated commemorative I typically get for these releases. Hope the markup doesn’t make it way beyond of cost of the uncirculated dollar itself. It’s too bad the 442nd Nisei soldiers/100th Infantry medal wasn’t included, as that product is related and could possibly use more exposure to the general public.

    Saw and subscribed to the APMEX link for the El Yunque 5oz. bullion last night. Sure hope they know something that we don’t yet know about the 2012 bullion releases. As I repeated elsewhere, the ATB designs are monumental this year, and should translate exceedingly well to the 3″ coin. It is as if the Graëbener press was imported specifically for these five designs, so it would be a real waste if the Mint decided only to strike the bullion and not the vapor blasted uncirculated. Will probably order a pair of quarter rolls on the next order along with NP10.

  11. Two Cents says

    Jon in CT, thanks for posting the link to the Defenders of Freedom Set. I was wondering what it included.

    From the image, it looks like it includes an Unc. silver dollar and a dog tag with the Infantryman insignia on one side. The dog tag looks like it has a rubberized trim and can be taken off the folder to be worn.

    The folder itself is very attractive, and from the way it’s shown, is meant to be opened and displayed on a flat surface, with the dog tag hanging from the fold. It doesn’t give any information about the Infantry or the Museum — maybe that info is on the unseen back of the folder.

    I think that somewhere in the folder, they should have explained something about the design of the coin’s obverse, which depicts a modern-day interpretation of the Infantryman Statue (now called “Follow Me!” after the infantryman’s motto). Otherwise, to the uninformed, the soldier looks generic and not very inspiring.

    All in all, the packaging is attractive, and at $12 over the price of a regular Unc. silver dollar, reasonable. I don’t see many coin collectors buying the set, but for infantrymen and their families, it looks like a winner. It will probably sell well over the counter at the Museum’s gift shop.

  12. says

    2012 ATB maximum mintages:
    U.S. Mint Deputy Director Richard A. Peterson announced recently that mintages will be dialed back for both the bullion and collector ATB 5 ounce coins in 2012.

    The Mint had been producing 126,700 of the bullion coins. Petersen said the new mintage has been “penciled” in at 45,000 per bullion coin. As for numismatic collector coins, that mintage looks to be at 25,000, compared to the previous counts of 35,000.


  13. Wylson says

    They lowered the mintage limit on the spouse coins to from 40K to 15K early on. This looks like a repeat for the ATB pucks.

  14. Matt L. DeTectre says

    Once silver prices dictate the mint reprice the 3 in. ATB’s back near 300 bucks and I am guessing that will happen within the next yr. their mintages may settle in around 15 large or less. They are just too big and too expensive to be a reliable silver product from the mint so they will just go to a limited collector base like the FS’s as commented by others. Agree with CaptainOverkill if the 2012’s are comin’ out future ATB’s are locked in albeit at probably purdy low mintages. This is not to say designs are not awesome just too large. I’ll bet a 2 oz. coin woulda sold over a hunerd large but then maybe they couldn’t do the edge lettering. Althought I don’t see a lotta stories written about edge lettering. So I’m not sure that is such a big deal to collectores but it apparently is a nifty technical accomplishment.

  15. says


    My bet on the El Yunque bullion is that it has been “released” by the Mint, but APMEX is going to need some time to take delivery before putting it up for sale on their website. We’ll probably see it go up in a few days. I don’t think they’d put up a “placeholder” for months.


    I do think that is where things are headed in terms of price, mintage, and sales eventually. The expense makes acquiring both the bullion and the numismatic varieties impossible for me, which is why I’m just concentrating on the numismatic series. I plan to buy them as long as I can afford it.

    I do think, given how bad AtB numismatic sales have been, that they’ll try to keep prices as low as possible for these releases for the time being. Eventually, though, they’re going to have to raise. I think we’ll probably be able to get Chickasaw at $204.95, but I don’t think we’ll be so lucky with El Yunque unless silver crashes again.

    Also, I hope people who wanted that new silver dragon got one. I just got my order in a few minutes ago. They are still available, and the website is running smoothly and not crashing.

  16. Shutter says

    They are just too big and too expensive to be a reliable silver product from the mint

    Not so sure that’s true. I think that as price of gold goes out of reach, more bullion investors switch to silver. They did sell out Gettysburg and Glacier bullion at the time when silver seemed unstoppable. In fact, they sold more of those 2 than the other 7 2011 issues combined (bullion and collector). There really is a market for bigger silver coins.

    This is not to say designs are not awesome just too large. I’ll bet a 2 oz. coin woulda sold over a hunerd large

    I agree that they are too large, but not in weight. To me, the real problem is the requirement to have 3″ diameter. If they made them 2″, they would have been awesome. Also as a side benefit, NGC slabs for them would not have been the size of salad plate. But the mint can’t be blamed for that.

    Also I really would have preferred that the 5oz coins weren’t denominated at ¢25. If 1oz coin is $1, then 5oz coin could be $5. Then they could have used different presidents. Would have been nice if the obverse carried portrait of the president that created that particular NP.

    While the designs have been generally good, I really dislike how Grand Canyon coin looks. I just got the 2012 proof set and Hawai’i Volcanoes coin looks truly awesome.

  17. Shutter says


    You’re most likely right about El Yunque bullion. My guess is that Apmex may have even taken delivery, but sent them out for grading, so that they could maximize their take.

  18. Michael says

    No, the US Mint has not started sales of any of the 2012 ATB 5 oz bullion coins. There is still no date established for the start of sales.

  19. Leo S. says

    Frankie and anybody interested

    There was an news flash today in the paper that the U.S. Senate has introduced a bill to phase out the $1 bill and go to the coin. It has co-sponsers from both parties so it might have a chance. If it passed, the Mint might re-evaluate its production policy on the $1 coin. Since it will save 5 billion over 30 years, you would think that all the cost cutters in DC would vote for it.

  20. Louis Golino says

    Re: APMEX: They put place holders on their site for long periods sometimes. It means nothing really.

    Leo S: Virtually all bills have co-sponsors from both parties. Other than budget bills most take years from they time they are introduced until they become law, and the vast majority never become law. There are strong lobbies behind paper dollars, no matter what the savings are. But here’s hoping………

  21. Fosnock says

    Thanks Louis for the info, I was really hoping the mint would get the bullion out the door early this year as it’s been over 6 months since they released the last 2011 ATB bullion coin.


  22. says


    Unfortunately, you missed out, at least from Perth Mint. The dragons suddenly became available sometime last night with little fanfare or warning. I was lucky, and managed to get one.

    But another friend of mine tried to order direct from Perth today and the status literally changed to unavailable as he was in the middle of ordering, around 10:45-10:50 EST.

    You may still be able to get the coins from US Perth distributors though. The coin was released rather suddenly and stealthily, so there might still be some around. There is one Louis once mentioned… I believe they’re called Talisman.

  23. Louis Golino says

    Try Talisman Coins in St. Louis. They have a web site of the same name. Or in a short period, Modern Coin Mart will get some more than likely.

  24. Samuel says

    the perthmint black dragon started to sell at 2/2 midnight WAST time or whatever, which is yesterday afternoon. I saw it but i think it is just too ugly so i ignore it and bought the opal one which is the first in the series. the opal one was the last with a “add to cart” on their website. and you need to read their new release note to see the release date.

  25. Ikaika says

    @ Hidalgo

    Captain’s comment is correct. I posted the first comment on the black dragon coin around 4:00pm yesterday. The black dragon was unavailable shortly after that. But at night, the Perth mint made them available again for a brief period of time. I would check back again. I wish you good luck.

    @ Samuel

    I respect your opinion on the black dragon. But different people have different taste. The black dragon coin will look great with the proof, red, gilded and reverse proof that I already have 🙂

  26. Samuel says

    seems the black dragon is really hot! it is also gone at talisman. i yesterday actually already put it in the cart, then deleted it. seems like i need to change a little bit. but i believe it will be like the red proof dragon. u can see the red dragon for $125 everywhere, you can even see cheaper ones. the distributors hoard a lot of them. i once noticed that the paradise dumped a lot at the bay. at the beginning, the red dragon also gone very quickly, and i was fighting for the gilded one! (fight for the wrong one!)

  27. says


    The Talisman blacks sold out around noon. I picked up the red welsh as well from Talisman, they still have a few left. The welsh actually sold out before the blacks did on Perth’s website.

    This “dragon-mania” is crazy. I’m surprised the 2012 clad coin and cover dragons Perth is offering haven’t sold out too.

  28. Samuel says

    Can anyone say something about the Unc ASE? I am thinking to get some next week with the NP10.

  29. Brandon says

    Samuel – what would you like us to say about the ASEs? Here’s my advice… keep the mintage numbers low…

  30. says


    I can’t say much more than has already been said on the other threads. I do not think a price increase is coming anytime soon, especially with the pullback today in silver. I do think we could be closing in a sellout, some people have speculated 250K might be the maximum mintage and we’re getting close to a sales number of 250K. Depending on how you feel you could try waiting until Chickasaw next week, or go for it now. Mint shipping is not that expensive.

  31. Two Cents says

    I had bought a Black Dragon from the Perth Mint early on for my brother, who was born in the Year of the Dragon, for his birthday. Thanks Michael, for posting a notice about it on your Coin Update blog.

    The Red Welsh Dragon is sold out too, or at least is Unavailable on the website. Looks like the Perth Mint sells out of its products quickly. If you want it, you have to act fast.

    I notice that some products are labeled SOLD OUT and others are UNAVAILABLE. What is the difference? Does Unavailable mean that the maximum mintage has been reached, and the Perth Mint is checking the per-order limit and confirming the charge with the credit card companies? Or does the Perth Mint allow private companies to also sell their coins, and they need to check with these outside companies to see if their allotment is sold out? Or something else? Does UNAVAILABLE always turn into SOLD OUT, or have there been instances where the coin does become available again, even if only for a short time?

    I’m brand-spankin’ new at this collectible non-circulating foreign coin field, and would like to learn how things operate before I start buying into it.

    How do these low mintage but obviously contrived products do? It seems like the Dragon coins have a lot of interest now, but will they have “long legs” with collectors in the future? I ask because I am attracted to the designs – however, for much lower prices, I can get medals with similarly attractive designs. I wouldn’t mind paying a high price … if the coins will maintain their collectability and value. If not, I would hate to buy now and in a few years see them at much lower prices on eBay. (Or I could wait and buy them cheaper on eBay.)

    I guess what I’m asking is – how have other similar coins done in the past? Have their values gone up … or down? And why do you think that happened?

    One thing that makes me chuckle are some of the limited-edition coins that the world mints sell nowadays. I particularly laugh at the colorized Star Wars coins with Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, the droids, etc. and the coins shaped like guitars. It would seem that these legal-tender “coins” would not be collectible in the near or far future, but who knows?

    Sorry for going off topic in this El Yunque Quarters blog, but there appears to be some interest on this subject here.

  32. says

    Two Cents,

    I can’t speak to much outside the dragons, but I believe the Lunar series is Perth’s most popular product line and the Lunar coins in general seem to do better. I have 2005 painted gold roosters that seem to perform very well on secondary markets at any given time. As for whether this line of dragons will keep their value, here is a Gainesville listing for a Perth MS69 gilded dragon from the year 2000: http://www.gainesvillecoins.com/products/158667/2000-perth-mint-1oz-gilded-silver-dragon-ngc-ms69.aspx

    I would say pretty much any 2012 1 oz year of the dragon coin has a chance to be pretty lucrative on the secondary markets for a long time except possibly the 2012 gilded, which they produced 50K of. There is something about coins with dragons on them that people really like.

    Hope that helps you.

  33. says

    Re: 2012 Dragons at Talisman:

    I just purchased (7:15pm) a three coin set they have…the set consists of:

    2012 Australia Black Dragon…5000 mintage…sold out individually
    2012 Australia Gilded Dragon…50,000 mintage
    2012 Welsh/Wales Red Dragon…5000 mintage…still available individually.

    Toal for the set is $304.95 plus only $9.95 shipping

  34. pl.mark says

    The image of the Defenders of Freedom set looks legitimate. How would I know? Just paste the link and then change the NF3 to NF2 or NF1 and you will get the actual images (not the line art) of the proof and uncirculated coins. Also, the “W” mintmark will appear on the obverse of the coins under the date.

  35. says

    Re: Welsh/Wales Dragon

    The Welsh Red Dragon is the first of a five coin series…there is also a 5 coin series display box available. The series will include:

    The Welsh Red Dragon Silver Proof is the first in the new and exciting Dragons of Legend Series, to be released by the Perth Mint. Coins commemorating the following dragons are planned:

    Welsh Red Dragon
    Chinese Dragon
    St. George Slaying the Dragon
    Bulgarian 3-Headed Hydra Dragon
    European Green Dragon
    + Five Coin Display Box

  36. says

    Wow…just how many 2012 Australia Colored Dragons are there?

    MCM…moderncoinmart is selling these on ebay…graded by NGC with the color indicated on the label:

    Orange- Black

    These are all one ounce silver dragons. Here is a link to one of them…the Blue-Yellow….once there, you can click on mcm’s user id and then “items for sell” to see the rest of them.
    How did they get these and why can’t I find them on the Perth Mint web-site. They all have the “P’ mint mark.


  37. ultra-crepidarian says

    Steve -asked … Wow…just how many 2012 Australia Colored Dragons are there?

    The coins being sold on e-Bay by MCM are part of a special 9 dragon colorized MS set made by The Perth Mint for Baoquan Coins Investment Co Ltd in China. The coins (a maximum of 20,000 sets) were intended for the Chinese market but a number of them have found their way out of China. This is the set that Gainesville is selling. The 9 coin sets can be bought out of China on e-bay for about $1050. The key coin of the set is the Yellow-Purple coin. Only 7 have been graded MS 70 by NGC. These coins are not sold through the Perth Mint and if you look them up in the NGC World Census, they appear under China not Australia although they are legal Australian currency: value S$1. I have one of the MS 70 sets and they are very nice coins.

  38. ultra-crepidarian says

    I also see that MCM has their last 9 coin dragon MS 70 set on sell now on their web site for $4888. The coins for sell on e-bay are probably the last of their MS 70 inventory. I am guessing that they do not intend to buy any more of these dragons for grading or they would not sell off their remaining 70s.

  39. Hidalgo says

    The problem with all of these copy-cat dragon coins is that there will likely be winners and losers. Time and time again, I’ve seen this happen. When I think about the huge number of items that the US Mint had sold a few years ago (including spoons, spouse and President sets, rolls, proof sets, mint sets, Presidential Signature sets, etc.), a few of the specially-packaged items sold well and others did not. The same will likely happen with these dragon coins — regardless of which country “owns” them.

    I am happy to have received my Year of the Dragon typeset from the Perth mint. I think I’ll stop buying additional dragon coins and look for other beauties. :o)

  40. ClevelandRocks says

    On the American coin discussions: The current premium the Mint is charging for 5oz ATB silver is only $2 less/ oz than APMEX is selling raw bullion ATBs.

    I feel like an idiot paying $279 for Mt. Hood and others on first day of release.
    Mint really knows how to put the screws to their most loyal customers.

  41. ClevelandRocks says

    I mean the Mint ATB numismatic ATBs are only $2/oz MORE than APMEX raw bullion ATBs. Anyone know how to edit your own posts?

  42. Matt L. DeTectre says

    RE: the mint ATB’s and the bullion ATB’s at Apmex. By the time you add on Apmex shipping, insurance, and cc fees the mint ATB’s may be less than Apmex.

  43. says


    I don’t think comments can be edited after posting. I certainly would if the option was available, if only to cover up the occasional embarrassing grammatical error in my own comments.

    As for the AtBs, it was basically impossible to foresee where the price of silver would be going when the coins were introduced. Remember that Hot Springs was introduced right in the middle of last year’s wild runup to $50. All of us think the numismatic AtBs are very cheap now, but what if some big economic event causes silver to drop to $25 or (god forbid) $20? Then we’ll probably be kicking ourselves again for buying at $204.95.

    Additionally, the Mint had to make the price cuts it did to the AtBs because sales were slowing down with silver’s big collapse last year back into the $30s. Had they not cut prices sales would be even slower – you can see in Michael’s past weekly results reports on CoinUpdate that the cuts “juiced” the sales for all the coins a great deal in the first week after they happened.

    Also, APMEX tends to have really high premiums on their coins. I find you usually get better bullion prices from Provident Metals: http://www.providentmetals.com/bullion/silver/us-slv/america-the-beautiful-5-oz.html

  44. ClevelandRocks says

    Point is, I have no problem with:
    1-Post a price grid for silver, like done for gold/plat. and adjust accordingly.
    2-Do not LOWER the price of an offering in the MIDDLE of sales (wait till next ATB offering)

    Do to the Mint #rewing me over with some of the ATBs and silver Eagles (subscriptions), I have:

    1-Cancelled ALL of my subscriptions.
    2-Never buy more than one ATB on first day of issue.

    Loyal Mint collectors should be rewarded, not punished.
    Why not offer free shipping for larger orders like they used to.
    Commit to only possible raising, not lowering, prices for items not on a pricing grid?

  45. Jeremy says

    @ClevelandRocks, if you check out the prices of the 5 oz ATBs on ebay you’ll see that they are selling at the higher prices and the Hot Springs are largely still selling at a decent premium. In the years to come these coins may become highly collectible. The fact that they are still selling at elevated prices indicates that there IS a demand for them, however small it may, and this is at a time when they don’t seem to be all that desired. Once these coins are issued in full and it is clear or unlikely the mint will ever issue such a product again this will be realized as a rarity and ultimately should become desired but only over time. This isn’t like the ridiculous state quarters where they were hyped and bazillions minted, we’re talking just a few tens of thousands, which appears to be quite insignificant relative to other products. Just my thoughts on the matter 🙂

  46. Vaughnster says

    Glad to see talk again about US coins and not those hideous dragon coins from the Dungeons and Dragons Mint.

    Received the Vicksburg 5 oz. coin yesterday and am glad I’m continuing on with the series. It is a great design.

    Don’t feel bad ClevelandRocks, we all did what we had to do for the 2010 5 oz. ATB’s. I’m just glad I only bought two at the $279 price. Hopefully in the long run it will all balance out.

  47. G says

    As always- what’s hot makes its way onto the blogs- the dragon coins are smokin hot- while the 5 oz atb coins are plodding along. I like both, but the mint could learn from the Perth and set the limits lower. At 5000- the ATB 5ozers would fly off the shelves and keep people interested in the series. If we didn’t get one or two during the web sale periods- we could trade-buy on the secondary market. Part of the fun in coin collecting is having difficult to get coins- remember how much everybody loved the 5 oz bullion in 2010?

  48. Matt L. DeTectre says

    As a few others stated I too believe within a year or so everyone will be fine on the ATB’s purchased at the max price. Too much fiat creation by all the governments. Silver will be back at 50 bucks within a year but a loaf of bread might be five bucks also. Uh, oh.

  49. Tallon says

    Cleaveland, I too have cancelled all my Mint subscriptions. I’ve found it silly to pay top dollar on the day of release. One example: paying $50.+ each for the ASE W Unc. via subscription was just stupid on my part. There was no chance of a quick sell out. It’s better to wait if spot silver is trending down and try to time your buy before a price increase if silver is trending up. Another example: even with the ATB quarter silver proof sets, it makes sense to wait. No chance of a quick sell out and although the price will not likely be reduced, you can pick them up anytime you’re ordering something else to save on shipping. whether you purchase from the Mint regularly or just look at their website once a month, subscriptions don’t make sense to me.

  50. Shutter says

    Why not offer free shipping for larger orders
    So you would spend say $1,000, and $4.95 would make extra happy? That’s less than 0.5%. For all practical purposes it is free now.

  51. jeremy says

    @G, “Part of the fun in coin collecting is having difficult to get coins”, I think this is a ridiculous statement. People want an opportunity to acquire desirable products. I don’t believe people want to have “difficulty”, being deliberately disadvantaged, purchasing certain issues as they have to compete with precious metal dealers and private mints.

  52. Louis Golino says

    It is a bonus when coins are issued in small numbers relative to the level of interest in them like the 25th anniv. ASE sets, but remember the Mint is not in the business of creating low-mintage, instant rarities, at least not as a matter of policy. There are clearly more than 5,000 people who collect the AtB hockey pucks, and it would just not make sense for the Mint to issue so few.

  53. G says

    @jeremy- when supply is low- demand stays high. @louis- I don’t totally agree. Part of the mint’s business is to numismatists, and instant rarities have been part of their business since 3 legged buffaloes. Part of what people like (and hate) is that we don’t know which coins will be low mintage rarities and which will be low interest common to find. The 25th anniv set was actually debated by a lot of people as to whether it would be a hit, and plenty of people sold sets to third party dealers for a 60$ profit. Yes, the ATB series has interest but it’s way lower than it was when they bungled the year long release followed by 15 releases in 2011. I think a random error, low mint, or something is needed. Following on the heels of the state quarters – there was fatigue from collectors. The joy of getting a hard to aquire coin is what makes this such a great hobby. If you look back at how many people were posting at the bullion issue of the 5 ozers compared to now- plus the slow sell outs- it’s clear this series needs a jolt in the arm- why not release a statement that one of the coins will be a 5000 mintage per year but don’t announce which one. Imagine the excitement?

  54. Jeremy says

    @G, You can read the “mission” of the mint from this link:


    My interpretation does not include a deliberate intent of creating “rare”, such as error or low minted product, coins for the sole purpose of generating the type of interest that ultimately causes demand, therefore monetary inflation of a particular issue.

    Any such type coins that become available should develop more organically not artificially, meaning by an accident of sorts, either through die imperfections or through a lack of realization, as in the case of the 25th anniversary. Obviously any such issue that generates such allure is a rare event. This may be why “coin collecting” has eclectically evolved into an esoteric hobby/profession.

    There now exists odd varieties of coin grading labels that include ALL manners in which a coin has aged(toned), or the way it was struck, etc.. I would think a coin aficionado should acquire issues that they personally enjoy for whatever reason and NOT necessarily because of the possibility for it to gain some sort of “numismatic” value.

    Getting down to the nitty gritty the real purpose of the mint was to create coins for commerce. Not to generate some collectorship mentality in which coins are never meant to circulate nonsense. 🙂

  55. says


    It’s funny you should bring this up, I just posted about it yesterday. The real problem with the AtB series, in my opinion, has nothing to do with the five ounce silver coins, though there have certainly been problems with the way the Mint chose to release them.

    When asking what is wrong with the AtB series, it’s important to look back at the 50 State Quarters Program and ask what made it a success. The 50 State Quarters did not have any promotional silver coins other than standard silver proof sets, and yet was described in the Mint’s postmortem report here: http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/mint_programs/50sqReport.pdf as “the most successful in the nation’s history.”

    Ultimately the keys to the success of the program are generating public interest and wide public exposure. Everyone knew about the 50 State Quarters Program. Conversely, almost no one knows about the AtB series. The first nine quarters received a very limited mintage and are hard to find in circulation. The general public is also not really aware of the AtB program because it has been poorly advertised. The cancellation of the El Yunque launch ceremony was NOT a step in the right direction, in my opinion, and I hope the Mint will move to reinstate future launch programs quickly.

    Remember that ultimately, the success of the program will be judged by how widely it is known, how popular it is among the general public, and how much revenue and seigniorage the coins produce for the Mint. Success will most definitely not be judged by how high the prices of the promotional bullion/numismatic coins are on the secondary markets. Many First Spouse coins command solid secondary premiums, but do you ever hear the first spouse program described as a “big success?”

    If you want to gamble with instant rarities, you’re probably better off buying coins like the silver dragons from the Perth Mint, as making rarities seems to be that Mint’s business.


    On the issue of buying what you like vs. buying for value, I think people should do both. In general I try to buy things that I both like and that I think will command numismatic premiums down the road, even though I don’t flip. After all, there might come a time where I experience financial hardship, and it will be good to have valuable coins I can sell should that ever happen.

  56. Jeremy says

    @CO, I don’t disagree with purchasing products you enjoy with a hint of speculative interest. My point was that it is NOT the mint’s purpose to create coins in limited issue resulting in an “artificial” scarcity situation. This is what was created with the 25th anniversary silver eagle sets and you seen the quagmire that developed. Personally, I have to admit I was disappointed in the reactions of dealers and private mints to proposition the public to assist them at disadvantaging others.

    Be that as it may, in reference to having an ability to sell coins from your own collection should such conditions dictate again I refer you to the link that I had provided above and in particular where it indicates “people cherish our products because they are stores of value”. There is an expectation of worth inherent in the product regardless of design or mintage amounts.

  57. simon says

    As a collector I have very few reservations gathering coins – even the odd Lincoln cents beckoning me lovingly from a parking lot pavement. IMHO one of the fringe benefits of coin collecting is “inadvertently” acquiring a true rarity whether from the Mint (as was the case for me with the 08/07 ASE issues) or finding one while sorting pocket change (as was the case of the 1998 cent with the “osculating” AM bases on the reverse.) I congratulate the mint on a job really well done, in producing coins consistently for business and collectors. There would be no rarities or desirables without collectors identifying them as such, with market value set by ordinary people willing to pay. The state quarters were successful IMHO because the topic was very easy to identify and appealed in a unifying manner to everyone. The ATB’s have more of a niche appeal, since the National Park system is popular but is one interest of many to most. But for me as a collector it is a boon since it means more coins, more art, more history ( the ATB’s have some great personalities and cultures attached to them – think Roosevelt, Muir, Ansel Adams, Native Americans, etc.), more technology and engineering (material, size, edge prep, finish, etc.) more potential varieties (mintmarks, errors, etc.). So I could never really be weary of coin and sets offerings from the Mint. If I miss out because of funds (as I did for the 08 buffaloes) I can always get something else later when I do have funds, as recently when I picked up the 25th Anniversery ASE. I am also saving up and looking forward to the upcoming ASE sets alluded to in this forum by folks who took the USMint survey.

  58. Jeremy says

    @Simon, All these so called rarities make an already complicated market all that much more difficult to navigate. However, this isn’t just isolated to “coin collecting”, regardless of the subject matter, evolution through time seems to add complexity to everything. Furthermore, you’re right, if people are willing to pay exorbitant prices in an open market, which the coin market may be the most unrestricted least manipulated of markets at the moment, by all means one should take advantage so long as they aren’t attempting to or purposely exploiting it.

  59. fosnock says


    You must have unlimited fund to collect coins. I have limited funds. The only reason I’m even attempting to collect the ATB bullion hockey pucks is because I got the original five priced at spot. I would not had bought them if they were “collector” items. Your idea of generating “excitement” would just kill the rest of the series as I’m sure that their would be a lot of us who would simply stop buying them. Does anyone else think that this might be the problem with the series? Collectors who simply got disgusted with the way the 2010 coins were handled and avoid them like the plague. As far as “the joy of getting a hard to aquire coin is what makes this such a great hobby.” I agree partially but I have more joy completing a collection, regardless of its respective mintage. As a FYI the mint disagrees with your statement, it refused to launch the 2009 ASE because it could not meet collector demand, personally I think that it was a mistake, but after reading your comments I would have to reconsider my stance and it may have saved a lot of its clients from stopping their collections in disgust.

  60. fosnock says


    Thank you for the URL to Provident Metals, Gainesville Coins stopped selling the ATBs, and I was going to go with APMEX until your post. Thanks again

  61. G says

    I wish I had unlimited funds- then I’d still be collecting the P 5 ozers! I do have a 90% silver 1964 50 cent piece that’s pretty as heck and I get to watch football today- life is good! I have a 1 ounce 2011 W burnished gold on backorder that I have a 10% chance of getting, I’d say. The only question is: do I feel lucky?

    Happy Super Bowl Sunday everybody.

  62. simon says

    Jeremy – my take on the complexities is that they are rooted in hype and turned into a well-orchestrated game played by the TPGs. Collectors were doing fine till they came along. Now, even the most mundane of coins minted in the millions are considered rare because just 5-10 of them are in PCGS or NGC slabs, and are listed as “low population gems.” This hype will eventually collapse. Just look at the price trends of the both the ATBs and the 25th Anniv ASE sets which actually are “rare,” and which commandeered hundreds of posts here, and posts in the several thousands elsewhere.

  63. Louis says

    Fosnock- You are absolutely correct, and I was thinking of that too when I made the point about the Mint’s mission. There was concern that because they could only produce a relatively small number of 2009 ASE proof and burnished, that this would create instant rarities, and the Mint explicitly stated that it is not in the business of doing that. The Mint’s missions are in order of importance as defined by law: 1.) to issue circulating coins 2.) to sell bullion eagles and 3.) to make collector coins, which are to be distributed as widely as possible. That is why I say it is a gift when something immediately goes up. The fun (not the hassle as some above suggested) of collecting modern coins is partly to try to anticipate what will do well. Two other points- The US and other mints manipulate mintages all the time to create instant high demand for coins, but as soon as they issue something else later with a lower number, the value of the earlier coin often plummets. That’s because they are a business. Second, with respect to the 25th ann. ASE sets- Anyone who had doubts about how well these would do has simply not been paying attention. There are no hard numbers about how many people foolishly sold for a $60 profit. Anyway, this is an interesting discussion.

  64. Louis says

    Also, on the 2010 bullion AtB’s, I am so tired of negative comments on that. If you were persistent and read this site and others, you had the chance to get them at spot. If you did that, you are doing just fine, as silver is higher now than it was then and widely expected to go much higher. If you paid several thousand for a set, then again you were not reading my articles and others that have repeatedly stated that it is best to wait for things to cool down rather than overpaying.

  65. Ikaika says

    @ Louis

    Well said. If one purchased the 2010 ATB bullion sets from the APs, you are doing fine. Dealers are buying the raw sets for over 1K. But if you paid between 3-5K a set when they were released you are in for a long long wait to re-coupe your money. IMHO, I believe that the uniqueness of these coins and the silver prices will make them a good investment.

  66. Samuel says

    maybe you guys r enjoying the game right now. the black dragon appears again at perthmint. i just picked up one, since talisman increase the price to $180. i should have included it in the other order to save the $20 shipping.

  67. Louis says

    Interesting how Perth and Talisman say an item is sold out, then it magically re-appears, and in Talisman’s case at a higher price point. This is part of why I prefer the American classics like type coins.

  68. says

    Louis, I’ve noticed that too. Sold out, available, sold out, available.

    I also picked up the Black Dragon from the Perth Mint about an hour ago. I also purchased one as part of a 3 coin set from Talisman (Welsh Red Dragon & Gilded included) for $304.85…then is was not avalable a little latter…now it’s available again, but for $384.85.

    Talisman has 20 of the Berlin Black Dragon for sell on ebay for $199.95…or $179.95 plus shipping on their web-site.

    Also, if you liked the New Zealand Nuie Gilded Dragon with the great packaging and mintage of 2500,
    APMEX has a 2012 Niue $2 Titanic 100th Anniversary 1 oz Silver Coin with a mintage of only 2,229…one for each passenger. It also has nice packaging.


  69. says

    Re: on the Titantic coin mentioned above, APMEX is the exclusive seller of all 2,229. I tried putting 2229 in my cart and it showed that they have 1,914 available.

  70. Brian says

    Why is the Mint being so secretive about their production schedule this year? Turmoil, political interference, cost issues, ????….

  71. Louis says

    Steve, Thanks. Royal Scandinavian Mint also sells a Titanic coin, and they have a price matching policy. They will beat any North American retail price, but auctions don’t count. I think it is a more interesting and attractive coin, but not my personal cup of tea. It has a stained glass insert of the view from the staircase in 1st class, and the mintage is lower plus it has 1.5 ounces of silver. However, it is almost $300 at RSM and more elsewhere.


  72. Louis says

    Good question, Brian. No schedule info on the site and no announcements about AtB releases or anything.

  73. Samuel says

    The mint better has some w AGE in stock, or there is no reason to backorder such a small mintage coins, or something wrong in their chain.

  74. says


    On the black dragon, I think it’s possible the reason some went up again was because they may have had a few left over from the actual Berlin show that went unsold. There were also likely bogus orders from the first round of sales too.

    As for the 2010 AtB bullion, the coins aren’t really all that expensive to acquire anymore. The Providence set they offer isn’t that much more expensive than the numismatic AtBs. I haven’t bought any mostly because I’ve decided to focus on collecting the numismatic releases instead. Had they cancelled the numismatic releases, I might have backtracked, but I think it’s unlikely I’ll ever do that now.

    For the AtBs, I’m much more interested right now to see how sales of the El Yunque bullion and numismatic variety are handled in terms of premium, advertising, etc.

  75. ClevelandRocks says

    All this colorized dragon discussions about non-US coins with old lady queen on the obverse? Are you guys serious or just poking fun at what will have a natural history of any “fad” following? Makes my filled overpriced ASE subscription (now cancelled due to Mint lowering pricing on ASEs AFTER loyal customers subscriptions were filled) seem like a good deal for a beautiful classic coin.
    I’ll take Lady Liberty any day over Old Lady Queen with silly colorized dragon on reverse.

  76. Matt L. DeTectre says

    Concur with ClevelandRocks re: the Queen. The British commonwealth coins come out with some interesting designs but rarely buy any of them anymore. Just don’t care to have a coin with a picture of grandma on ne side and they are usually high priced compared to U.S. coins.. Yeah, we have George Washington on many of our coins but he helped start a country (ours) and did a whole lotta other neat stuff. Okay having made these comments it still all boils down to buy what you like. You’re the person that has to be satisfied with the coin.

    As for foreign coins I like the silver Libertads. They have denominations from 1/20th oz up to 1 oz. Too bad the mint can’t do fractionals in the ASE or a silver bufffalo with fractions.

  77. Jeremy says

    Admittedly, I’m not all that keen on the Queen Elizabeth II coins either. However, I did find the Canadian Wildlife Coins alluring although I’m not all that impressed with one soon to be released because of the design of the coin as mentioned by Michael and others that can be seen on the “coinupdate.com” newsletter.

  78. G says

    Libertads are my favorite- really hard to put a set of the proofs together. The opal coin is now sold out from the Perth as are the dragons. What a great super bowl- exciting game. As always, Michael runs a great blog, and it’s informative to hear everybody’s opinions, and it’s refreshing to have the civility of differing ideas along with the respect. I’ve found coin collectors are in general, an intelligent group, with a healthy interest in history and predicting trends. Go team!

  79. Tallon says

    I agree with Matt, Libertads are my second favorite after the ASE. Libertads are also available in 2oz and 5oz versions. The 5oz proof is spectacular.

  80. Louis says

    Libertads are great, but tend to be hard to find, esp. the larger sizes and proofs. On the new moose coin, I had the same reaction until I saw a pic of the coin, not a mock-up. Check around the bullion dealers. I believe either Provident or APMEX has a pic of the actual coin, and it looks much better.

  81. Jeremy says

    The new Wildlife Canadian Moose Coin has lost most of its appeal. The natural scenery is lacking and is abruptly cut off. Why would they make such a drastic change?

  82. Jeremy says

    @Tim, I’m in agreement with you unless something develops that convinces me otherwise, I will be opting out of this issue. How sad, the others are really gorgeous, so disappointing.

  83. Joe K. says

    Really disappointed about the release ceremonies being discontinued. I was collecting MS65’s and MS66’s just for the fun of it. Have 2010 and 2011. Just the same NGC ruined the series when they remove “America The Beautiful” from the label. Just another reason not to collect “graded” coins, imho.

  84. says

    Joe, I think NGC “had” to remove “America the Beautiful” from their labels because of a copyright infringement…couldn’t use the same wording as the Mint.

  85. Joe K. says

    “America The Beautiful Quarters®” is the actual trade mark the mint uses not just “America the Beautiful” and that is what the label stated. No matter Mint or NCG an unusual program has be terminated.

  86. says

    Joe…why does what’s no longer on the label “terminate” the program? The coins are what makes the program, not the labels! imo

  87. Joe K. says

    I have an account at NCG and was displaying my ATB Release Quarters. Funny that I wrote a little blog rant there about how I “am” collecting the holders because they state release ceremony and there were hoops to jump through to get that label. Really didn’t terminate the program just made them less desirable to me. And again this is just mho. Thanks for the great blog and up to date info!

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