The United States Mint has published the preliminary production figures for the Hot Springs National Park Quarter, which suggest an extremely low final mintage for the first release of the America the Beautiful Quarters series.
The Philadelphia Mint produced 30,600,000 coins and the Denver Mint has produced 29,000,000 for a combined production of 59,600,000.
It seems that production of the Hot Springs Quarter concluded last month. Through April 2010, the US Mint had produced 77,400,000 quarters. Since this amount includes the total production of 59,600,000 Hot Springs Quarters, then the remaining 17,800,000 coins must be the start of production for the Yellowstone National Park Quarter, set to be released on June 1, 2010.
The mintage level of the Hot Springs Quarter comes in well below the least produced DC & US Territories Quarter. The Northern Mariana Islands Quarter had total circulating coin production of 72,800,000 coins. The mintage level is also ridiculously lower than the production levels for the 50 State Quarters Program, which ranged from a high of 1,594,616,000 for the 2000 Virignia Quarter to a low of 416,600,000 for the Oklahoma Quarter.
The Hot Springs Quarter now represents the lowest mintage for a quarter since 1955. Additionally, the 2010-D Hot Springs Quarter has the lowest mintage for an individual circulation issue since 1958.
While the low mintages are enticing, an important thing to remember is that the coins are readily available to collectors through the US Mint’s numismatic bags and rolls. A total of 3,860,420 Hot Springs Quarters have been purchased to date through these offerings, representing more than 6% of the mintage. Also, the US Mint has indicated that they have set aside enough inventory so that the Hot Springs bags and rolls should remain available for a full year after the release date.
The value of circulation strike America the Beautiful Quarters will remain to be seen. Any premiums will likely be restrained as long as the coins continue to be available in bags and rolls from the US Mint.
A more certain impact of the low mintage will be to keep the coins out of the hands of the general public. The 50 State Quarters Program has been lauded for its success in reinvigorating the hobby of coin collecting by allowing anyone to collect the series from pocket change. Significantly fewer America the Beautiful Quarters will be reaching circulation, reducing the level of awareness and making assembling a collection from this channel much more difficult.
View latest National Park Quarter Mintages