Today, the United States Mint ended sales of 2009 Northern Mariana Islands Quarter bags and rolls. The end of sales coincided with the beginning of sales for the new 2010 Hot Springs National Park Quarter bags and rolls.
The Northern Mariana Islands Quarter bags and rolls first went on sale back on November 27, 2009. The US Mint offered two roll sets, 100-coin bags, and 1000-coin bags. A few days after the start of sales, the mintages for the quarters were revealed to be lowest for a circulation strike quarter since 1960. The 2010-P had a mintage of 35,200,000 and the 2001-D had a mintage of 37,600,000.
One of the interesting aspects of the NMI Quarter besides the low mintage, is the proportion of the mintage that was distributed directly to coin collectors through the US Mint’s numismatic bags and rolls. The table below shows the most recent unit sales for bags and roll of Northern Mariana Islands Quarters.
|Northern Mariana Quarters Bags and Rolls Sales|
|unit sales||quarters per product||total quarters|
|100-coin bag (P)||7,733||100||773,300|
|1000-coin bag (P)||1,477||1,000||1,477,000|
|100-coin bag (D)||7,354||100||735,400|
|1000-coin bag (D)||772||1,000||772,000|
|Two Roll Set||33,639||80||2,691,120|
The US Mint sold 6,448,820 quarters through their bags and rolls offerings out of the overall mintage of 72,800,000. This means that numismatic sales represented 8.86% of the total mintage.
Breaking the figures down by mint mark shows an even higher proportion of the lower mintage Philadelphia strike in the hands of collectors. Bags and rolls sales included a total of 3,595,860 2010-P Northern Mariana Islands Quarters out of the total mintage of 35,200,000. In this case, quarters sold through bags and rolls represent 10.22% of the mintage.
During the prior 50 State Quarters Program, I don’t believe that the percentage of each quarter’s mintage sold through numismatic bags and rolls was ever this significant. I was able to find data for a few of the 2008 quarters and calculated the percentages to be around 2%.
I think this will be an interesting trend to watch. If mintages continue to decline for this year’s quarters and collectors continue to purchase the same or higher quantities through the US Mint’s numismatic offerings, even greater proportions of each quarter’s total mintage will be purchased and held by collectors. This could have implications for the values of today’s low mintage coins and the notion of circulating coins, as fewer of them ever have the chance to actually circulate.