The United States Mint will not conduct launch ceremonies in the
2012 Presidential dollars program, U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White
told Coin World March 2.
Mint officials cite cost savings as among the reasons for not
conducting the ceremonies.
From 2007 to 2011, when the coins were struck for release into
circulation, Mint officials conducted a launch event for each
Presidential dollar, from the 2007 coin for George Washington to the
2011 coin for James Garfield.
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner suspended Presidential
dollar coin production for circulation on Dec. 13, 2011, as a
cost-cutting measure. His decision was in reaction to excessive
inventories of the coins. Federal Reserve coffers are choked with more
than 1.4 billion coins, which officials say are sufficient to meet
more than a decade of commerce demand without striking additional coins.
In a statement released Jan. 19 by Tom Jurkowsky, director of the
U.S. Mint’s Office of Public Affairs, said: “Coin launch events are
very important to the United States Mint. They represent an
exceptional form of outreach to a wide base of individuals — from
collectors and children to historians and citizens who may have an
interest in the place or person being honored. Launch events help us
‘connect America through coins’ as coins tell the story about our
nation’s history, culture and traditions. Quite simply, coins form
part of our nation’s financial fabric and launches represent an
opportunity to tell our story.
“However, we must ensure when we do coin launch events that we do
them in the most cost effective manner possible. Just as much as we
have an obligation to tell our story, we are just as obligated to tell
that story efficiently.
“Therefore, we are looking at our coin launch procedures and
processes to ensure that we do them in the most efficient manner possible.”
Although the Mint will not strike Presidential dollars for
circulation, it will continue to produce circulation-quality coins for collectors.
In a telephone interview in January with Coin World, U.S. Mint
Deputy Director Richard A. Peterson stated the U.S. Mint would be
producing circulation-quality Presidential dollars in various quantity
options at premiums above face value, since the options would
represent numismatic products.
The Mint is also planning to offer the 2012 Native American dollar
in numismatic product options, since its production is tied to the
production of the 2012 Presidential dollars.
While U.S. Mint officials have not yet formally disclosed the
various numismatic product options and pricing for Presidential and
Native American dollars, officials have confirmed the Direct Ship
Program has been canceled. The Direct Ship Program allowed customers
to order $250 face value boxes of circulation-quality Presidential
dollars and Native American dollars in 25-coin rolls initially at face
value, but pricing subsequently changed to include face value and a
A similar ordering option is being contemplated for the
as-yet-to-be-announced numismatic products, but pricing has not been disclosed.
U.S. Mint officials have not disclosed release dates for the
Presidential dollars and Native American dollars. None of the four
2012 Presidential dollars has been released, nor has the 2012 Native
The release dates for the 2012 Presidential dollars will not
necessarily coincide with the circulation release dates originally
scheduled for the 2012 dollars before Geithner issued his production suspension.
The original release date for the 2012 Chester A. Arthur
Presidential dollar was Feb. 16.
The remaining original release dates for Presidential dollars were:
➤ Grover Cleveland, May 17.
➤ Benjamin Harrison, Aug. 16.
➤ Grover Cleveland, Nov. 15.
2012 quarter dollars
Official Mint-sponsored ceremonies for 2012 America the Beautiful
quarter dollars are continuing, with dates set for the El Yunque
National Forest (Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) and Chaco Cultural
National Historical Park (New Mexico).
The El Yunque ceremony is scheduled to be conducted March 14 at
the El Portal Visitors Center in the park (see story, page 5, this
issue); the coin was released into circulation Jan. 23. The Chaco
Culture ceremony, according to park officials, is scheduled for April
26, with a Federal Reserve circulation release date of April 2.
U.S. Mint officials did not release complete details on the
ceremony as of March 10.
Federal Reserve circulation releases for the third through fifth
2012 America the Beautiful quarter dollars are:
➤ Acadia National Park (Maine), June 11.
➤ Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii), Aug. 27.
➤ Denali National Park (Alaska), Nov. 5.
The Federal Reserve circulation releases will not necessarily
coincide with the official U.S. Mint launch ceremonies. ■