Sales by the U.S. Mint of circulation-quality 2012-S America the
Beautiful quarter dollars in bags and rolls at numismatic premiums
above face value are scheduled to begin at noon Eastern Daylight Time
The first bags and rolls released will contain America the
Beautiful quarter dollar coins honoring Puerto Rico’s El Yunque
National Forest, the first quarter released in 2012.
The circulation-quality coins are intended for numismatic sales
only and not to be released by the Federal Reserve into circulation.
Customers will be offered multiple options: the America the
Beautiful quarter dollars in 100-coin bags ($25 face value) and
40-coin rolls ($10 face value). The bags will be offered for $34.95
each and the rolls for $18.95 each.
A $4.95 shipping and handling charge will be added per order.
Customers may place orders at www.usmint.gov/catalog or by
telephone at 800-872-6468. Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with
TTY equipment may order by calling 888-321-6468.
Striking to demand
After announcing in May an initial production of 1.4 million coins
for each of the five 2012 America the Beautiful quarter dollars, Tom
Jurkowsky, the U.S. Mint’s director of the Office of Public Affairs,
said the San Francisco Mint will strike the circulation-quality coins
No decision has been made as to whether the San Francisco Mint
will continue production of circulation-quality America the Beautiful
quarter dollars beyond the 2012 issue.
The current San Francisco Mint (the third such facility)
recognized its 75th anniversary on May 14.
According to mintage reports, the quarter dollars are the first
coins struck at the San Francisco facility in circulation quality
since 1983 Lincoln cents were produced at the then San Francisco Assay
Office for general circulation. The 1983 cents, without Mint marks,
were identical to 1983 Lincoln cents struck at the Philadelphia Mint
and West Point Bullion Depository.
The San Francisco facility last struck circulation-quality coins
with an S Mint mark in 1981 (1981-S Anthony dollars, struck for
collector sets); the last pieces with the S Mint mark struck for
circulation were 1980-S Anthony dollars.
The San Francisco facility, which began service as the San
Francisco Mint, closed in 1955 after Mint officials determined the
Philadelphia and Denver Mints could meet coinage needs. The facility
was designated as an Assay Office in 1962. It began striking coins
again in September 1965, during a national coinage shortage.
The facility was returned to full Mint status in 1988.
The San Francisco Mint is striking circulation-quality quarter
dollars bearing reverse designs representing El Yunque National Forest
(Puerto Rico), Chaco Culture National Historical Park (New Mexico),
Acadia National Park (Maine), Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii)
and Denali National Park (Alaska).
Denver supplies dies
The dies being used to strike the circulation-quality 2012-S
America the Beautiful quarter dollars are supplied by the Denver Mint.
The dies are being used as received and do not undergo any special
treatment before being placed in a coinage press.
Both the Denver and Philadelphia Mints are supplying the San
Francisco facility with the copper-nickel clad planchets used in
striking the coins.
The Denver and Philadelphia Mints’ production of
circulation-quality America the Beautiful quarter dollars are
primarily intended for circulation, though some of the coins are sold
as collector products.
The San Francisco Mint production is being accomplished on a
Gräbener GMP 360 TK press with the dies oriented to strike vertically.
The upper, or hammer die, represents the George Washington
obverse, while the America the Beautiful commemorative reverse designs
will appear on the bottom, or anvil dies.
The 2012-S quarter dollars will be struck once, at an average
striking pressure of 69 metric tons and a rate of 70 coins per minute.
The planchets are delivered to the coinage chamber by feeder fingers
that push one piece at a time from gravity-fed, vertical coin blank
magazines onto the anvil die.
After striking, the coins are ejected from the coining chamber and
drop into a receptacle for later transfer to a steel storage container
that will contain 200,000 coins to be sent to an outside vendor for
packaging in rolls and bags.
Although the striking pressure and the number of strikes per coin
are the same for circulation-quality quarter s struck at the Denver
and Philadelphia Mints, the Denver and Philadelphia facilities’ output
is accomplished on Schuler presses with a single pair of dies striking
horizontally at the rate of 700 to 750 coins per minute.
The San Francisco Mint quarter dollars will be packaged by the
Denver branch of Coin Wrap Inc., a private firm headquartered in
Harrisburg, Pa. The Harrisburg location wraps and packages the
Philadelphia Mint coins for numismatic sales.
All of the numismatic products are shipped to the collectors who
ordered them from the U.S. Mint’s contracted order fulfillment center,
Pitney-Bowes Government Solutions in Plainfield, Ind. ■