Steady demand for ‘exotic’ versions of America the Beautiful quarters

Making Moderns: San Francisco Mint quarter dollars hit the mark
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 12/22/16
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Making Moderns column from the Jan. 9, 2017, weekly issue of Coin World:

In 2012, the U.S. Mint announc­ed that they would begin product­ion of America the Beautiful quarter dollars at the San Francisco Mint. Their composition and finish would be identical to coins struck at Philadelphia and Denver for circulation, except of course they would bear the S Mint mark.

These coins, however, would not be released into circulation, nor would they be included in annual Uncirculated Mint sets.

Instead they would be available only in 40-coin rolls and 100-coin bags.

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This offering originally formed part of a celebration for the 75th anniversary of the San Francisco Mint. Initially, the Mint planned to make 1.4 million coins of each of the five 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters issues. 

The first five issues sold out, and the program continued. Circulation-quality San Francisco Mint quarter dollars have been offered for every quarter dollar issued since 2012.

For recent issues, the Mint offers three product options to buyers of these San Francisco Mint quarter dollars: a 100-coin bag at $34.95, a 40-coin roll at $18.95, and a roll set that includes a 40-coin roll each from Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco at $46.95. 

The average mintage figures have dropped slightly, from 1.4 million coins per issue for 2012 and 2013 to just under 1.1 million coins in recent years. Reviewing Mint sales reports, it seems that the following product limits are in place: 5,000 of the 100-coin bags, 5,000 of the 40-coin rolls, and 10,000 of the three-Mint roll sets.

When these product options are exhausted for an issue, that San Francisco Mint quarter dollar is declared “sold out.”

Steady demand for these coins is likely sustained by collectors filling albums of America the Beautiful quarter dollars. A network that includes catalog marketers, eBay sellers and coin shops offers the San Francisco Mint quarter dollars singly or in sets at prices from about 85 cents to a couple of dollars each. 

While it may be frustrating that albums can’t be completed from circulation, these coins are readily available and relatively affordable because of online sale venues.

They are somewhat exotic in that they can’t be found in circulation, and they are much scarcer than Philadelphia and Denver Mint issues, and even scarcer than the San Francisco Mint Proof issue.

Not a bad deal for the price at all.

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