Making Moderns column from the Jan. 9, 2017, weekly issue of
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
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.