US Coins

San Francisco Mint quarters on sale June 21

The 2012-S Acadia National Park quarter dollar representing Maine in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program is one of the five 2012 quarters to be struck in circulation quality at the San Francisco Mint for numismatic sales for collectors.

Images courtesy of San Francisco Mint.

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 June 21.

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 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 to demand.

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.

Mint history

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. ¦

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