On Friday, February 3, 2012, the United States Mint will begin selling rolls and bags of Puerto Rico’s 2012 El Yunque National Forest Quarters. The coins were released into public circulation on January 23.
The El Yunque quarter is the first in 2012 and the eleventh in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program that started in 2010. Its design on its reverse features the Coqui tree frog and a Puerto Rican parrot in a tropical setting. The designer was Gary Whitley and the engraver was Michael Gaudioso.
Prices for the new products have been marked lower than last year’s issues. Instead of being $49.95, 100-coin bags of the El Yunque National Forest Quarters are each $34.95, and the two-roll sets are $32.95 instead of $39.95. The main reasons for the lower prices were the result of the U.S. Mint’s efforts to refine the product costing process and negotiate better prices from its suppliers, the bureau states.
The bags of the 100 coins are made of canvas and include a tag stating, "El Yunque National Forest," "PR" and either "P" or "D," depending on whether the buyer purchased the 100-coin bag with quarters minted in Philadelphia or Denver. The year, "2012," and the mint’s logo are also on the tag. The face value of the 100-coin bag, "$25.00," is printed on the canvas.
The two-roll sets are composed of one roll of 40 Philadelphia strikes and one roll of 40 Denver strikes. The special numismatic packaging also has "El Yunque National Forest," "PR", and the appropriate "P" or "D" to indicate the city where the quarters were struck. "$10" is printed on each roll to denote its face value.
Finding the El Yunque quarter in circulation may be difficult for a while due to distribution channels and commerce needs. Buying rolls and bags from the U.S. Mint is a guaranteed way of getting them early and likely in better condition, although there is a premium in doing so. 2012 El Yunque National Forest Quarter rolls and bags may be ordered directly from the United States Mint website (http://www.usmint.gov/), or its toll free number 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). The standard $4.95 shipping and handling fee applies to all domestic orders.
The U.S. Mint is also offering the quarter in several of its numismatic products. It released the 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set and 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Set in January, and it will launch the El Yunque Quarter Three-Coin Set on February 7.
More numismatic (collector) products will follow later in the year, but their release dates had not been announced at the time of this writing. Below is a list of remaining items that are expected.
- 2012 Proof Set
- 2012 Silver Proof Set
- 2012 Uncirculated Mint Set
- 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters Uncirculated Coin Set
- 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters Circulating Coin Set
El Yunque National Forest is found in Puerto Rico, and it is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. Over one million people go there and take advantage of the many scenic roadways, picnic areas, and nature trails found throughout the forest. President Theodore Roosevelt first established it as a national site on January 17, 1903.
For information on other releases this year, check out the 2012 national park quarters page.