Last week the United States Mint published its production figures for the recently released Yosemite National Park Quarter. It is the third coin in the new America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program.
According to the figures, 70,000,000 Yosemite quarters were struck. The number that came from the Denver facility exactly matched that of the Yellowstone coins at 34,800,000. The remaining 35,200,000 were minted at the plant in Philadelphia.
The numbers are still considered “preliminary production figures only” by the U.S. Mint, since official mintages are not expected until January 2011. Still, they provide a means for easy comparison with prior quarters.
Most striking, the Mint produced more Yosemite National Park Quarters than the previous park quarters. Yosemite is featured on 1.6 million more coins than Yellowstone and 10.4 million over the Hot Springs’ mintage. This means that as time goes on, it should be easier to find Yosemite quarters in circulation than the earlier two coins.
For now, the Hot Springs Quarter holds the lowest mintage record for any circulating 25-cent piece since 1955. That record was once held by the 2009 Northern Mariana Islands Quarter which had a total of 72.8 million. Of course, the record could change again should the Mint decide to re-produce earlier 2010 strikes based on bulk orders, time and inventory.
Bulk bag orders from the Mint for businesses could possibly affect Hot Springs and Yellowstone numbers. The “Question and Answer” below is from the Mint’s FAQ on its bulk purchase program:
Question: Can I order previously released coins once the United States Mint has stopped shipping that specific design to the Federal Reserve Bank?
Answer: Orders for previously released coins will be accepted as long as unassigned inventory exists. The United States Mint may produce additional coins to satisfy orders throughout the year for the first few designs if time and resources permit; however, there is no guarantee, and orders may be refused. As the end of the calendar year approaches, flexibility in supplying previously released quarters diminishes. Additionally, Federal Reserve Bank orders will take precedence over the bulk purchase orders, which may affect the United States Mint’s ability to fill new orders for previously released coins.
Generally, collectors desire lower mintage coins since that can be one of the biggest factors in a coin’s value down the road. In many cases, coins are worth more when they are more scarce.
As a side note, the US Mint sells two-roll sets and bags of the new quarter-dollars. The two-roll sets contain one roll of 40 circulation quality quarters struck in Denver and one roll of 40 struck in Philadelphia. Their cost is $32.95 a set. The 100-coin bags offer consumers the choice of 100 circulation quality strikes from either Mint facility for $35.95. Visit the Mint’s online store at http://www.usmint.gov/ to order.
The next offering in the America the Beautiful Quarters series will be the Grand Canyon National Park Quarter. It will be released into circulation on September 20, 2010. The final issue in 2010 will be the Mt. Hood National Forest Quarter.