This week the United States Mint has confirmed that it is producing and developing numismatic products with circulation quality 2012-S quarters that are manufactured at the San Francisco Mint.
There are two unique aspects to this development. First, as these quarters will be produced for numismatic or collector sale, they will not be released into circulation for use in daily commerce like pennies, nickels, dimes and other quarters. They will only be available from and sold by the United States Mint.
Second, for nearly 30 years circulation quality coins have been produced solely at U.S. Mint facilities located in either Denver or Philadelphia. The last time the San Francisco Mint produced circulation quality coins was back in 1983 and those were Lincoln cents which actually did not have the "S" mint mark pressed on them. These new quarters will have a visible "S" mint mark.
CoinNews.net quoted United States Mint spokesperson Michael White as saying: "We were looking for a new numismatic product with an "S" mark. Feedback we had received from customers was that there was always great anticipation with products that had the "S" mint mark."
Should the products enjoy popularity, there is a possibility that similar products will be offered in later years.
Prices and time frames for when these quarter will be released are yet to be announced. It does appear that product offerings will include at least rolls and bags containing the 2012-S quarters. Similar rolls and bags are made available from the Philadelphia and Denver Mint’s when new quarters are released (El Yunque National Forest Quarters and Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarters are two of the five 2012 quarters which have been released into circulation as of this writing).
Update: The U.S. Mint has tentativley scheduled the first product with the quarters, indicating it will release "America the Beautiful Quarters® ‘S’ mint mark Bag and Roll — El Yunque (PR)" on June 21, 2012.
While circulation quality mintages have reached several dozens of million for past America the Beautiful quarters, mintages for the 2012-S quarters will be limited. CoinWorld.com is reporting mintage amounts as low as 1.4 million for each design.
Reverse designs on this year’s quarters feature El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico, Acadia National Park in Maine, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii and Denali National Park in Alaska.
For more information on this year’s five quarters, check out the 2012 national park quarters page. Stay tuned to this site for updated news and announcements about upcoming 2012-S quarter products.