Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

US Mint Offers Bulk Bags of America the Beautiful Quarters

Today, the United States Mint announced the America the Beautiful Quarters Bulk Purchase Program. At first, I was pretty excited about the announcement, until I read that the bulk purchases must be made in increments of $50,000. Even though most collectors will not be able to purchase through the program, it will still have an impact on anyone collecting the series.

As I have mentioned in prior posts, circulating coins are generally distributed to the channels of circulation through the Federal Reserve Banks. They supply coins to banks and other depository institutions in quantities sufficient to meet transactional demand without regard to the date or design of the coins.

For the 50 State Quarters Program and the Presidential Dollars Program, special ordering procedures were provided, which allowed banks to order unmixed quantities of the newly issued coins for certain periods surrounding the circulation release date. Special ordering procedures were not put into place for the new America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

Although some of the newly issued quarters eventually make their way into circulation, the lack of ability for banks to order the new issues specifically makes distribution spotty and uncertain, as compared to the State Quarters.

The Bulk Purchase Program provides for the purchase of bulk bags containing 200,000 coins, with a face value of $50,000. There is a processing fee of 3% or $1,500 for each order. Purchasers must also arrange pick up of the coins from the Philadelphia Mint (P mint mark coins) or Denver Mint (D mint mark coins) by a licensed commercial carrier.

Orders for upcoming America the Beautiful Quarters can be processed up to one week before the circulation release date. Interestingly, previous releases of the series will be accepted as long as unassigned inventory exists. The US Mint includes the following within the Q&A section:

"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."

This explains why the US Mint's monthly production statistics indicate that the figures for America the Beautiful Quarters are "preliminary" with several asterisks. In the past, the US Mint has stopped production of one rotating circulating coin design before beginning production of the next. Apparently, now the US Mint may continue minting all designs during year of issue.

Because of the high minimum purchase requirements and pick up arrangements, it's unlikely that the average individual coin collector will be able to use the program to obtain new coins. The US Mint suggests that smaller quantities should be purchased through the two roll sets ($20 face value for $32.95) or the 100-coin bags ($25 face value for $35.95).

The Bulk Purchase Program will likely have some indirect impacts to the average collector. It may create a more abundant supply of each quarter on the secondary market if dealers purchase the coins in bulk quantities. In the short term, this should make acquiring the coins easier, but in the long term it may hold down the values of low mintage coins. Rather than distributing a small mintage broadly, many coins will be in the hands of collectors through the numismatic bags and rolls offerings and potential hoards will be in the hands of dealers and others through the bulk purchase program.

Studying production figures for low mintage coins will become a more difficult task. Since production for each coin can take place throughout the entire year of issue (if time and resources permit), any coins with low preliminary production figures might be ordered in quantity through the bulk purchase program, increasing mintages and creating hoards.



At June 8, 2010 at 6:31 PM , Anonymous vaughnster said...

Seems like the Mint is again squeezing out most collectors with this new plan. There really isn't much joy or excitement collecting coins from the Mint anymore.....

At June 8, 2010 at 8:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much for the Denver mintage of 29 million for Hot Springs. It will never hold up.

Maybe this news will help spur more interest in the 2009 quarters such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands, whose low mintages are locked in.

However, since nearly all of them are being held by collectors in BU condition, no one will really care I bet.

I'll just stick with the gold and platinum coins. No more of the bags and roll sets of quarters for me!

At June 8, 2010 at 9:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

weird program parameters.

At June 9, 2010 at 6:51 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Direct Ship" program for $1 coins has been changed again. The limits of 50 boxes and 2 boxes for Native American and Presidential Dollars have been replaced with a total 4-box limit every 10 day period, with no restriction on quantity for each unique design.

The new policy will allow a lot more boxes to be purchased by the same buyer than before.

At June 9, 2010 at 8:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When do we find out if the Julia Tyler spouse was over 3000 coins. I bought one just in case but I have a feeling the number will be over 3000.

At June 9, 2010 at 8:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who knows? The number on the weekly Mint report will not change from the 2,861 last reported.

I do know that the Mint was not accepting any orders for the coin on Thursday morning, as I tried to order one at the last minute. Despite the fact that the coin showed as available on the website, when trying to place an order it stopped you on the final page and changed your order total to ".00", so they had already stopped taking orders.

I've never seen ANY official final mintage numbers for the First Spouse series, not even the 2007 Dolley Madisons or the 2008's. Those are definitely final by now, but were never revealed.

At June 9, 2010 at 8:41 AM , Blogger Michael said...

yes, unfortunately there are not updated figures for the Tyler coins. Will put something in a full post.

The latest US Mint sales report is now posted here:

At June 9, 2010 at 9:34 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will they have the first sales numbers for the 2010 proof buffalo?

At June 9, 2010 at 9:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next week's report should definitely have the numbers for Proof Buffalos through 6/13.

At June 9, 2010 at 9:59 AM , Blogger Michael said...

Next week's report should have them. If I can manage to get them sooner, I will post asap.

At June 9, 2010 at 10:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to believe that the high price will translate into few buffalo sales. $1510 is a lot of money in this economy.

At June 9, 2010 at 10:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"... 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..."

Another 'interesting' marketing ploy by the mint to make as much $$$ off of the casual collector as possible.

I was really excited about this series and had subscribed to the 2-roll sets as well as the silver and clad proof sets. I have received the first two sets in the series and am glad I just read this as I am now cancelling my subscription and will not be pursuing this series now.

Even with low (seemingly) mintages, there will be a glut of these available and I really do not see this series being worth the space needed to store it.

Oh well. Back to pre-1964 coins.

At June 9, 2010 at 11:31 AM , Anonymous JA said...

I too was excite about the announcement until I saw the rest of the article.
This act does very little to improve circulation and availabilty for the average collector.
Nice move but no cigar.

At June 9, 2010 at 7:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Games, games and more games from the US Mint. I have no plans to order any America the Beautiful quarters from them. I think they have a lot of nerve even offing something like this costing $50,000dollars. Oh sure, I`ll just dig up some spare change I have lying around and place an order. Yeah right!!!

At June 9, 2010 at 7:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

199,997- 199,998- 199,999...... Hey, they shorted me one!!!!

At June 9, 2010 at 9:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha!


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