Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter Bags and Rolls
The US Mint will begin sales of numismatic bags and rolls of the Gettysburg National Military Park Quarters today, January 27, 2011 at 12:00 Noon ET. These products contain circulating quality coins that are packaged in US Mint branded wrappers or canvas bags.
The Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter is the sixth release of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The reverse design shows the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument, located at the battle line of the Union Army at Cemetery Ridge. The obverse features John Flanagan's portrait of George Washington with the original details restored.
The US Mint offers 100-coin bags from either the Philadelphia or Denver Mint, or a two roll set containing one 40-coin roll from each facility. Packaging for each product includes the name "Gettysburg National Military Park", the state abbreviation "PA", the mint mark, and face value of the contents. The Gettysburg Quarter bags and rolls are expected to be available for one year after the product release date.
The bags containing a face value of $25 worth of quarters are priced at $49.95 each, and the two roll sets containing a face value of $20 are priced at $39.95 each. Orders are also subject to an additional shipping and handling charge of $4.95.
This pricing represents a significant increase from the levels of last year's comparable products. Throughout last year, the 100-coin bags of quarters were priced at $35.95 each and the two roll quarter sets were $32.95. Considering the difficulty many collectors are having finding the America the Beautiful Quarters at banks or from circulation, the increased pricing seems opportunistic.
Starting in 2010, the US Mint also removed a bulk option that was available to collectors and replaced it with a super bulk option that is only feasible for larger coin dealers and mass marketers. The US Mint used to offer 1,000-coin bags, containing $250 face value worth of quarters, priced at $309.95 each. In June 2010, the US Mint introduced the America the Beautiful Quarters Bulk Purchase Program. Orders could be placed for bulk bags containing 200,000 coins, with a face value of $50,000. The cost would be $51,500 plus pick up by a licensed carrier must be arranged.
Last year, sales of the America the Beautiful Quarters bags and rolls were relatively strong. The first available Hot Springs Quarter products have sold about 46,000 two roll sets and about 9,000 of each 100-coin bag.
Following the price increases, I think more collectors of the series will start evaluating other options. This might include calling more banks until quarters can be located at face value, buying on the secondary market where rolls can be found $15 or less, or getting together with a group to purchase and split up a bulk bag.