As the America The Beautiful quarter series (also known as the national parks quarters) was signed into law, many were wondering when the commemorative quarter madness would end. From an artistic point of view, the fifty state quarters were a study in mediocrity. While there were some good scenic reverses, the series also contained disasters such as Ohio’s “hanging astrononaut” and Utah’s “train wreck.” This was followed by the “territories” quarters which gained little notoriety. Many Americans pined for the days when coin designs changed only once every 25 years. But the state quarters produced a 6.2 billion dollar profit for the mint. This fact means that it is time for another commemorative quarter set. America must brace herself for 56 new reverse quarter designs. (Images courtesy of the United States mint).
2010 designs for the America the beautiful quarters
The national parks quarters have been a pleasant surprise. The 2010 designs depicting Mount Hood, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Hot springs have a coherence missing in the state quarter series.
Collecting the America The Beautiful quarters
Potential rarity for America the Beautiful quarters
The number of quarters minted each year is likely to diminish as our society becomes more “cashless.” As a result, there are likely to be scarcer quarters than in the state quarter series. The US mint will be selling the quarters in uncirculated sets, proof sets, silver proof sets, bags, rolls, and any other way they can make a profit (Can the collector’s spoons and Christmas ornaments be far off?)
The five-ounce america the beautiful silver bullion coin
The law authorizing the national park quarters also contained a big headache for the mint in forcing them to produce five ounce silver bullion coins with the same design. The law specified that the.999 fine silver coins must weigh 5 ounces and have a 3 inch diameter. The mint’s first problem was a dearth of five ounce silver planchets . The second problem is that rolling the silver out to a diameter of three inches leaves the mint with a thin blank to work with. Congress added to the law that the mint was required to put edge lettering on the coin. The coins are so thin, they crumple. Unfortunately (in my view) the mint sells its bullion products through private middlemen, thus guaranteeing profit for them and higher pricse for collectors. The National Park service is also authorized to sell the coins. However it is not known whether they will do so.
Collecting the full set?
There will be 56 different designs. For each design, there will be a regular issue minted in both Philadelphia and Denver. A clad proof and a silver proof will be minted in San Francisco. Add to this the five ounce bullion monstrosity, and we get 5 coins per design for a total of 280 coins.
The future of the quarter seriesWhat will happen after this series? The government has become addicted to profits from commemorative quarters. Perhaps the next series will honor each element from the periodic table of the elements. Mike Castle, the primary sponsor of the America the beautiful quarters (as well as the state quarters, 2009 Lincoln cents and presidential dollar coins) has lost the Republican primary for US senate in Delaware in September 2010. Could this be the end of the commemorative quarters? Perhaps the Republicans are trying to say they want to return to the eagle-backs.