The United States Mint will release the 2011 America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Set on Thursday, March 17, at noon ET.
The proof set is listed for $14.95, the same price as last year’s inaugural 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Set which was released at a much later time (May 13).
The set contains numismatic or collector proof versions of the five circulating 2011 quarters that are produced for circulation this year, including:
- 2011-S Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter
- 2011-S Glacier National Park Quarter
- 2011-S Olympic National Park Quarter
- 2011-S Vicksburg National Military Park Quarter
- 2011-S Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarter
These coins honor American national parks and sites respectively located within Pennsylvania, Montana, Washington, Mississippi and Oklahoma. They are the second set of five issues within the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program — a series that will honor sites in every state, territory and the District of Columbia until at least 2021.
The "S" designation indicates that the coins are produced at the US Mint facility in San Francisco. As such, each will also have a "S" mint mark. The Mint describes how the coins are produced and packaged in the following statement:
"United States Mint proof coins feature sharp relief and a mirror-like background. Their frosted, sculpted foregrounds give them a special cameo effect. Proof blanks are specially treated, polished and cleaned to ensure high quality strikes. The blanks are then fed into presses fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice to ensure sharp relief. The coins are then packaged in a protective lens to showcase and maintain their exceptional finish."
As a collector offering, the proof set features four quarters that have yet to be released into circulation. The Gettysburg coin was issued back in January. The four remaining coins will be released in April, June, August and November.
Following their release, the sets may be purchased directly from the US Mint’s website (http://www.usmint.gov/) or by calling its toll free telephone number 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). The US Mint does charge a shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order. No mintage limits or per household order limits are in place. The Mint indicates it will begin shipping each America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Set order within 1-2 weeks.