Production figures for the Hot Springs National Park Quarters were released today by the United States Mint. With these numbers, collectors and the public have many of their questions answered about the coins which mark the first issues of the America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program.
Launched on April 20, 2010 – the U.S. Mint actually started striking the coins back in March in order to build up enough inventory of the Hot Springs Quarter before they were due to be released into circulation. That month, a total of 42,400,000 quarters were struck, presumably all of the Hot Springs design – 19,000,000 of those struck at the Mint’s facility in Denver and 23,400,000 struck at the Mint’s facility in Philadelphia.
When the April production figures were released, it was widely assumed that the 35,000,000 quarter dollars struck that month were all the Hot Springs coin as well. However, with the preliminary totals for the first quarter of the America the Beautiful Program now available, we know that was not the case.
According to the Mint, the 2010 Hot Springs National Park Quarter only has a total mintage of 59,600,000. 29 million of those were struck in Denver with the remaining 30.6 million struck in Philadelphia.
While to the casual observer, these numbers may seem like quite a bit, the mintage is, in actuality, historically low. In fact, the Hot Springs Quarter marks the lowest mintage of any quarter dollar design in over half a century. One has to go back to 1955 to see that it was the most recent year with a lower total mintage of only 21.36 million quarters.
Interested individuals have to look back almost as far as that to find a year in which a circulation strike also has a lower mintage than the 29 million Hot Springs coins struck in Denver. This occurred in 1959 when the Philadelphia Mint only produced 24.38 million quarter dollars that year.
It is important to keep in mind that the Mint indicates that these are not the final audited numbers for the Hot Springs Quarter. The final official tally will only be announced in January 2011 along with the rest of the 2011 America the Beautiful strike mintages.
What these numbers do tell, though, is that it is going to be extremely difficult for the public to find a lot of these strikes in their pocket-change. This is a bit disappointing as most were looking at the America the Beautiful Program to spark a lot of excitement by the public just like the US Mint’s 50-State Quarters Program did. However, if the general public hardly sees any of the strikes, it will be hard for any momentum to build.
It should be noted that this is not the Mint’s fault. It strikes the circulation quality quarters for use in everyday commerce. With the recent economic downturn, demand for new coinage is much lower than the Mint would typically see.
The America the Beautiful Quarter Mintages page has been updated.