With 68,800,000 strikes, the Mount Hood National Forest Quarter ranks as the second lowest-minted in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. Only the Yellowstone National Park coin had fewer total strikes, by 400,000.
These United States Mint production figures are still considered preliminary until the final stats are revealed in January 2011. Mintages can change due to bulk purchases by businesses. However, given the lateness of the year, the latest round of 2010 mintage figures are more likely to remain unchanged.
The United States Mint divided production of the Mount Hood National Forest Quarters evenly between the Philadelphia (P) and Denver (D) mint facilities. 34,400,000 were produced at each one.
As for the smallest produced quarter-dollar by facility, that honor remains with the 2010-P Yellowstone National Park Quarter with a mintage of 33,600,000. It was released in June this year and is the lowest minted circulating 25-cent piece since 1955.
The Mount Hood National Forest Quarter was the fifth design for 2010 and for the debuting America the Beautiful Quarters series. Mount Hood’s coins hit the streets on November 15, 2010. A ceremony was held two days later at the World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon.
The designs preceding Mount Hood honored Hot Springs National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and Grand Canyon National Park.
The next design from the US Mint will honor Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. It will be the first 25-cent piece to launch in 2011.
The quarter mintages for the 2010-dated America the Beautiful Quarters are small compared to each year of the 50 State Quarters Program, which ran from 1999 until 2008. So far this year, the total quarter-dollar mintage equals 347,000,000. That is less than just one state quarter. The Oklahoma quarter of 2008, for example, had 416,600,000 strikes in all, and it was the smallest minted coin in the state series.
The popularity of the design is not the driving force for the production numbers. Instead, the economy drives production. For the most part, the United States Mint produces enough circulating quarter-dollars to support orders from Federal Reserve Banks based on demand it receives from local banks around the country.
In addition, the America the Beautiful Quarter series is not like dollar coin series, where the law (Public Law 110-82) requires at least 20 percent of all $1 coins minted be a particular design, the Native American $1 Coin. The United States Mint issues four different Presidential $1 Coins per year plus a newly designed Native American $1 Coin.