By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for Coinweek …….
The United States Mint released the 2016 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set at noon Eastern Time on March 7, 2016. The product marks the seventh silver proof set for the America the Beautiful Quarters series and contains five 90-percent silver quarters honoring national parks and historic landmarks in Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, and South Carolina.
This year’s designs include the following:
- Shawnee National Forest in Illinois
- Cumberland Gap National Historic Park in Kentucky
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota
- Fort Moultrie at Fort Sumter National Monument in South Carolina
The 2016 silver quarter proof set is being offered for US$31.95 retail and showcases the five America the Beautiful quarters in a black plastic case. A similar offering contains the five copper-nickel clad America the Beautiful Quarter proof coins; the clad proof set comes in an orange plastic case and sells for $14.95 retail. Both proof sets include S-mint coins from San Francisco. Neither set is subject to production or household ordering limits, and thus will be freely available to meet demand.
America the Beautiful Proof Set Price Performance and Mintages
Since the issuance of the first America the Beautiful Quarters proof sets in 2010, production figures and overall price performance have remained generally consistent. The following table gives a breakdown of some vital data behind the various five-coin America the Beautiful silver proof sets:
Note that the issue price rose in 2011 and 2012 during the silver bullion price hike at that time. Issue prices subsequently fell in 2015 following the drop in silver prices. Below is a comparison of similar figures for the copper-nickel clad America the Beautiful Quarters:
Production figures for the silver and clad quarter proof sets have decreased since the first year of issue for the America the Beautiful Quarters series. The numbers of silver and clad sets in any given year are closely related, with perhaps a slight edge on the positive side for the silver proof sets over the past few years. Also of note is the secondary market price performance for both the silver and clad quarter proof sets, which shows general losses in value for the proof sets following their release – not unusual for most modern-day U.S. Mint products.
Interestingly, the 50 States Quarters proof sets, issued in a manner similar to the current America the Beautiful Quarters products, experienced much more volatile secondary market pricing performance when that series was still in production. At one point not long after their initial releases, the 1999-S and 2001-S 50 States Quarters proof sets were selling for multiple times their issue prices before settling at much more modest values.
There has yet to be any particularly fervent market activity for the America the Beautiful Quarters proof sets, which have received a generally more lukewarm reception from the public than the much-hyped 50 States Quarters.