The US Mint has initiated the sales of the 2012 America the Beautiful Three Coin set, which features the Acadia National Park Quarters. This is the thirteenth release under the America the Beautiful Quarters program and each three piece set includes one uncirculated quarter from the US Mint’s Philadelphia facility, one uncirculated quarter from its Denver facility and one proof quarter from the San Francisco unit. All these coins are mounted on an illustrated plastic display card which contains description of the site and the coin on the back. Priced at $9.95 each, the sets have no ordering limits and are expected to be available for one year. The mint has also started the sale of numismatic bags and rolls.

US Gold Mint’s America the Beautiful Program
The release is part of the US Gold mint’s program, launched in 2010 to honor 56 national sites that make America beautiful. The program aims to reinvigorate public interest in the country’s national parks, forests, fish and wildlife refuges and other national sites besides educating the public about their importance. The US Mint has decided to annually mint five ounce silver uncirculated coins and release them in the order in which the honored site was first established. The final coin is slated to be issued in 2021.

The latest offering includes coins whose reverse side features a view of the Bass Harbor Head Light House and Acadia’s coastline. The image also displays many other representative elements of the park such as the pine trees and the ocean.

History of the US Gold Mint
These coins are just one of the special varieties of coins offered by the US mint from time to time. The US Gold mint was created by the US Congress as per the Coinage Act of 1792 for manufacturing coinage for circulation as well as gold and silver coins. The mint was subsequently made an independent agency in 1799 and its main task was to convert precious metals like gold and silver into standard coins for anyone. However, the Coinage Act of 1873 specified that the mint was a part of the US department of treasury with all legal tender coins minted solely for the Treasury’s account. The headquarters of the US Mint are located in Washington and it operates mint facilities at Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco and West Point, besides having a bullion depository at Fort Knox.

US Gold Mint Mission
The mission of the US gold mint is to manufacture and distribute circulating coins, precious metal coins and collectible coins as well as national medals to meet the needs of the United States. The mint is also responsible for the custody and the protection of the gold and silver assets of the United States. The mint sells three types of coins:

1)    Bullion coins for investors seeking to invest in physical forms of gold. These coins are valued by their weight and their prices fluctuate with the changes in the daily price of the metal concerned. These coins are sold through a network of coin and precious metal dealers and thus are highly liquid.
2)    Proof Coins: They are the finest quality of coins produced and are meant for collectors. The value of these coins is dependent on their mintage quantity, rarity, condition and age. Available through the US Mint’s website, these coins are sold at a premium as compared to bullion coins due to the special manufacturing processes and custom designed packaging.
3)    Uncirculated coins: Meant for collectors these coins are also sold through the US mint website.  Specially manufactured and packed, these coins have a soft matt like finish and are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

US Mint Gold Production Figures
The US Gold mint’s circulating coin production at Philadelphia and Denver reached 819.96 million in May 2012. The figures are down from the April’s 858.04 million, but up from a year ago when it stood at 807.41 million. Cents, nickels and dimes dominated the production figures and accounted for nearly 92% of all circulating coinage production of the US mint.