The Bicentennial coins entered
circulation July 4, 1975, and 1.7 billion quarter dollars,
500 million half dollars and nearly 250 million dollars were
minted throughout that year and the Bicentennial year.
In addition to the billions of
coins struck for circulation and 4 million copper-nickel
clad Proof sets, the Mint also struck 11 million three-piece
sets of silver clad uncirculated coins and 4 million
three-coin silver clad Proof sets.
The three-coin Proof set
originally sold for $15, and uncirculated sets for $9, but
rising silver bullion prices (from less than $5 an ounce in
1975 to more than $50 an ounce in 1980) forced the Mint to
raise prices on the 40 percent silver coins to keep pace, to
$20 and $15.
The Mint accepted orders for
Proof sets through March 1985, and uncirculated sets through
Dec. 31, 1986, what then Mint director Donna Pope said at
the August 1986 convention of the American Numismatic
Association was the end of "the longest-running offering of
a single set" by the U.S. Mint.
The Bicentennial Quarter's
reverse has a colonial drummer and a victory torch circled
by 13 stars, one star for each state in the Union when the
Declaration of Independence was signed.