I remember seeing a state quarter for the first time in early Spring 1999. I hadn’t been an active coin collector for a quarter century. So this US coin has a guy on horseback, and I did remember Delaware being the first state. A quick internet search later, and I was amazed to learn that ten years of new designs were on the way.
With hundreds of millions of specimens of each state to be found in pocket change, there was no way these items were going to be hoarded. Like Kennedy halves.
But they were very collectible.
Better than hoarding pennies, too. Maybe the US Mint had that in mind. A full set of 50 state quarters has a face value of $12.50. Maybe people would try to assemble a full set of both Philadelphia and Denver mint versions. That’s $25 socked away in every kid and collector’s drawer. And the country would still need more quarters for actual pocket change.
In 2009, territories and districts were added.
Now from 2010 till 2020, each state, territory, and district will have one of its national parks or monuments represented. Here’s my first find from last year’s Alaska:
Can you make it out? I captured a blurry image intentionally. Most people aren’t going to notice much more than this as coins go from hand to pocket to restaurant table to car to slot machine. Even imaged more clearly on the web page, I don’t think it’s all that clear. In real life, a buffed-up new quarter isn’t going to show the contrast of a good line drawing. The sheep is lost in a messy landscape of less than one square inch.
If they wanted to keep the cash flowing, I would have taken GW off the front (a little controversy is always good) and put American artists in his place. Or done the state flowers or birds or such.
I now collect coins actively, more or less. But I’ve given up on quarters.
- Twenty-two years of novelty grows boring.
- The 2010-20 designs are distinctive from the state series, but mainly because they are much poorer.
- With the depression we’re clawing out of (maybe) the US mint is producing quarters in much fewer numbers than they were in 1999-2001. Who wants to bother collecting things they can’t find? I keep a close eye on my pocket change, and I have maybe eight of the 18 issued since 2010.
- Did I mention the title of this program? “America the Beautiful Quarter.” So my nation is now ”the beautiful quarter.” A quarter of what?
I’d be interested in seeing a poll result: how many people collected the states, but ended it there?