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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Q is for Quarters

It appears that I have become obsessed utterly fascinated with the United States 25-cent piece of late. I wrote here about collecting the 50 state quarters for 1999 to 2008. Now I understood MY coming to the hobby late, but why are three other people in my 17-person office starting to collect only in the last six months? Yet another colleague, who became a U.S. citizen in 2005, wants to create 12 sets.

I discovered that the quarter had had the same design of George Washington on the observe side -that's "heads"- from 1932 to 1998. For most of that time, the reverse side was an American eagle. The only exception was in 1975 and 1976, when the obverse side read 1776-1976, and the reverse was a special US bicentennial design. There was no specific 1975 quarter.

But when the U.S. Mint decided to offer the state coins, George got a makeover. Among other things, he has suddenly gotten more hair. The specialty coins were extended to cover the non-state areas, such as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam in 2009. Starting in 2010, as a result of America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, "the United States Mint will issue coins featuring national parks and other national sites with new quarter-dollars minted and issued...approximately every 10 weeks you will see a new design emblematic of a national site depicted on the reverse of the quarter."

As I noted before, there are coins for common used minted at the mints in Philadelphia and Denver, which distribute coins for the eastern and western halves of the United states, and designated on the coins P and D, respectively. Then there is the San Francisco coins, designated S, which only appear in proof sets, which are not only uncirculated but of higher quality metal.

Here's something I wonder about: how is the release quantities of the 50 state quarters determined? there seems to be no correlation with the part of the country and whether there are more P or D coins. The size of the state represented seems to have no bearing.

I had finished collecting a set of P quarters, and I'm one state away - Missouri - from completing a D set. So I started helping my colleagues finish their collections. I guess the altruism can go so far, though, for I have decided to collect a second D set. Understand that collecting a P set in my part of the country would have been far easier. This is not to say that I won't ask my sister, who lives in San Diego, to slip a roll of quarters or two in her luggage for when we converge on my mother's house next month. A bank roll from California is much more likely to have D coins than from New York State.

I've yet to see a Puerto Rico quarter of any variety,, and it should have been out in March. Still, I'll collect those nation parks quarters as they come out starting next year, rather than having to rummage through the change jar in my house.
Gary U.S. Bonds: Quarter To Three (1961)



Tumblewords: said...

Better late than never. Give 'em no quarter. Okay. :) A fine post - lots of good information. I haven't begun collecting - I always wait until it's too late.

Marie Reed said...

Neat! I collect the bicentennial quarters because I was born in 1976:)

Mara said...

There was a lot of Euro collecting when they first arrived on the scene. One set per country (12 at the time). I never really got into it: money is for spending in my book!

mrsnesbitt said...

Our coinage here in UK seems to be getting smaller! Well is it the coinage or my eyes? lol!