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State Quarters – The Easiest Way To Start A Coin Collection
Nothing in recent years has done more to popularize coin collecting than the 50 State Quarter Program Act of 1997. This unique Act runs from 1998 until 2008 is easily the most popular minted coin series in the history of the U.S. Mint.
Beginning in 1998, five new state quarters are released each year for a ten year period with a new quarter released approximately every ten weeks. The quarters are minted for a ten week period and are never issued to the public again.
Borrowing a page from history a unique method of issuing the coins was devised. Each state quarter is issued according to when they became a part of the United States.
Each of the state quarters is minted with the image of George Washington on the front, or obverse, side of the coin but on the back, or reverse, side is a design based on something noteworthy about that particular state. Once the program is over in 2008 the normal eagle design will once again be on the reverse side of the quarter.
What makes this coin series different from all others in the past is that each state gets to select the design for their own state’s quarter with the Governor of each state determining the selection process. While some states appoint design committees other states like Michigan and Vermont have contests that any resident can enter.
In Missouri people voted via the Internet for their favorite design with almost 180,000 people voting while other states had the Governor making the final choice based on several designs.
Since these coins are in great demand and will never be minted again prices of the state quarters have been increasing and some of the early state coins are worth $1.00 or more depending on condition. A specialty area of coin collecting known as error coins has also been able to participate with some flawed coins going for up to $500.
A whole new business has cropped up revolving around the state quarters program with many products like specialty coin holders enjoying immense popularity. Probably the most familiar example of this would be the United States map quarter holder. These holders are in the shape of a map of the U.S. and have places in each state for that state’s quarter to proudly reside. They also usually have little state facts printed by them which make for a great learning experience.
The State Quarters Program is an ideal way for anyone wanting to start collecting coins to get their feet wet, especially youngsters. It’s easy, inexpensive and you get a little dose of history as well.
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