Archive for September, 2012

About The 50 State Quarters Program

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

There were fifty State Quarters brought out by the U.S. Mint between the years of 1999 and 2008. The program was thought out as a way to attract a new generation of people that enjoyed collecting coins. It became the most popular program in the history of coin collecting for the public. The U.S. Mint allowed five quarters to be released every year. These coins were released in a specific order of how the states approved the constitution. Every quarter was designed with one of the states in mind providing the history, symbols, and tradition of each state with people, flags, and various images.

The quarter designs of each state were well thought out by each one the states. A few designs were chosen and then one was selected among them as being the quarter for the state. The governor normally made the final decision of the design of which quarter to use. In some states, the citizens would choose the final selection of the quarter. People from each state collected the fifty quarters in the order in which they came out. The 50 State Quarters Program was considered to be very popular in the United States.

At the end of 2008 all fifty quarters were released out into the public. The demand for people to collect all of the quarters for the states was great. Especially in the early part, when the program first started. People liked collecting the quarters from each state and put them in the available albums made to hold all fifty of the quarters.

The Distinctive Draped Bust Quarter

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

In 1796, the US Mint came out with the original quarter coin which became known as the Draped Bust Quarters due to the front design. It initially struck people as odd to have a 25-cent coin in circulation but it eventually caught on with the masses. This particular edition was made until 1807, though the official count is only eight production years because there were times when minting was halted.

The metallic composition of the coin is eighty-nine percent silver and eleven percent copper. The front side’s design is that of a woman with long wavy tresses having a dress over her bust. The back side’s design is usually a variation of eagles. The substantial size of the coin is unexpected given its modest value but this was due to the reference to the Spanish reales.

Those who collect these coins rate the 1796 version as the most important because of its unique back design of a small eagle. While some versions may be harder to find, this one has a distinctive charm that puts it above the rest.

These quarters enjoyed wide usage which unfortunately means that those which have survived are typically far from immaculate. Yet collectors still yearn to find them in appreciation of their historical significance.

The History of Proof Coinage

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

A proof coin is an early minting which will not be released into circulation, but rather distributed to collectors. In its earliest state, it is often sharper and shinier than later versions, with smooth fields and mirror-like blank areas. They are often double-stamped, though this rarely results in noticeable doubling of the image. In 1916, the U.S. stopped minting proofs, but resumed the practice twenty years later. For almost twenty years the U.S. mint even allowed consumers to order single proof coinage from pennies to half-dollars.

After 1942, however, it was no longer possible to do this. Clients had to buy sets of coins: pennies, nickels, dimes, etc. Certain errors make particular examples especially rare and costly to buy. There have been various special designs created including the Lewis and Clark nickels, Statehood quarters, Presidential dollars, wartime nickels, and more recently ‘America the Beautiful’ quarters.

Most sets contain five or six coins, but there have been exceptions. The most coins in a single set — 18 — were the result of a special year. 2009 marked the bicentennial of the birth of Lincoln, leading to a more extensive series of proofs to mark the occasion.

Proofs and mint sets are different. Mint coins are not regular circulation strikes, which are placed into special packaging. Although the quality of the coins is usually higher than typical, these coins are still considered the circulation issues, which have higher mintages than proofs. In certain cases these mint sets contain coins that were not released through other channels, which can make the sets containing them much more valuable.