If you're a coin collector and you're having difficulty tracking down coins issued early on in the 50 State Quarters program, you're not alone. Since the program ends in 2008 and coins minted from 1999 to 2005 are out of issue, if you didn't start collecting when the program began, you're among a large number of other enthusiasts who are having a tough time tracking down the coins you need. The US Mint tallies the number of folks collecting coins from the 50 State Quarters program as 130 million people. So technically, you can figure one person in every household of the United States is trying to add to their state coin collection.
Coin collectors can frequent banks to try and find that elusive quarter, but they are also turning to coin companies such as the Morgan Mint. The Morgan Mint sells Uncirculated sets no longer available from the US Mint, but they also provide pieces coin collectors are raving over. These pieces include 24-karat plated versions of the State Quarters, a hologram version impregnated into the actual coins, and stunning colorized versions which are also part of the actual coin.
If you're a coin collector looking for George Washington coins, you're probably aware that he appears on regular issue US coins as well as commemorative coins from the 19th century through the 21st century. One way to locate George Washington coins is by purchasing Mint Sets which carry an image of the first President. Since the image of Washington has appeared on circulating coins, the US Mint has created Proof sets, Uncirculated Mint sets, and Special Mints sets which have included him. Washington coins contained within sets can be found as silver coins as well as copper-nickel clad.
In a combination of European and American currency, the US Mint produced a 50 State Quarters and Euro Mint Set in 2002. The 50 State Quarters and Euro Mint Set contains 1 Euro coin from each of the 12 countries of the European Union which use the Euro currency. In addition, five 2002 state quarter dollars are also part of the set. The sets contain an assortment of Euro coins from 2000, 2001, and 2002. An Uncirculated Mint set is also available, containing 20 coins. Included in the Uncirculated Mint version is one denomination of every coin from the penny through a dollar. The Euro coin pieces come from the central banks of their issuing countries.
Once unpopular with the coin collecting public, Special US Mint Sets from 1965, 1966, and 1967 have gained momentum as some of the top US Mint strikes during that time period. These coins differed in that the US Mint stuck them once and not twice as Proof coins are. However, these Special US Mint Sets were struck on high-tonnage presses. Some of the coins did result in a full mirror finish and Proof like appearance. The Special Mint Sets present a good opportunity for collectors looking for variety. For instance, a collector can find a number of the 1966 Kennedy Half Dollars, which has a large number doubled dies, among the Special Mint Sets.
When you're looking at US Mint sets, you are looking at coins that have an example of every coin stuck during a given year from all of the US Mints. US Mint Sets which are mint packaged are assembled by the US Mint. You will find some sets which are packaged by private parties. However, the US Mint sets which are mint packaged will tend to command higher values. During 1982 and 1983, the US Mint did not put out any mint packaged sets in order to conserve funds. However, there are some privately packaged sets made by dealers to fill the void of those two years.
Uncirculated US Mint Sets from the US Mint are affordable collector's items. You can pick up uncirculated US Mint Sets from the US Mint every year to add to your collection or select a year which has special significance to you. You can purchase an uncirculated US Mint Set from 1992 for under $10. Watch out for one fad when you shop, however – unopened mint packing. Unopened mint packaging comes at a slightly higher price than opened packaging. However, you won't be able to find out what is in the box until you do open it, so exercise caution.
There are six US mint facilities total, located in the following cities: Washington DC, Philadelphia, West Point, Fort Knox, Denver, and San Francisco. Because each of these US mint facilities perform a specific function, you may find some coins only come from certain locations.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|