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Can it happen again?

It has been many years since a coin struck for circulation has become scarce. The 1950-D nickel was not struck for collectors only. The 1955-S cent was not coined to sell on a Mint Web site. Mintage totals were based on what the economy was demanding.

With the mintages of the first two of the six District of Columbia and Territorial quarters now known, we have the tantalizing number of 53,000,000 Puerto Rico quarters struck in Philadelphia.

That is the lowest total since 1962. So there is some basis for me to feel like a kid again. The 1962 quarter was not impossible to find in change. There were enough, but I seemed to see many more 1962-D quarters than the mintage ratio would have indicated, but then I lived in the part of the country where the coins came from Denver.

The 1958 quarter from Philadelphia was hard to find. Its mintage, though, was  7,235,652. That, too, was not rare, but I looked long and hard for it in my change and I was jubilant when the elderly man on my paper route who attempted to teach me to count to 10 in Welsh paid his bill with coins that included the 1958.

Is such a low mintage possible today? If the banking system continues to back up with old coins, can the next four quarters in the 2009 sequence continue their mintage declines?

If the Philadelphia production declines at the same rate through the six-design quarter run, we would be close to the 7 million figure.

It would be interesting to see how collectors would react to it.

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One Response to Can it happen again?

  1. James Barbieri says:

    I’m not sure that any of the state quarter series will ever really become collector items. Sure, there will be valuable ones, but for the average collector like me, when looking at pocket change and seeing a state quarter, it’s “just another state quarter.” There are simply too many varieties out there, four per year for so long that it all becomes a blur. Those looking to build a collection in future years will no doubt become frustrated with trying to find even common coins in circulation; it will be a purchased set for collectors in the future. I’m not sure what all this variety confusion will do to collectors of the future; concentration will have to focus on coinage where there are little multiple yearly varieties. Lets face it, kids of 10 years old do not have the clout to purchase sets; there looking for collections through penny jars, and nickel jars. Let’s hope the mint does not abominate pennies and nickels the way of the quarter. If there is to be any future for young collectors, it has to rest with the only coins left in there grasp; pennies and nickels. If the mint is trying to promote collecting; they are certainly shooting themselves in the foot; the future of collecting rests in the youth of today and the future. Most of us started out as youth collectors just think about how hard it was to collect pennies when you were 10, and how hard it would be to collect them if they were abominated like the state quarters. My emotions run the gamut on this; it’s all right to continue with quarter series runs into the parks issues; same with the dollars; even doing something with half dollars; but for God sake leave the pennies and nickels alone! Youth needs something to get started on and with, period. In fact; make them simpler to collect!

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