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Ahr you coming?

I received a Bicentennial quarter in my change yesterday when I paid for my lunch at the Crystal Cafe.

These quarters are not unknown in circulation, but they are not encountered often. I make a point of getting this design back into circulation when I can.

It’s an old habit that long pre-dates the state quarters. With so many state designs in circulation nowadays, few probably notice the drummer design on the reverse of the 1776-1976 quarter.

It was designed by Jack L. Ahr, who won a competition run by the Mint to select designs for the Bicentennial quarter, half dollar and dollar.

Ahr’s was the most popular with collectors.

After the Bicentennial, Ahr fell off the radar screens of hobbyists.

He returned to mine April 30 at the Central States Numismatic Society convention when Iola, Wis., dealer Kurt Krueger came over to me at the bourse floor’s lunch area to tell me he might have some news and invited me to come to his table after I finished my pizza.

This I did.

Kurt said Ahr had just visited his table. His name tag prompted Kurt to ask the man if he was the same Ahr who had designed the quarter.

The man admitted he was.

Kurt told him the American Numismatic Association convention will return to the same facility in August and he suggested Ahr come back and let the attendees there know who he is.

Ahr was very low key and it is anybody’s guess whether he will want to step back into the numismatic limelight.

He might, but we won’t know for sure until August. I can’t wait to find out.