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Blue Ridge quarters circulate fast

An enthusiastic reader emailed me the news that he had received a 2015 Blue Ridge Parkway quarter in change in Utah.

He noted that the Mint is not even selling its Blue Ridge rolls and bags to collectors yet.

Obviously, he was pleased to get it so quickly after the coin reached the banking system.

I am pleased as well. It is the third design of five that will be released this year in the America the Beautiful series.

On a Monday morning it is invigorating to gear up for another week’s work knowing that collectors are scanning their change for new quarter designs.

There has been some worry expressed from time to time that collectors are getting tired of the ever changing quarter designs.

Some are. Certainly not everyone who began scanning their change in 1999 for state quarters is still working on quarter sets.

It would be unreasonable to think that this could be the case. Sixteen years is simply too long to spend on it. Collecting life is quicker than that.

When you take something up, you do so until you reach a logical conclusion, or you lose interest. You do not stay stuck at the entry point.

While I still look at every coin that comes my way in circulation, by no means can you conclude from that information that I am still actively working on sets of current coins.

I began collecting in 1963 with Lincoln cents. By 1966 I was on to other things.

Collecting interests change, especially if as many holes in a Whitman album are filled as is possible from the change pool.

I might have moved on. Others did before me, but there are always more newcomers behind us. Many thousands of collectors began their hobby experiences with cents after I left them behind. Why would it be different with quarter collectors?

Anyone who entered numismatics drawn by the excitement of the state quarter series progressed to whatever the next level was for them.

Some hardly got started. Some stuck it out until completion in 2008 and then went on to other things.

Who knows how many became advanced collectors? Certainly some have done so.

The changing quarter designs are still a great asset to the hobby. They will always be new and interesting to someone as long as they remain in circulation.

Many collectors of the future will be as inspired by them as I was by Lincoln cents.

Those of us who have moved on to other numismatic pursuits, though, can appreciate the enthusiasm of anyone finding a new quarter in change. That alone makes it worth reporting.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."