Back in early August at the American Numismatic Association show, I spent hours covering people waiting in line at the Mint booth.
They wanted the hot product of the day, the Enhanced Uncirculated Coin Set that marks the Mint’s 225th anniversary.
I might have spent all of two minutes watching as the 2018 America the Beautiful designs were unveiled.
How far we have fallen in our level of interest in circulating quarter commemoratives.
Had this been the first state quarter, the unveiling would have been mobbed.
Instead, the only reason that there were any witnesses at all is it was my job to cover it.
Virtually everybody else was simply standing around waiting to buy their Enhanced Uncirculated set.
Time and interests march on.
The state quarter program is already long in the past.
It began in 1999. It ended in 2008.
The ATB program began in 2010, after the Mint spent 2009 honoring U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
However, ATB interest levels just don’t compare to that shown in state quarters.
Personally I will get a little excited next year because Wisconsin gets its turn in the spotlight.
It has been a long time since the Wisconsin state quarter came out in 2004.
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore will get its moment in the sun.
Next year is the ninth year that the ATB program has been operating.
It concludes with one final coin in 2021.
Imagine that, in less than four years, the ATB program will be at an end.
I have a bookmark hanging on my wall.
It was produced by the U.S. Mint before the state program began.
It has the complete list of state issues on it.
When I got it, I simply wondered at the thought of planning ahead 10 years.
Now 18 years after that thought, I wonder where the time has gone.
But I am still collecting.
That’s the whole point, isn’t it?
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
• Like this blog? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News