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Quarter wagon train arrives in Iola

It is interesting that as the first of the America the Beautiful quarters is released in Hot Springs, Ark., and through the Mint’s website with bag and roll sales, that I start receiving more and more of the issues of the 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories program.

Monday I received a Guam quarter in my change at lunch at the Crystal Cafe. Two days earlier I had received an American Samoa quarter while on a shopping trip in the nearby city of Appleton.

The only one of the six 2009 designs that has not yet come my way is the U.S. Virgin Islands issue, which is the fifth of the sixth. Perhaps it is too soon for this design to have made the covered wagon journey to central Wisconsin.

To the best of my recollection, I have not seen the sixth design, the Northern Marianas issue around here. The one I did receive was on one of my trips to coin conventions.

Interestingly, the two most common designs here in Iola seem to be Puerto Rico, which is the second of the six issues and then the District of Columbia, the first.

Tom Michael, who works a few steps away from my desk has noted that he has not received any of the DC coins – at least as recently as our last conversation on the topic.

I would expect that because the economy is improving that I will see the Hot Springs quarter much more quickly than that I saw last year’s coins in my hands.

However, I should point out that even with the arrival of last year’s designs in circulation, they are by no means numerous. There are many more BU state quarters from prior years.

For example, someone seems to have broken a roll or two of BU Illinois quarters around here in recent days because they have suddenly started turning up. This design was the first issue of 2003 and it was scarce on the secondary roll market for a long time.

It’s a pleasant surprise.

Time now to start the watch for the Hot Springs issue. Let me know when you get one in change.