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Quarters: Ich kann dieses nicht verstehen

Is it possible that the collectors of Germany are more interested in what the new America the Beautiful quarters will look like than American collectors?

Is it possible that the collectors of Germany are more interested in what the new America the Beautiful quarters will look like than American collectors?


Next week we will see the new designs. On April 19 we will witness the release of the first coin of the 56-design set.

It’s awfully quiet here. I haven’t exactly been swamped by reader inquiries about the new series. When I look at the wall near by my telephone I see a list pinned up that tells me the order of release for the old state quarter program.

I put it up more than a decade ago so that I would have a handy reference for all of the telephone calls that I received as the series progressed.

Yes, I know it is not particularly useful nowadays, but it is a reminder of how quickly time passes and it is a bit of a souvenir. It is hanging next to my 1988 poster of the Norweb Collection that Auction by Bowers and Merena produced.

What is telling is that there is no list of America the Beautiful quarters hanging next to it. Why? I can assure you, if I were getting telephone calls about the program, there would be something near the telephone (and my computer) to aid my memory.

The absence of such a list speaks volumes.

What is fixed in my mind about the program are the e-mails I have been getting from Germany since November about the new quarters. The Germans are interested. They seem to be excited about it.

German collectors have always had an interest in American coinage. Canada, too, is very popular with them. However, it is unusual for me to feel that the Germans might be more enthusiastic about an American coin program than we are.

Perhaps American collectors are exhausted by the thought of a program that will stretch to 2021. My first thought was to say that I cannot blame them, but my second and more considered thought is to remember how lucky we are to have the new program.

The Washington quarter before the state quarter series was unbelievably dull. Now I use dull in the newspaper sense. There were few headlines. Every so often I felt obliged to have a feature about the coins in the paper. That was pretty much it.

Who would want to go back to that? Even my memories take me only so far.

America the Beautiful coins cannot possibly give us the electric jolt we were all given by the state quarter program, but the history of numismatics is that the second or third of anything is less popular than the first.

But this new quarter program will be better than reverting to the old eagle reverse that nobody much liked anyway.

Because of the depressed economic conditions, mintages of the 2010 pieces will very likely be the lowest of the entire series. This would be just the opposite of what occurred with state quarters where mintages after the record year 2000 got steadily lower.

Even if I don’t hang a list of America the Beautiful quarters next to my phone, the series will be issued and a future writer will point out how quickly the series passed – perhaps it will be in German.

More Resources:

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2010 U.S. Coin Digest, The Complete Guide to Current Market Values, 8th ed.

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money, 1928 to Date

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition