The other day the promotions department asked me to look at a direct mail letter.
In it they said they were going to be giving away state and National Parks quarters.
“Is there a more general term that could be used to encompass both types of quarters? Would ‘commemorative quarters’ be correct, or is there a better term?”
Naturally, I put my editor’s hat on and ended up writing a long reply.
“I don’t see anything wrong with calling them state and park quarters, but officially there is no such thing as a national park quarter. They are America the Beautiful quarters because national forests and seashores are part of the program. By the way, these quarters won’t be released until the end of April, so I hope we aren’t putting ourselves in a jam.
“Commemorative” alone is not wrong, but in collector argot it usually means a special issue, not something that circulates, so it rings wrong in the collector ear.
“You could probably call them circulating commemorative quarters, but that probably doesn’t have the punch you want.”
Now you have probably read more than you want to know about my communications with the Numismatic News promotions department.
So just what is a short and punchy term for the circulating commemoratives that we have been seeing since the state quarter program began in 1999?