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This Week's Letters (12/21/07)

A selection of e-letters from readers of Numismatic News to Editor, Dave Harper.
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From the Dec. 21 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:

Q. Congress authorized the extension of the state quarter program one more year to honor the District of Columbia and five territories in 2009. Was this a good idea?

Extending the ?state? quarter program is another poor choice of legislation.
1. While the two additions are important, they are not states!
2. What are the collectors to do about the folders and albums that have been purchased for just the 10 year program... Oh, yes, now they can tape the add-ons to the back cover or wait for the vendors to come up with another project that the collector will need?
3. The sale of the add-ons should be left for the legislators to purchase and hand out to the voters who put them in a position to make these brilliant decisions.

Joe Chavez
St. Paul, Minn.

I don?t know if this is a good idea or not but I like it, except for there being six coins for 2009. I have a Harris folder that has ten empty holes on the last page for P and D that needs to be filled. Unfortunately, there are two extra coins and no holes to put them in.

T. Marsh
San Diego Calif.

Absolutely not.
The title of the program should give Congress the necessary guidance for the program: ?state? quarter program. Congress has authorized entities to produce ?state? quarters that are not states. It is an outrage and another example of how Congress can?t live within its own previously established rules. It is also an example of how Congress has no concept of reality or does not care about the majority opinion of the American public. I urge coin collectors to reject these issues and not order the Mint products and the public not use the general issues.

Dale White
Fort Smith, Ark.

Sure, why not strike coins for the five territories? It doesn?t hurt anything (from my perspective) and adds some more interest to the program. Plus, I am somewhat interested in what the designs will be.

R. S. ?Bart? Bartanowicz
Venice, Fla.

The decision to include the District of Columbia and various possessions and territories is a bad idea. They are not states and thus should not have been included as part of the ?state? quarters. It would have been more appropriate to issue commemorative coins for these entities. The decision was politically motivated and cheapens our coinage.

Dennis Colby
Villa Park, Ill.

The state quarter program should only include the states. However, a separate series depicting the territories would make an interesting collectible. I hope that some other design distinction is incorporated in the territorial designs ? perhaps something as simple as changing the design template for the territorial series, or changing the Washington portrait so that Washington faces left rather than right. The 50-state quarter set would then be strongly distinguished from the five-coin territorial set, and each would be its own unique set.

Steven Bieda
Warren, Mich.

I am very unhappy about another year to put in U.S. territories as they are not a state. So why would you want to bring them into the program?

Joanna Carty
Havana, Kan.

Excellent idea!

Carlos R. Irizarry
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Well, it?s sort of a toss-up for me. I wouldn?t mind seeing more new designs on quarters, but it is called the ?state quarter? program.

Daniel Hatter
Brodhead, Wis.

Why not?! Why not more quarters. It won?t make our 50 State of the Union Albums obsolete. We just have to buy another one. I think the quarter program added life to our coinage.
More power to them I hope the designs are as good as the first fifty.
Quarters are always present in our pocket change and
it is fun to see which state you receive.

Howard Stegmann
Marshalltown, Iowa

No. Not a good idea. 50 states are 50 states. The district and territories should be a separate set. Thanks.

Kevin Quinn
Stafford, Va

Great! It will good to see these ?colonies? of the USA being celebrated. However, doing it in 2009 will make for very crowded proof and mint sets! We will have the extra quarters along with the extra cents as well as the continuing presidential dollars. Oh well, bring them on!

Robert H. Ball, Jr.
Detroit, Michigan USA

No. I am sick of collecting a coin tha will never be worth more than I paid for it and now they?ve added more that aren?t even states, give me a break.

Terry Weissberg
Corydon, Ind.

Yes, I belive it is a great idea to reconize the District of Columbia and the five territories in 2009. This will help the general public become aware of the names of the territories that the US owns.

Randall Power
Gravois Mills, Mo.

If it is a good idea now, why wasn?t it a good idea when the program was put in place? Oh, I know... MONEY!!!

Kelly Finnegan
Spanish Fork, Utah

No, the extension of the state quarter program, is a bad idea. My grandson, 8 years old, ask why are they extending the program to D.C. and 5 territories? Are these really states like the original program implies? My reply to him was no and that the Mint was trying to extend a popular program one more year. He than ask where in his coin folder would he put these additional coins?

Sanford Mazel
Altadena, Calif.

We?ve been telling our customers in the coin shop to expect this for about as long as the State Quarter program began. It was inevitable. It ought to really throw a curve to all the album manufacturers. To most coin shop owners, it prolongs the agony yet another year!

Steve Vesely
Joliet, Ill.

No! That is just running the whole program in the ground.

Sanford Allen
San Antonio, Texas

Make a state coin for the District of Columbia, how stupid is that? Doesn?t the Congress (the opposite of progress) got better things to do than something as dumb as that?

Jack Kurtz
Fond du Lac, Wis.

Yes it?s good to add another year to state Quarters.

Richard Grzegorczyk
Lakeland, Fla.

Hi Dave. I read your articles each week and enjoy them a lot. I may not always agree with some points you make, but you do offer a very balanced opinion that many folks simply do not value enough.
The newly passed legislation regarding the addition of Washington, D.C., and our five territories is a good one in my opinion.
OK, some people may have to buy a new album or pages or whatever and they are not states, so why include them, right? The facts are simple:
1) Most knowledgeable collectors knew all along that this might happen.
2) A new album might be a bit costly for some, especially our younger numismatists, but some albums leave room for expansion and the cost of adding an extra page is reasonable.
3) The only flaw I saw in the entire program was the inability of some states to come up with better looking designs than they did ? something I think most of us can agree on. I won?t rehash which states blew it out of respect for their opinions.
In addition, I?m for any new coin that affords us collectors new opportunities and anything the U.S. Mint can do to increase its revenue without raising coin prices themselves is definitely all right with me. On the other hand, I?ve also noticed that most of those complaining about this next phase in proudction are adults, with some of those probably in it for profit rather than for enriching our children?s knowlege of the nation. I do not know of a single child who is against it.
Remember, folks, the state quarter program was and still is intended to teach our youth about America. That it is called the ?State Quarter Program? is not enough to deny legitimate territories, which could well become states one day from being depicted on them too. The re is a sense of American pride in having your home state or territory depicted on a circulating coin. I?m sure that people in D.C. and the five territories will like being represented on these new strikes ? especially the kids. Don?t ruin it for them.

Dave Egeland
Linn., Mo.

No, I do not belive extending the state quarter program to include non-states is a good idea. In fact I think it?s a stupid idea and is only being done to gouge collectors and to extend political correctness. I will not purchase the quarters as I have the 45 to date. The next thing you know they will be extending it to Mexico and Canadian Provinces.

Tom Horsman
Charleston, W.Va.

Absolutely not a good idea. The program was for the 50 states. D.C. and the territories are not states. It diminishes the whole idea of honoring the states. Guess Whitman will have to come up with a 6 coin holder to hold the extras. This is one collector who will not bother.

Donald DeLancey
Dallastown, Pa

I have mixed feelings about the extension of the state quarters.
First of all i like the idea of honoring the District of Columbia and
five territories in 2009.
And second of all I dislike the idea for the simple reason being, and
taking into consideration all the people including my self who purchased
all the state quarter albums, maps, books folders and anything
pertaining to and mentioning the state quarter program.
Where do we put them now should turn out to be a big question!
I personally will put them into flips and some how attach them to my
albums and maps of which i have five of, one for each member of my
Mine are all uncirculated, hand picked right from mint rolls, and here i
thought I was almost done!
I wonder how all the people who purchased the proof versions will feel
about this?

Jim Marotta
Summitville N.Y.

They are a part of our country and I feel that they should be included in the program.

E. W. Robinson
Millville, NJ