Last week, the U.S. Mint announced that it was striking two million Lowell National Historical Park Quarters with a “W” mintmark to signify that they were struck at the West Point, New York, branch mint (see the news release at https://www.usmint.gov/news/inside-the-mint/mint-releases-first-ever-w-quarters-into-circulation). This is the first U.S. quarter to ever bear this mintmark.
In a new twist, the Mint will not be offering these coins for sale on its website or as part of collector sets. All of the coins will be put into circulation by mixing them at random in bags of quarters leaving the Philadelphia and Denver Mint. That means that the only way to find these new quarters is by searching through your change. The Mint has never before issued a new coin only in this manner.
The mintage will be the lowest for any circulating quarter since the 1937-S issue 82 years ago. However, the Mint has stated they plan to later strike two million “W” mintmarked quarters for each of the four additional America the Beautiful quarters that will be released in 2019.
This new tactic of the U.S. Mint can be leveraged by coin collectors and dealers to spark the interest of new coin collectors. The Mint has already done all of us a favor by issuing this brand-new coin and doing some publicity for it.
What could you do to build on this event?
To encourage people to pay closer attention to the coins they receive in change, my company sent out a news release last week offering to give away as a reward a free uncirculated 2019 U.S. Silver Eagle dollar to the first five people who bring one of the “W” mint quarters to our store. The news release was sent to almost every radio station, television station, and newspaper in our area as well as a number of community organizations. I will be passing along the information about the new quarter and our offer of the reward when I address school students and Scouts this week. This will be Liberty Coin Service’s project in conjunction with the Great American Coin Hunt event (https://GreatAmericanCoinHunt.com).
Coin dealers who have stores or offices: this is an excellent opportunity for your business to gain significant media attention at a much lower cost than if you purchased advertising. Who knows, some of those people who start looking through their change just might become long-term collectors who patronize your establishment. It has happened at this company that we have hired young collectors, three of whom now have more than 30 years each working for the company. This could even happen at your business.
Coin collectors, try go get your hands on one or more of these “W” mint quarters. Show them to people, and start up a conversation on what makes them so interesting. If you acquire several specimens, consider giving some of them to youngsters who might be encouraged to become numismatists. The more collectors there are, the more valuable your collection may be when you want to liquidate.
By the way, if you want some help with preparing a news release for your company, coin club, or you personally to send out, I can forward a copy of the one issued by Liberty Coin Service if you send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request it.
Patrick A. Heller was the American Numismatic Association 2018 Glenn Smedley Memorial Service Award, 2017 Exemplary Service Award, 2012 Harry Forman Dealer of the Year Award, and 2008 Presidential Award winner. He was also honored by the Numismatic Literary Guild in 2017 and 2016 for the Best Dealer-Published Magazine/Newspaper and for Best Radio Report. He is the communications officer of Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., and writes Liberty’s Outlook, a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects. Past newsletter issues can be viewed at http://www.libertycoinservice.com. Some of his radio commentaries titled “Things You ‘Know’ That Just Aren’t So, And Important News You Need To Know” can be heard at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and Friday mornings on 1320-AM WILS in Lansing (which streams live and becomes part of the audio and text archives posted at http://www.1320wils.com).
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