State quarters still a conversation starter about history

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Published : 05/01/13
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Recently, the majority of Coin World’s editorial staff journeyed to an unseasonably cold Put-in-Bay, Ohio, where the U.S. Mint and National Park Service joined to launch Ohio’s America the Beautiful quarter dollar on April 20.

Ohio’s quarter honors Master Commandant Oliver Perry’s decisive naval victory during the War of 1812 and Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. Blanca Alvarez Stransky, superintendent of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, said at the launch that, for her, the new quarter dollars serve as a conversation starter. When people from around the world ask her where she works, she can now pull out the Ohio America the Beautiful quarter dollar and show them.

The 50 State quarters program and now the America the Beautiful quarters program have been effective in keeping coins in the public eye, and keeping people’s eyes on their coins.

J. Marc Landry, associate director for Sales and Marketing at the U.S. Mint, related the experiences he had in collecting the 50 State quarter dollar series with his five children, during the U.S. Mint’s question and answer forum held in Port Clinton, Ohio, on April 19, the day before the quarter launch.

He described the excitement in his family with the launch of the 50 State quarter dollar program in 1999, saying that five kids meant that the family had five maps to fill with quarters from each state.

He explained how sharing with his children in their educational experience as they collected State quarter dollars related to his role at the Mint to create products that will appeal to existing collectors and inspire new ones.

He said that the Mint has an “obligation” to develop interesting and educational products to appeal to a wide audience.

For example, in tandem with the release of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential dollar coin, the U.S. Mint is developing sets this year designed to appeal to multiple target audiences.

Landry said that, for Roosevelt, the Mint is exploring two sets. One will be an affordable set aimed at inspiring the young collector. The second would be a “more upscale adult set” likely featuring a replica of a contemporary Roosevelt medal, although the details are not yet clear.

When asked if these sets will be part of a larger program to develop products to appeal to young people, Landry said that the Mint’s goals are to offer products to appeal to a wide range of audiences: both coin collectors and those new to the hobby.

Coin collecting can be hard enough. The 50 States and America the Beautiful quarter dollars programs remind us that coin collecting doesn’t have to be challenging to be rewarding. It can be as easy as picking up one quarter for each state.

Best,

Steve Roach

sroach@coinworld.com

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