US Coins

Adding V75 privy mark means 2020-W quarter for American Samoa will be released last

Although all five of the circulating 2020 America the Beautiful quarter dollars will be issued in 2020-W versions with an obverse privy mark, the West Point Mint version of the first coin of the new year, for American Samoa, will be the last of the special coins to be placed into circulation.

The decision to delay release of the 2020-W American Samoa coin until late in the year resulted because approval for the inclusion of the privy mark came after National Park of American Samoa circulating quarter dollar output had already begun at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints. The first 2020-W quarter dollars with privy mark will be the Weir Farm National Historic Site coins, to be released April 6, according to Todd Martin, the U.S. Mint’s acting director for corporate communications.

The privy mark, incorporated into the master die, features V75 within a specially shaped cartouche.

Two million of each of the five 2020-W quarter dollars will be struck at the West Point Mint and randomly mixed in with coins struck at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints for circulation distribution. The U.S. Mint said it is developing a comprehensive plan to more widely distribute the 2020-W quarter dollars beyond what was done with the 2019-W coins, though it has yet to provide details of the circulation plans.

The release dates for the remaining 2020-W America the Beautiful quarters through the Federal Reserve are June 1 for the Salt River Bay National Historical Park coins, Aug. 31 for the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Historical Park coins and Nov. 16 for the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve coins.

The delay in releasing the first coin means the 2020-W National Bank of American Samoa quarter dollars won’t be struck and released until after the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve coins. However, no release date has been announced for the 2020-W American Samoa coins, nor exactly how they will be distributed.

WWII homage

The privy mark is part of the Mint’s initiative to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Additional products already announced are a gold coin and bronze and silver medals celebrating the anniversary.

Martin explained, “The period from May 8 to September 2, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the end of United States involvement in World War II. In recognition of this significant anniversary, the United States Mint plans to produce a portfolio of numismatic products.

“In addition to these numismatic products, two million each of the scheduled 2020 America the Beautiful Quarters will be struck at the West Point Mint bearing the W mint mark, and featuring a privy mark signifying the allied victory in World War II. The privy mark consists of  the characters V75 (signifying 75th Anniversary of World War II Victory) surrounded by an outline of the Rainbow Pool at the heart of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. These special quarters will be mixed into bulk bags at, and shipped from, the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. Details of when and how the quarters will be distributed will be announced in the coming weeks.”

American Innovation

Although coins of other countries have featured privy marks for years (including Canadian coins), the concept is a new one for U.S. coinage, though the 2020-W quarter dollars are the second series of U.S. coins to carry a privy mark.

The reverse of the 2018 American Innovation dollar has a privy mark depicting an eagle with shield among agricultural and industrial tools.

All versions of the 2019 American Innovation dollars bear a privy mark on the obverse below the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. That privy mark features a gear element within a gear, borrowing from the larger reverse design of the introductory American Innovation dollar of 2018.

Mixed opinions

Collector experiences in finding (or not finding) the 2019-W America the Beautiful quarter dollars, and general concerns about the Mint’s product lines, are being articulated in various responses to the announcement about the 2020-W quarters. 

Facebook responses concerning the U.S. Mint’s decision to release 2020-W quarter dollars into circulation reflect mixed opinions from the numismatic community (comments below are lightly edited):

Gary Double: [The] 2019-W release was a fiasco at best! I won’t be playing the game this year! If this had been a “one time” deal there would be more value, but now with more, it will drive the value down even more.

Clark Myers: Cool. Design is awesome.

Joseph Anthony Iadicicco: Here we go again. I thought this was supposed to be a one-year thing only? I’m getting tired of trying to keep up with all of these different United States Mint coins. 

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