US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Sept. 2, 2019: 2019-W quarters

Some collectors are having luck finding the 2019-W America the Beautiful quarter dollars in circulation while others remain frustrated that they cannot find any.

Original images courtesy of PCGS.

The first 2019-W America the Beautiful quarter dollars entered circulation around April 1, with four designs now in circulation. The 2019-W quarters are part of the United States Mint’s efforts under Mint Director David J. Ryder to make collecting fun for collectors. 

Many collectors remain frustrated, though, in a futile search for the coins. Not many have had the kind of luck that “Michael V” had, who senior editor Paul Gilkes interviewed for his Page 1 article on the release of the 2019-W San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarter dollar, the latest of the five 2019-W coins planned. That collector found more than a dozen pieces in a box of coins acquired from a local bank.

Developing a search strategy is important, though it would be helpful to know more about where the coins are being shipped. When the Mint released the first two 2019-W coins, it also provided a list of cities that would be the first to get them. That was helpful for collectors, who could use that information to plan their search strategy. However, when asked for that same information in connection with the latest release, Mint officials declined to provide such information. 

In the end, finding any of the coins, of which 2 million of each design are being struck, is a matter of luck.

Some collectors have located the coins by happenstance — a chance discovery in change. 

Others have been more proactive, going to their banks and credit unions and acquiring rolls and boxes of quarters to search through. 

Some collectors have been educating the tellers at their banks, enlisting them in their search for the coins.

Collector frustration at being unable to find the coins is understandable. So are the feelings some express at a seeming lack of fairness, upon seeing dealers with quantities of the 2019-W coins in inventory and reading stories of bank tellers striking it rich in finding the coins.

Your best approach may be patience. It will take time for the 2019-W quarters to make their way to most corners of the country. Some regions get new coins more quickly than others.

In the meantime, share with us your finds or lack thereof, and let us know whether you believe the program is working as intended.

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