State QuartersFor images of all of the state quarters go to these pages: 1999 to 2001, 2002 and 2004, and 2005 and 2007. Quarter-dollar coin images from the United States Mint.
The 50 States Commemorative Coin Program ActPerhaps the most important accomplishment of the Clinton administration was the signing into law of the The 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act, which was the enabling legislation for our state quarters. On this page,we will look at the reasons for law as well as how to collect state quarters.
Geography in AmericaThere is a University near my house which offers a geography course. A student told me she attended the first day of class and was asked to label all of the states on a blank map of the US. She told me that two of the students in the class were only able to correctly identify five of the fifty. These were not foreign exchange students -- they were Americans who did not know where anything was. This leads to a finding of the US Congress, which is that State quarters would "promote the diffusion of knowledge among the youth of the United States about the individual States, their history and geography." Apparently they need it.
The Finances of State QuartersIn the enabling legislation, the congress found that "a circulating commemorative 25-cent coin program could produce earnings of $110,000,000 from the sale of silver proof coins and sets over the 10-year period of issuance, and would produce indirect earnings of an estimated $2,600,000,000 to $5,100,000,000 to the United States Treasury, money that will replace borrowing to fund the national debt to at least that extent." And so, the state quarter program began.
National debt reduction through State QuartersTo do your part to reduce the national debt ,you should purchase as many state quarters as possible. Fortunately, the mint makes purchases easy by offering a large number of products.
State Quarter Products from the US mintThe mint offers the following products for each issue: Two roll sets of each coin (currently $32.95); 100 coin bags (currently $32.95); 1000 coin bags (currently $309.95); state quarter collector's spoons ($7.95); state quarter coin and die sets (currently $34.95); state quarters greetings portfolios with stamps ($29.99); state quarter first day covers ($14.95); uncirculated sets ($16.95); state quarter clad proof sets ($13.95); and state quarter silver proof sets($25.95). As long as there's money in your wallet, the mint will have something for you.
Products from elsewhereOther companies are also trying to get in on the state quarter collectible action. One example is Zippo lighters, which has the Zippo State Quarters Set with zippo lighters There are also sets of colorized state quarters, which, of course are colorized outside the mint. As a coin purist, I think these are pure silliness. There are also 2000 24K Gold Plated State Quarters. Another strange state quarter is the Baseball Hall of Fame Colorized State Quarter : Joe Dimmagio,which is a New York quarter in which George Washington has been replaced. You won't find these products in my collection, but you should take a look at them -- at least for the entertainment value.
Collecting State QuartersFor each of the fifty states, a complete state quarter collection will consist of one uncirculated coin from philadelphia, one uncirculated coin from Denver, a clad proof coin from San Francisco, and a silver proof coin from San Francisco. A complete set will, therefore, have 200 coins. The best way to acquire state quarters is directly from the mint. The coins sold in the uncirculated sets feature much better strikes than those found in circulation. For older issues, you will need to hunt elsewhere. None of the State quarters are rare. The scarcest are the silver proofs. For the earliest issues, 800,000 of each were minted. That number has slowly crept up.