Starting in 1999, the United States mint began to issue quarter dollar coins (generally known as "quarters") commemorating each of the 50 states. Between 1999 and 2008, a commemorative coin was released every ten weeks, in the order the Constitution was ratified by each state. Each quarter's reverse had a design that was symbolic of the state it commemorated.
I am not a numismatist, but I had always collected the odd coin, here and there - a few old coins that had belonged to my father and step-father, foreign coins from the countries I've been to, the Bicentennial quarters, etc. When the state coins came out, I started collecting them, too, and got my then six-year old daughter interested in them, as well (there was a built-in geography lesson, in there, as well, but she wasn't interested in geography, unfortunately).
It wasn't long before companies came out with a display holder for the coins, including a cardboard fold out with a map of the United States with slots for the coins, but I wasn't willing to spend the amounts of money at which they were selling. I also didn't send away for the new coins as they were minted. I just collected the different quarters when I received them as change during a regular transaction, and put them in a lidded tin. Later, at a discount store, I found a fold out map, designed to hold the coins, for $2.99, which was more in my price range, and I bought it, so daughter and I could display our coins:
|The box for the coin holder
The box still has the price tag on it!
|The price tag is still on it!
Inside, there is a fold out map with a blue cover:
(I have the box because I store the display map in the box!)
The problem with collecting these coins (especially in the casual manner in which I did) was the fact that, at the rate of 5 state coins being issued per year (1 state coin every 10 weeks) it took 10 years to mint all 50 quarters and that is a long time to keep up the interest. My daughter at 6 years of age might have been excited about collecting those coins, but at 16 years of age, she wasn't interested in it, at all! In addition to her lack of interest, the years between 2000 and 2006 were hard ones for me due to my mother's failing health and I had other things on my mind besides checking the quarters I received. So, I, too, stopped actively collecting them.
Yet, every now and then, I'd set aside a state quarter and check to see if I had it in the collection. Eventually, I got down to just 5 quarters needed to finish the collection; I wrote down the names of the states and began to keep an eye out for those particular quarters.
These days, I use four quarters every day for the shuttle bus (to go from where I park my car to the new office and back). Every week, I pick out $5 worth of quarters and put them in a baggie and keep in my purse. As I do so, I set aside any state quarters unless I am sure I already have them.
Yesterday, I sat down with the coins I had set aside and filled in a few more spots. The collection is almost complete!
|The Fold-Out Map with Quarters
Yes, it has taken me an additional 10 years to fill in most of the slots! But that's OK. All I need now is the state quarter for Arizona, to complete the collection!
|Still searching for Arizona!
My daughter laughed at me, when I texted her to tell her about it; I've asked her to look through any .
I am now searching for Arizona! I hope I'll find one, one of these days! I don't think a complete collection will have any additional value, over and above the value of the coins, themselves, but, maybe, one day, it will be a family "heirloom"?
Do you collect coins? Did you collect the State quarters when they first came out? If so, did you complete the collection?