So the 50 State Quarters program has ended. Hawaii's quarter came out at the end of 2008.
December 2007, Congress approved the "Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008", which includes a section that says in 2009, they'll have quarters for the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. I've seen the DC quarter, and the Puerto Rico quarter has apparently been released, though I haven't seen it yet.
December 2008, President Bush signs into law the "Americaâ€™s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008" which says that starting in 2010, a new 11 year program will begin that will feature a national park or other national site from each state (as well as the district and territories listed above). They are going to come out in the order that the site was established as a national site. The text of the act implies that Yellowstone will therefore be first, but according to http://home.nps.gov/applications/budget2/documents/chronop.pdf , you could arguably start with the Arkansas Hot Springs.
Oh, and then in 2019, the Secretary of the Treasury is going to get to decide whether he wants to extend the program another 11 years, adding a second national site in each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. If this were late night television, I'd take a cheap shot at, say, New Jersey here.
And then some day in the mythological future, when all these programs are done, the reverse of the quarter will become Washington crossing the Delaware.
Originally posted by samoflangeI never understood why the government was wasting time and money on these coin gimmicks. Couldn't public resources go towards something more... useful?
It's not a waste of money, it's a money maker. People hoard these quarters (or take some of them out of circulation, anyway), which makes the government money.
The government mirroring a smart tactic from "my" industry where we make special chips in all types of denominations that people collect and never use. I think it's been a great idea and I would be interested to see the amounts they figure the program netted them.
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The wikipedia article on the 50 State Quarters Program links to a study by the Congressional Budget Office which said that in the first 5 years of the program, the US government made $4.6 billion. They did note that demand for quarters tripled in 2000, but by 2004 it was back down to 30% above pre-program levels.
My worry is that future efforts are going to be less successful though. As it is, I don't know anyone who's collecting the Presidential $1 Coins, which was their second effort. They're up to William Henry Harrison, by the way.
The future quarters will be more successful than that, and I guess any that are taken out of circulation is worth something. Maybe the government should be sponsoring wishing wells where they get to go and empty the wells once a year :-)
Yeah, we're buying proof sets now too (though I don't remember if we bought this years...) which we weren't before the quarters program. We got at least one set of proof sets of the $1 coins, but I'll be honest, the Dead White Guy Presidents isn't as nice as the Sacajawea to me. I really really like the Sacajawea dollar and I'm sad it didn't catch on more.
My Old Man goes to the local gambling towns just to get quarters. Most casinos have gone to the easy credit voucher payout system, but he goes to one specific casino that still uses the old coin-payout machines. He'll play about 10-20 bucks of slots and be happy for HOURS as he sorts through all the quarters they spit out.
He also uses the automated ticket machines for mass transit. He'll put in a $20 bill for a 3.00 fare...and the machine will poop out 17 one-dollar coins. They sorta' look like Chuck E. Cheese skeeball tokens.