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State Quarter Turning Point?
December 13, 2011

Is the huge state quarter supply overhang on its way to being drawn down?

Collectors have been aware that quarter production has been dropping steadily since the heyday of production during the first few years of the state quarter program a decade ago.

Mintages exceeding one billion of each design, and as high as a billion and a half of the Virginia design, were common, but then falling to roughly half a billion of each design by the last year of the state quarter program in 2008.

Then the bottom fell out of the economy and with it demand for quarters. Further depressing the need for new quarters was the fact that many previously saved state quarters found their way back into circulation as people hit by the recession spent them to keep a roof over their heads.

By 2011, mintages of the current America the Beautiful designs have fallen to little more than 60 million each – until the fifth design for Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Then production ballooned to 143.2 million.

This is a far cry from the nearly 1.6 billion Virginia coins of 2000, but a nice increase from the four earlier designs.

Special case or harbinger of better days ahead?

We can think about that while we wonder if it would be worthwhile to put away some of the 2011 quarters with lower mintages.

Will a Gettysburg Denver quarter with a mintage of 30.4 million and the Philadelphia version with a mintage of 30.8 million appeal to hobbyists a generation from now?

The other mintages are:

Glacier Denver 31.2 million

Glacier Philadelphia 30.4 million

Olympic Denver 30.6 million

Olympic Philadelphia 30.4 million

Vicksburg Denver 33.4 million

Vicksburg Philadelphia 30.8 million

Chickasaw Denver 69.4 million

Chickasaw Philadelphia 73.8 million.

Whatever they think of the 30-million piece mintages, it is obvious they will refer to the Chickasaw quarters as the common ones for 2011.

More Coin Collecting Resources:

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

• Subscribe to our Coin Price Guide, buy Coin Books Coin Folders and join the NumisMaster VIP Program

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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