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Some State Quarter Values Surprising
May 01, 2009

Print ads are still effective as a way to buy the coins you need. I spoke to Julian Jarvis for the Coin Chat Radio program that went live yesterday at and he casually mentioned in our off-air chat that his recent quarter-page buy ad in Numismatic News pleased him and he was placing more.

When the first ad ran, I saw it, but I didn't really study it. After my conversation with Julian I was curious to find out what he was paying for state quarters. Some of the prices surprised me greatly.

How about $40.50 for the P or D Georgia BU roll? While mintages were relatively low for the 1999 year of issue, Philadelphia still cranked out 451.2 million and Denver 488.7 million.

Tennessee, was less surprising. It has been freakishly unavailable since the coin was released in 2002. The P or D rolls are priced at $38. Did the coin coloring business really use that many coins? It has a nice guitar design and it is an indirect tribute to Elvis. Mintages were 361.6 million for Philly and 286.5 for Denver.

Remember, these are buy prices, not retail prices.

What really blew my mind, though, was the price for Illinois quarter rolls. It is $31 for either mint. Perhaps I wasn't paying appropriate attention. Lincoln is the theme, but the design never appealed to me. The mintages for the 2003 quarter were 225.8 million for Philadelphia and 237.4 million for Denver.

When looking at those numbers I might be tempted to exclaim, "Aha!" However, there are other states with similar mintages that are nowhere near that price.

While I was never a collector of the coins by the BU roll, I did have a roll of Connecticut quarters at one time because the local bank got in a supply. I kept it for several years after its 1999 release, but finally spent the coins figuring the 688.7 million Philadelphia coins and 657.9 million Denver coins would guarantee its commonness for all eternity.

Guess what? Connecticut has a buy price of $24.75. Who'd a thunk it?

But Julian knows what he is doing. He wouldn't be paying those prices if he didn't think there was a ready buyer further down the supply chain.

It is amazing what you can learn from an ad.

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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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