New US Quarters - Why?

Can someone explain why the US is coming out with a set of 50 new quarters over the next five years? Does the Mint somehow envy the Postal Service with the flood of commemerative stamps it churns out each year and yearn for the same glory? Do they want to distract us from the funny looking paper money they’re pushing?

I understand the stamps - the Postal Service gains whenever a collector buys a 33 cent stamp that never gets used to deliver a letter - that’s practically free money going straight to the old bottom line. But coins? The Mint produces coins to circulate around as we buy and sell stuff. If some percentage of coins gets diverted into the hands of collectors, or if not their hands, to their sock drawers, doesn’t it just mean they need to produce more coins?

Ever hear of job security?


Actually, it’s over 10 years, not five. Plus, the mint is profiting off of such things as the “50 State Coin Map,” and uncirculated and proof sets. For more info, visit

Speaking of stamps and coins …

Anytime a new stamp or coin is issued, many do not go into circulation but are stashed away by collectors and the average citizen.

PPFTG (Pure Profit For The Government).

Before the Susan B. Anthony coin is phased out next year, they have had to mint more of those puppies because of a resurgence in demand.

At one time, millions of those coins parked themselves in US bank vaults, unused.

So there will be a Susan. B with a mint date of 1999.

The USPS (United States Postal Service) and transit systems are “to blame,” since they have incorporated the coins’ acceptance in the vending machines and token machines.

In the year BEFORE the new millennium, a new dollar coin will be issued in the United States.

Year BEFORE the new millennium = 2000.

It has the Indian guide on the Lewis & Clark Expedition … Sacagawea.

It will be about the same size as the Susan B., but it will be gold in color and have “a distinctive edge” not a reeded edge like the quarter.

Terence in Marietta, GA

Be someone’s hero

The main reason for this is quite simple: Congress told them to. The mint wasn’t particularly interested in it, but a bunch of representatives thought the most pressing issue facing the country was the dull design on the back of the quarter. Since their constituents were much more upset by having a eagle on the back of their coinage than crime, education, or other trivial matters, congress obliged. [/sarcasm]

The USPS makes extra money when a collector buys a stamp, since they don’t have to deliver a letter in return. The mint and the government doesn’t make a thing.

<<Can someone explain why the US is coming out with a set of 50 new quarters over the next five years?>>


Q) Why are the quarter designs being changed?

A) According to Public Law 105-124, “Congress finds that it is appropriate and timely to honor the unique Federal Republic of 50 States that comprise the United States; and to promote the diffusion of knowledge among the youth of the United States about the individual states, their history and geography, and the rich diversity of the national heritage…” and to encourage “young people and their families to collect memorable tokens of all of the States for the face value of the coins.”

Terence in Marietta, GA

Be someone’s hero

The mint itself may not be making money on the deal, but the federal government as a whole definitely is. It costs less than 25 cents to make a quarter, so the more quarters out there, the more the government profits. With coins, this profit is called seignorage. I’m not sure if the same word applies to stamps, but the concept is exactly the same.

When the Mint produces, say, a quarter for circulation, the difference between the cost of producing that quarter and its face value is a profit to the mint called, I believe, seigniorage. This is carried on their books as a profit. Thus the incredible number of quarters that will be rat-holed will look good for the mint’s profit/loss sheet.
When the failed Susan B. Anthony Dollar was withdrawn due to the public’s obvious distaste for the ill-fated and ill-designed coin, the Mint, instead of destroying or melting the coin, forced them to be used in the post office vending machines, used on army bases overseas, and any other means of causing them to be artificially circulated. Had they destroyed them, they would have had to take a profit off the books and show a loss. And that just wouldn’t be ‘governmental’.

Well,Whats the Deal, when they first came up with the idea, someone just thought it made cents.

Signitorily yours, Mr John
" Pardon me while I have a strange interlude."-Marx

mr john ya oughtta be drawn and quartered for that one.

Under federal law, the design of a coin may not–except in special circumstances–be changed more often than 25 years. Decide for yourselves whether this is more than a tempest in a teapot.
Lincoln penny–obverse 1909; reverse 1959
Jefferson nickel–1938
Roosevelt dime–1946
Washington quarter–1932
Kennedy half-dollar–1964
(For the fate of the 1948 Franklin half-dollar, see Triumph of the Straight Dope.)
To me, it’s the same as with paper money–the designs have been kept for a long time due to nothing more than inertia, but counterfeiting technology has, in a sense, forced the government to make design changes. But maybe people HAVE tired of the Washington eagle.

New US Quarters - Why? / Why Not? It doesn’t bother me.

My state is asking citizens to submit designs to be considered for the back of our quarter. This is an opportunity unprecedented in my lifetime. My only fear is that it might be dangerous to society. It might encourage the artists among us.

Back in May I sent the mint a note asking how much it cost them to mint various coins. Here’s the response:

I asked about the new dollar coins, too, but they either didn’t have or didn’t want to share estimates for those.

What state do you live in, Don Porter? I live in California (N o.31) so it’ll be a while before the Golden State is honored on a quarter. But I come from Indiana (No. 19; December 16, 1816) so they’ve probably already chosen a design for that state. :slight_smile:

Not yet dougie_monty. I’m back home in Indiana. Our quarter is scheduled for 2002. The deadline for designs is February 2000.

FYI - The U.S. Mint has ruled out designs featuring commercial logos, state flags and seals, living people and any head-and -shoulders portrait of a person living or dead.

Maybe I’ll submit a design of an ear of corn in the shape of one of those older Indy cars.
I’m working on it.

Don Porter informed us:

FYI - The U.S. Mint has ruled out designs featuring [snip] any head-and -shoulders portrait of a person living or dead.

No fair! If I lived in the state of Washington, I’d vote for a two-sided George Washington quarter, i.e. identical portraits on both sdes.

For whatever it’s worth, the NJ quarter shows Washington crossing the Delaware, so they got in two Georges. Your way is cooler, tho.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Oh, what a blunder!!! Anyone who really knows American History–and perhaps quite a few proud New Jerseyites–will be appalled to see the reverse of the “New Jersey quarter.”
Yes, it uses the design from the Emanuel Leutze painting. But Leitze was a German and used the Rhine river as a setting; the soldiers would certainly know better than to ppoint their rifles upward and catch the sleet that was falling; the Stars and Stripes being carried in the boat was not adopted until after the Revolution ended; and the boats used were much larger than the one in the painting.
Besides–as even the kids in * Our Gang * knew–“Any soldier knows enough not to stand up in a rowboat!”

Why not?

Compared to most of the world, our money is really dull-looking. Granted, I wouldn’t want a purple chicken or something on the dollar, but monochrome is so dull.

I can’t wait to see them.

“It all started with marbles in school…”

MY blunder!! That should be any * sailor * knowos enough not to stand up in a rowboat!
Hey, Jackie Cooper, Farina, Bonedust, and Joe Cobb didn’t make * that * kind of mistake!