Between 1939 and 1945, war raged both in Europe and in the Pacific. Now in 2020, 75 years later, the United States Mint is commemorating the end of World War II by releasing 2020-W America the Beautiful Quarters into circulation that carry a special "V75" mint mark. Keep reading to learn more!
From 1914-1918, World War I ravaged Europe, resulting in an estimated 20 million deaths. So horrific was the conflict that it became known as “the war to end all wars,” as it rendered future conflicts unthinkable. Just two decades after it ended, though, the world entered an even bigger war. Between 1939 and 1945, war raged both in Europe and in the Pacific. By the end of the conflict, at least 45 million people – some estimates suggest tens of millions more - had lost their lives. Now in 2020, the United States Mint commemorates the end of one of the most violent conflicts in human history.
To mark the occasion, the United States Mint is striking ten million circulated quarters at the West Point Mint. Circulated American quarters are typically struck only at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints and bear their “P” or “D” mint marks. The ten million pieces will instead take the “W” mint mark of the West Point Mint. This site is particularly appropriate for these coins since West Point is also the home of the United States Military Academy. The ten million pieces will be divided evenly among the five 2020 America the Beautiful Quarters. These include Connecticut’s Weir Farm National Historic Site, the US Virgin Islands’ Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve, Vermont’s Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, Kansas’s Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, and America Samoa’s National Park of American Samoa.
For further reading on the West Point Mint, read this Info-Vault article.
In addition to the “W” mint mark, the coins will also have a unique “V75” privy mark. The privy mark takes the shape of the Rainbow Pool, a vital feature of the World War II Memorial located in Washington, DC’s West Potomac Park. “V75” stands for “Victory 75,” or 75 years since the American triumph in both theaters. The mark appears on the left side of the obverse.
All told, the United States Mint will strike 10 million pieces with the privy and “W” mint marks. Although these coins are sure to be extremely attractive to collectors, finding them will not be as easy as other collectible pieces. That is because none of the coins struck with the mint mark and privy will be sold to dealers. Instead, the Denver Mint and Philadelphia Mint will be releasing them directly into circulation in their bulk bags along with “P” and “D” mint mark coins. This means that few of the coins will survive in Mint State, as most Americans going about their daily business will likely miss these coins and continue to circulate them. Collectors who are savvy enough to find them early in their circulation will probably fare best in terms of finding them in the best condition.
These releases follow the first-ever “W” mint mark quarters, which were released into circulation in 2019. The coins were released as part of National Coin Week, an effort of the US Mint to involve more people in coin collecting. As with this issue, 10 million pieces were struck with the mint mark, and they were divided evenly among the year’s America the Beautiful quarters.
For further reading about the History of the Quarter, read this Info-Vault article!
One of America’s leading grading companies, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), is sharing in the event with new labels that it created specifically for these coins. The label says “V Day” on the right, with the “V” in red and “Day” in black and white. In the background is a silhouetted image of soldiers going into battle carrying their weapons. The images invoke powerful feelings about the dangers faced and sacrifices made by millions of American soldiers during the war.
In 2020, Americans face new challenges at home and abroad. Most of those who contributed to the World War efforts, either in conflict or on the home front, have now passed on, and most children are now born without any living relative who remembers the battle. It becomes more comfortable with each passing year to put the countless sacrifices made by their ancestors into the backs of their minds. The 2020-W America the Beautiful Quarters serve as healthy reminders of just how much people gave up preserving our way of life, and how many of them never came back. At a time of crisis, unlike any living memory, Americans also serve as inspiration that Americans can not only survive perilous times but also emerge from them stronger and prouder than ever before.
||Sean McConeghy is a freelance writer and network marketer living in Roatan, Honduras. He originally hails from New York and specializes in writing about numismatics, real estate, and politics.|