For nearly a century, the Washington Quarter has been a fixture of American currency. Even as pennies, nickels, and dimes seem to be disappearing from everyday commerce, quarters continue to be used for subways, buses, vending machines, newspapers, and more. Traditionally, the quarters issued for circulation have had “D,” “S,” and “P” mint marks, for “Denver,” “San Francisco,” and “Philadelphia,” respectively, although no mint marks were used for the Philadelphia Mint prior to 1980.
Notably absent were quarters bearing the “W” Mint mark of the West Point Mint. While quarters have been struck at the West Point Mint in years past, they have never born the Mint Mark before, making their origination point impossible to determine. That is changing as of April 2019, when the U.S Mint will release the first ever W-mint mark quarters for circulation. The quarters have been mixed in with Denver and Philadelphia quarters and are set to enter circulation in early April. Two million pieces with the “W” mint mark have been issued for each of the five 2019 America the Beautiful Quarters.
The obverses of the Washington Quarters match those of other issues in this historic series. Dominating the obverse is John Flanagan’s left-side portrait of President George Washington. The name of the issuing country, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” arches over him, while the coin’s face value, “QUARTER DOLLAR,” is included below. Other inscriptions on this face read, “LIBERTY,” and “IN GOD WE TRUST.” The “W” mint mark appears under the national motto.
The coin’s reverses feature the 2019 editions of the America the Beautiful Series. The Massachusetts coin features a mill girl working power loom in Lowell, Massachusetts, while the Northern Mariana Islands edition consists of a woman paying her respects at the Flag Circle and Court of Honor. Guam’s entry shows American forces landing in the Second Battle of Guam, and Texas’s piece combines elements of Spanish colonial coinage with several symbols of the state. A drift boat on the Salmon River, Idaho’s coin, completes the set. Each reverse has a rim frame that bears inscriptions of the site and state represented, as well as the date, “2019,” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (From many, one).
American Numismatic Association's (ANA's) National Coin Week, which runs from April 21-April 27 of 2019, coincidences with this exciting first ever release, which is sure to get collectors and casual change bearers alike, carefully examining their pocket change. National Coin Week is designed to bring experts and casual collectors together to celebrate and to highlight the pastime of collecting coins, paper money, and medals. This year's theme, "Discover the Past, Envision the Future," heavily ties into the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and man's first steps on the Moon.
Alongside National Coin Week, certain coin dealers will be adding to the coin hunting mania, by placing into circulation approximately 1 million collectible coins in what has been aptly dubbed, "The Great American Coin Hunt." Anywhere from 250 to 300 coin dealers will put thousands of desirable U.S coins into circulation from their own collections, by using them in transactions at places such as stores, dinning establishments, and busy places of commerce. The intention behind the program is to get people looking at their change again, searching for a true treasure, found in day to day life.
The Washington Quarter debuted in 1932 and has since been a fixture of American currency. Historic quarters are excellent teaching tools, as they were originally issued in .900 fine silver, but circulation issues since 1965 have not contained silver.
The Washington Quarter, which takes its name from the portrait of President George Washington by John Flanagan that appears on the obverses of each of its iterations, has taken many forms, including bi-centennial issues. Most recently, the coin has featured the America the Beautiful Series, which continues to this day, and from which, these W mint marked coins are a part. This series also includes 5 oz. Silver Piece that are issued for collectors.
On top of this impressive Quarter offering, the U.S Mint released a first-ever Lincoln Cent in early 2019 through their 2019 proof set, which included a first ever W Mint marked proof penny. While not a circulating coin, this release drew great attention from collectors.
April is shaping up to be an exciting month in the numismatic realm, as National Coin Week, the Great American Coin Hunt, and the U.S Mint's first ever release of W-Mint Mark Circulated Quarters synchronize to bring increased public attention to coin collecting, and especially, the circulating pieces we carry and encounter during day to day life.
NGC will be labeling these certified W-Quarters with an exciting designation, "First "W" Mint Mark Quarters," to highlight the special qualities of this coin. This designation combined with NGC's West Point Mint Gold Star Label creates the perfect way for any collector to celebrate this historic release! Or, if you prefer to play up the fact that the beloved "W" Mint Mark is appearing on the 2019 America the Beautiful quarters, NGC will also be offering their America's National Treasures Flag Label, an attractive and patriotic option!
On top of the Special designation, NGC will also be offering Early Releases and First Releases certified options. MCM is planning to offer these Quarters in both NGC labels in a variety of designations, don't miss out!
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