January 31, 2000
Final figures have been released by the U.S. Mint regarding mintage of the five different 1999 Statehood quarter dollar coins for circulation. The figures are revealing and, in one instance, surprising.
There are no true rarities in the series so far. The mintage figure of every coin comes close to at least 300 million pieces, but in one instance just barely. The 1999-D New Jersey quarter has a final business strike mintage of 299,028,000 coins. This is the lowest mintage of the 10 circulation strike coins produced (Each coin is struck at Philadelphia and at Denver, displaying the appropriate “P” or “D” Mint mark.).
The New Jersey quarter has the lowest mintage of any of the five states represented on the coins, with a total mintage of 662,228,000 pieces. This may come as a surprise, considering New Jersey has the densest population per square mile of any state in the nation. The 1999-P Pennsylvania quarter is the second lowest mintage in the series so far at 349 million coins. That’s still about 50 million more coins than the Denver mintage for the coin representing its geographic neighbor.
The highest mintage of the 1999 quarters was 688,744,000 coins for the BU 1999-P Connecticut issue. The Connecticut issue far outdistanced any of the other four state issues at 1,346,224,000 pieces between the Philadelphia and Denver Mints.
It’s interesting to see the progression throughout the year. The Delaware coin was struck first. The mintage of 774,232,000 pieces between the two Mints includes production figures for coins struck during December 1998 but dated 1999.
Pennsylvania was released next, with a total BU mintage between the two mints of 707,332,000, down about 67 million coins from those issued depicting Delaware.
The production continued to decrease as the total for New Jersey only reached 662,228,000 BU coins between the two Mints, down an additional 45 million pieces from the Pennsylvania production.
Production figures skyrocket after this. A total of 939,932,000 coins were struck in BU at the two Mints for the coin representing Georgia, the fourth of the five 1999 quarters.
The BU mintage for the Connecticut coins from the two mints is a staggering 1,346,224,000. It’s amazing how, as the public began to take an active interest in the coins, more were required to be produced.
Readers may be interested to know 2000-dated Massachusetts quarters were struck beginning in December 1999. The 1999 production figures are 71.4 million 2000-P and 63.008 million 2000-D coins. Don’t be deceived by the paltry total of 134,408,000 coins struck representing this state to this point. More 2000-dated Massachusetts quarters are being struck through January and February of 2000. Final figures won’t be available for some time.
Many people stopped checking their pocket change for collector coins following the removal of silver from our circulating coins beginning in 1965. The circulating commemorative Statehood quarter dollar series has renewed interest in this way of collecting.
To date, the only important or rare coins to come from the Statehood issue are off-center strike and rotated die errors. This doesn’t appear to bother the general public very much. The net result has been many new collectors joining the hobby. Should a key date coin of one of the 50 coin types to be struck through 2008 become a reality, it could quickly draw the interest of even more people.
The Statehood quarter dollar coins are being released at a rate of five states each year. Business strikes are produced at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, ensuring collectors of at least 100 coins to complete a set. This does not consider specially-struck collector versions of the coins.
The possibility exists of the series continuing beyond the 50 states. Congress has already considered the possibility of approving additional coins representing territories of the United States. The financial success of the series for the U.S. Mint’s profits could encourage additional coins, or an entirely different circulation strike commemorative coin series into the future.
Despite the coins being available to collectors in change at face value the U.S. Mint makes a profit off each coin just by producing it. The difference between the costs of production (including the cost of the metal in the coin) and the face value is called seignorage. The more demand for the coins, especially due to collecting them, the more profit the Mint may make.
Richard Giedroyc is a numismatic writer, researcher, auction cataloger and coin dealer. He has been in the hobby and business most of his life, now having more than three decades experience in this fascinating hobby field. During this time Giedroyc has been the owner of Paris Bergman Galleries, owner of Classical Coin Newsletter, international editor of Coin World and owner of Giedroyc-Anderson Interesting World Coins. He is currently a numismatic consultant. He has written more than 2,000 byline numismatic stories and contributed to several coin catalogs.
Richard Giedroyc is a numismatic writer, researcher, auction cataloger and coin dealer. He has been in the hobby and business most of his life, now having more than three decades’ experience in this fascinating hobby field. During this time Giedroyc has been the owner of Paris Bergman Galleries, owner of Classical Coin Newsletter, international editor of Coin World and owner of Giedroyc-Anderson Interesting World Coins. He is currently a numismatic consultant. He has written more than 2,000 byline numismatic stories and contributed to several coin catalogs.
Pennsylvania: 707,332,000; Connecticut: 1,346,224,000