In 1999, coin collecting in America was changed forever with the release of the US State Quarters series.
These coins proved so popular that almost half the US population (that’s roughly 150 million people) took part in collecting these coins and they quickly became the most widely collected in all of America, and arguably, the world!
Following this wild success, a brand new series of US Quarters was released in 2010, celebrating the beauty of America and its national parks.
US National Park Quarters Complete Set
Each stunning reverse design captures the magnificence and history of America’s most beautiful locations, whilst the obverse features a smaller restoration of the original Washington quarter portrait.
5 new National Park Quarters were released each year from 2010 to 2020, with a final design issued in 2021 to complete the series of 56 coins.
But, these quarters were minted and released for only 10 weeks each before never being produced again, making the series particularly sought after…
What’s more, this second series of US Quarters has been released in significantly lower numbers, with a total mintage just over HALF that of the highly sought-after US State Quarters series!
And, with a significant proportion of these coins now taken out of circulation into private collections, they are sure to become scarcer than ever, meaning collectors will want to act fast to avoid missing out on the complete collection.
American coinage is one of the most competitive coin collecting markets in the world… Read on to find out more about some of America’s most infamous coins!
Indian Head Penny (1859-1909)
The Indian Head Penny is famous for celebrating Native Americans, but it actually doesn’t show a Native American.
According to legend, designer James B. Longacre used a portrait of his 12 year old daughter, Sarah, wearing a headdress. It is, however, more likely that the portrait was based on a classical Greco-Roman statue Venus Accroupie (Crouching Venus).
Either way, the ‘Indian’ is not a Native American! The obverse features the head of Lady Liberty wearing a headdress, while the reverse depicts a wreath as well as the words ‘One Cent’ and a shield in the middle at the top of the coin.
Morgan Silver Dollar (1878-1921)
For the new silver dollar, designer George T. Morgan decided to portray Liberty as a goddess, inspired by Philadelphian school teacher, Anna Williams who had a fair complexion, Grecian nose and golden hair. Morgan eventually persuaded Anna Williams to sit as the model for Liberty for the obverse of the Morgan Silver Dollar.
In 1878 artists’ models were considered immoral, therefore, Morgan publicly stated that the model was a statue in a Philadelphia museum. Word soon leaked out, however, and it is rumoured that Williams was fired from her teaching job!
‘No Cents’ Liberty Head Nickel (1883)
When the new Liberty Head Nickel was issued in 1883, the denomination was nowhere to be seen, instead a large ‘V’ (Roman ‘5’) was on the reverse.
The coins were the size of the $5 gold coin in circulation at the time which created an opportunity for unscrupulous crooks who came up with a cunning plan to pass them off as $5 by gold plating the new nickels and cutting reeds into the edge by hand. The U.S Mint soon became aware and within a few weeks the design was changed to include the word ‘Cents’ under the ‘V’. The ‘No Cents’ coins are also known as ‘Racketeer’ Nickels.
Lincoln Penny (1909)
Designer Victor David Brenner added his ‘VDB’ initials to the new Lincoln Penny design in 1909 which was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.
While the public generally loved the Lincoln cent when it was first released, they didn’t like the prominence of Brenner’s initials. The U.S. Mint quickly removed the initials as it appeared as though Brenner was either boasting or advertising. This was the first cent to feature Abraham Lincoln’s motto ‘In God we trust’ on the obverse.
Morgan Dollar (1921)
When notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde were shot and killed by police in 1934, a 1921 Silver Morgan Dollar was recovered from the jacket of Clyde Barrow among other possessions. The outlaw lovers were believed to have committed 13 robberies among other felonies between 1932 and 1934.
The hunt for the duo captured the nation’s imagination during the Great Depression and their fame was heightened by their practice of leaving glamourous photos of themselves at crime scenes.
Even more so now, the 1921 coin is forever associated with Bonnie and Clyde.
Roosevelt Dime (1946)
In 1945 plans were quickly laid for the introduction of a new coin to honour Roosevelt after his passing. The task was assigned to John Ray Sinnock and coinage began in 1946. Controversy soon arose because sculptor Selma Burke claimed that Sinnock had stolen her design without giving her credit, however Sinnock strongly denied this.
In addition, conspiracy theorists claimed that Sinnock’s initials ‘JS’ (at the base of Roosevelt’s neck) actually referred to Russian leader Joseph Stalin because of Roosevelt’s supposed ‘communist’ learnings.
These are just some of the incredible American coins that have been issued over the decades, including the 56 US National Park Quarters!
Have you ever seen these coins before? Let us know in the comments below!
Secure the Complete US National Park Quarters Set!
Through our contacts in the US we have managed to secure a limited amount of complete sets for our collectors, to ensure you have the opportunity to include this impressive set in your collection.
All 56 US National Park Quarters will come presented in a custom display folder, including a map to pinpoint each quarter in the series. This really is the perfect way to display your collection and preserve all 56 coins for generations to come.
In 1999 the first 5 coins of a remarkable series made their way into the hands of the American public. Designed to give a boost to the nation’s interest in numismatics, these specially themed ‘State’ Quarter Dollars rapidly became the most popular collecting phenomenon in American history.
In 1993 a committee was formed to investigate ways to generate interest from younger collectors in the American numismatic market. Little did they know the ideas proposed in that very meeting would transcend all ages and interests and become the most widely collected series of coins in American history, and arguably, the world.
The key proposal was a collection of 50 new quarters – one for every state. 5 quarters were released a year over a ten year period, with the reverse designs representing the history and heritage of each state – a timeless reminder of the breadth and diversity of American culture. To make room for these intricate designs the familiar writing ‘Quarter Dollar’, ‘Liberty’ and ‘In God We Trust’ was moved onto the obverse.
The planning process to get such a momentous series of coins produced is estimated to have involved 3.5 million people, whether that was submitting design concepts or voting for their favourite.
The hard work resulted in a series of coins which are a true spectacle, each a miniature work of art. From the Wright Brothers Plane on the North Carolina coin, Mount Rushmore on the South Dakota coin, to Chimney Rock on the Nebraska coin, and the Grand Canyon on the Arizona coin, each design is a talking point and little piece of US history.
Despite their obvious popularity there was a time when their very survival was in jeopardy. Various reports state that the US Treasury was opposed to the idea, unconvinced by the figures and unsure of the concept. Nevertheless the State Quarters Programme made it through a strict feasibility study unscathed, and the first coins were struck in 1999 – the rest is history…
It’s estimated that nearly half of all Americans collected these coins in some form or another. That’s roughly 150 million people!
But as the series was technically intended for circulation it could sometimes take years for a collector to find all the quarters in their change. And as each coin was struck for just 10 weeks, never to be struck again, finding every single one of these coins would still take a monumental effort. Especially as a significant proportion of the coins were taken out of circulation straight away into private collections, making them harder to find than ever before.
The coins were so popular that in 2009, following the conclusion of the 50 State Quarters Program, a one year follow up series began featuring six additional Quarters that represented the six US jurisdictions that aren’t classified as states.
What’s more, these extra coins had a significantly lower mintage of 636,200,000 – a tiny amount compared to the 50 State Quarters Program that had its lowest mintage in 2008 with just 2,438,200,000 Quarters being issued.
These 56 US Quarters in total clearly make for an excellent collection of US coinage and it’s not surprising that this collection became the most successful numismatics program in history!
Start collecting today with 6 of the MOST WANTED US Quarters
Start your very own journey with the collection of US State Quarters that Half of America Collected… and save yourself all the hard work of searching for each of these quarters individually.