HomeUS Coins1999 Connecticut 50 State Quarter : A Collector's Guide

1999 Connecticut 50 State Quarter : A Collector’s Guide

This is an image of a 1999 Connecticut State Quarter. Image: US Mint / Adobe Stock.
1999 Connecticut State Quarter. Image: US Mint / Adobe Stock.

Between 1999 and 2008, the 50 State Quarters circulating commemorative coin program honored each state in the order in which it joined the Union. The series was authorized by Public Law 105-124 on December 1, 1997. Five quarters were released every year with a common obverse and different reverses representative of the states being commemorated. The program proved popular with the American public, bringing many new collectors into the hobby.

The 1999 Connecticut State Quarter, released on October 12, was the fifth issue in the 50 State Quarters series and the final issue for 1999. Connecticut became the fifth state to ratify the United States Constitution on January 9, 1788.

The Charter Oak was chosen as the symbol of the state. The tree’s story was deeply intertwined with the history of the state during its colonial period.

On October 31, 1687, the Sir Edmund Andros, Royal Governor of colonial New York demanded that Connecticut give up its royal charter and acknowledge his authority over the colony. Connecticut refused, and the conflict lasted for over a decade. Andros and a group of armed troops went to Hartford to meet with colony leaders – supposedly to accept the surrender of the charter document itself. According to legend, the charter lay on the table between the colonists and the governor as the meeting commenced but the colonists blew out the candles. When light was restored to the room, the charter was gone.

“The Charter Oak” by Frederic Church, 1846. Florence Griswold Museum

And while Governor Andros did force the colony to submit, he never managed to possess the actual charter. It is said that it was hidden in the Charter Oak.

The formidable tree, which had been important to Native Americans for hundreds of years before the English arrive, finally succumbed to storm damage in 1856. This makes the 1999 Connecticut State Quarter one of two quarters in the series that depict landmarks that no longer exist; the ninth coin in the series, the 2000 New Hampshire quarter, depicts the famous New Hampshire rock formation the “Old Man of the Mountain“, which crumbled away in 2003.

The tree is depicted as it would’ve appeared during Winter.

U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver T. James Ferrell adapted the original design submitted by Andy Jones for the reverse; his italicized initials “TJF” are found below the wall near the rim, to the right of the “M” in UNUM.

The most striking aspect of the reverse design is the intricate depiction of the tree’s branches, which fan out over most of the face of the coin. CONNECTICUT and 1788 (the year the state ratified the Constitution) are found above the tree. Under the lowest branches of the oak on the left side but over a brief stretch of ground is the caption THE CHARTER OAK, with the word “THE” stacked upon the other two words in the phrase. At ground level to the right of the tree is a section of stonework wall. In the exergue beneath the ground and the tree is the date of issue, 1999, and the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM.

U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver T. James Ferrell adapted the original design submitted by Andy Jones for the reverse; his italicized initials “TJF” are found below the wall near the rim, to the right of the “M” in UNUM.

What Is the Value of a 1999 Connecticut State Quarter?

At a minimum, the value of every 1999 Connecticut State Quarter starts at 25¢, the stated value of the coin. The Philadelphia Mint struck 688,744,000 pieces for circulation, while the Denver Mint struck 657,880,000. As was the case with all of the State Quarters, nearly all of these coins entered circulation within a few years of issue. Collector enthusiasm for the 50 State Quarters program was white hot in 1999, and untold millions of examples of each issue were purchased at face value from issuing banks or purchased for a small premium in specially-marked rolls and bags from the United States Mint. These saved coins will provide future collectors with the possibility to own Mint State examples of the 1999 Connecticut State Quarter for centuries.

Determining the numismatic value of an uncirculated 1999 Connecticut State Quarter will require an understanding between raw (ungraded) coins and certified (professionally graded) coins.

A raw 1999 Connecticut State quarter in Mint State sells for a premium over the coin’s 25¢ face value. A fair market value of a 1999-P or 1999-D Connecticut State quarter in choice to gem uncirculated condition is between $1 and $3.00. 

Certified coins from Philadelphia and Mint State will have been assigned a grade between MS60 and MS69. Perfect MS70 circulation strike coins, while technically possible, are practically unheard of. The typical grade for a Mint State Connecticut State Quater is between MS64 and MS67, according to data published by CAC, NGC, and PCGS. MS67 coins offer the best value for the Set Registry collector, with coins selling for as little as $40 each on sites like eBay. The price jumps to about $500 for examples in MS68. The record price paid at auction for a 1999-P Connecticut State Quarter was $4,362 in 2006. That coin graded MS67, and as we previously mentioned, would sell for $40 today. A single coin has been certified by PCGS at the grade MS69. It is possible, that a public sale of this particular coin might exceed the 2006 record price, but this is no sure thing.

The grading services graded more Denver Mint examples than coins struck at Philadelphia, and the population data reflects that. The difference in quality between coins struck at the two mints is minimal.

Proof coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint is copper-nickel clad and 90% silver. The silver coins are brighter than the clad ones and generally sell for more money. A PR70DCAM example in silver is worth about $70, while a coin in the same grade struck on a clad planchet is worth about $25.

Design

Obverse:

The obverse of the 1999 Connecticut quarter is the common obverse of the 50 State Quarters series. It shows a modified portrait of George Washington, a design by John Flanagan based on a 1786 plaster bust by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. Sculptor-engraver William Cousins designed the newer rendition of Washington, which remains the obverse design for the quarter for the duration of the America the Beautiful Quarter series.

The redesign was necessary in part to accommodate new inscriptions on the obverse that previously were featured on the reverse of the quarter; these obverse inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in a semi-circular arrangement over Washington’s head, IN GOD WE TRUST to his right, LIBERTY to his left, below his chin, and QUARTER DOLLAR along the bottom side of the rim, under the first president’s bust. The words QUARTER DOLLAR and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA were previously located on the reverse of Washington quarters made from 1932 through 1998, but they were relocated to the obverse to allow a wider reverse canvas area for the changing 50 States Quarter designs. The mintmark is seen to the right of Washington’s ponytail.

Reverse:

The reverse of the Connecticut quarter features the Charter Oak, a traditional symbol of freedom and independence to the state. CONNECTICUT and 1788 wrap around the top of the design, while 1999 and E PLURIBUS UNUM appear in the coin’s exergue. The the left of the tree is in the inscription THE CHARTER OAK.

Edge:

Like all coins in the 50 State Quarters program, the edge of the 1999 Connecticut quarter is reeded.

Designer(s)

American sculptor John Flanagan’s work in the medallic and metal arts ranks him as one of the best artists of his generation. For generations of coin collectors, he is best known for his Washington quarter design (View Designer’s Profile).

Andy Jones, then a teacher at Eastern Connecticut State University, submitted the winning design of the Charter Oak to the Connecticut Commission of Arts, which oversaw the design approval process for the quarter.

William Cousins and T. James Ferrell are both sculptor-engravers at the United States Mint.

Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 1999
Denomination: Quarter Dollar (USD)
Mint Mark: P, D, S
Mintage: 1,350,337,359 (clad); 804,565 (silver)
Alloy: 75% copper, 25% nickel (clad); 90% silver, 10% copper (silver)
Weight: 5.67 grams (clad); 6.25 grams (silver)
Diameter: 24.30 mm
Edge: Reeded
OBV Designer John Flanagan | William Cousins
REV Designer Andy Jones | T. James Ferrell
Quality: Business Strike, Uncirculated, Proof

 

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Sources

https://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/22/nyregion/heads-or-tree-the-charter-oak-to-grace-new-coin.html

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

2 COMMENTS

    • @Rey Soto: As you can read in detail in the section titled “What Is the Value of a 1999 Connecticut State Quarter?”, any that you find in circulation are only worth face value. Your coin would have to be uncirculated and high quality to bring a premium.

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