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Jeff Garrett: With the 2019-W Quarter, the Hobby Catches a Break

2019-W Quarter - The Hobby Catches a Break

With the 2019-W quarter program, the Mint shows leadership in boosting numismatics, but more publicity is needed


New W-Mint Quarter with Jeff Garrett for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) ……
In the last several years, most numismatic leaders have been searching for ways to stimulate the hobby. There has been a special emphasis on young people, as that segment of the population seems totally immersed in the digital age, with little interest in collecting anything other than memories.

I have been a part of dozens of brainstorming sessions in the last few years on how to grow the hobby.

One such brainstorming was at least the seed for one of the most exciting numismatic programs since the introduction of Statehood Quarters in 1999.

A few years ago, I was involved with the organization of the now annual US Mint Forum in Washington, D.C. The first meeting brought together major players in the hobby, US Mint officials and some collectors. The idea was to gather ideas on how the US Mint could do a better job with its products and to discuss ways to stimulate numismatics.

These meetings were incredibly productive, birthing a multitude of great ideas and suggestions, many of which have now been implemented. Most who have attended these events were greatly encouraged by the Mint’s willingness to engage the hobby’s many stakeholders.

A ‘Circulating Rarity’

One idea that was suggested at many of the forums was for the Mint to create a “circulating rarity”. It has been decades since the general public could find something in circulation other than mint errors that were of real value. The thrill of the chase had long dimmed for our hobby. Initially, Mint officials expressed concern about creating such a coin that could be fairly distributed around the country. Luckily, they seemed to have solved that problem.

Charles Morgan tweet to US Mint - June 4, 2019To create interest and excitement in the hobby, the US Mint will be issuing five 2019 Washington quarters with a “W” mint mark indicating that they have been struck at the West Point Mint. Only two million of each of the five issues will feature the unique mint mark.

The first coins were released during the “Great American Coin Hunt”, an effort by hundreds of coin dealers and collectors around the country to release vintage coins into circulation in celebration of National Coin Week in April.

The program gained the national spotlight, culminating in a morning segment of the Today show.

The “W” Mint Washington quarter program began with the Lowell National Historical Park quarter. The first 2019-W quarter certified by NGC was found by actor Shawn Pyfrom, best known for his appearance in the Desperate Housewives series. This speaks to the broad appeal the public has found searching for these coins — even Hollywood has gotten into the act!

This year, the US Mint is producing 2019-W American Memorial Park quarters, the War in the Pacific National Historical Park quarters, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarters, and the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness quarters.

My hat’s off to the new Director of the US Mint, David Ryder, for instructing his staff to create this program. It has been many years since the US Mint has stepped out of the box to create interest in our hobby. His leadership so far has been amazing, and I’m very excited to see what they have planned next.

So, What Are They Worth?

One of the biggest questions on most collectors’ minds is: “What are these coins worth?” One thing that makes the West Point Mint quarter program unique is that they must be found in circulation. The Mint has distributed these coins fairly and evenly across the country. Coin dealers cannot game the “household limits” system to purchase inventory. Everyone is on an equal footing in the race to find these exciting coins.

2019-W Quarters graded by NGCSo far, the market demand for examples has remained steady. I have seen several large groups sold on the dealer networks in recent weeks. Prices seem to start at around $10 for lower-grade mint-state coins and rise quickly based on quality. Gems have sold for hundreds of dollars on many occasions. A quick search of online sales found a few MS 68 coins being offered for nearly $10,000. There is also strong demand for coins with special labels denoting when they were found and submitted. NGC has several options in place for submitters.

The importance of the 2019-W quarters should not be underestimated. These coins will be required for anyone who wants a complete set of Washington quarters. They will be listed in the Guide Book of United States Coins (the Red Book) along with the tiny mintage figures.

It should also be remembered that these coins are being placed directly into circulation, and a huge number of them will be lost to the “change jars” that nearly all Americans have in their homes. I doubt if more than 20% initially find their way into coin collections.

My only disappointment with the 2019-W quarter program is that very few Americans know about it. Hopefully, the US Mint will make more of an effort in the coming months to publicize this amazing gift to numismatics. You can do your part by spreading the word as well. Finally, the hobby has some “wind in its sails” and we should all take advantage by involving as many people as possible.

If you have children or grandchildren, purchase some rolls of 2019 Quarters and let the search begin. Finding a couple of these hidden jewels could spark an interest in the hobby that would last a lifetime.

Jeff Garrett bio

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Rare Coin Gallery

Jeff Garrett
Jeff Garrett
Jeff Garrett, founder of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, is considered one of the nation’s top experts in U.S. coinage — and knowledge lies at the foundation of Jeff’s numismatic career. With more than 35 years of experience, he is one of the top experts in numismatics. The “experts’ expert,” Jeff has personally bought and sold nearly every U.S. coin ever issued. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t call on Jeff Garrett for numismatic advice. This includes many of the nation’s largest coin dealers, publishers, museums, and institutions. In addition to owning and operating Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, Jeff Garrett is a major shareholder in Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries. His combined annual sales in rare coins and precious metals — between Mid-American in Kentucky and Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries in Florida — total more than $25 million. Jeff Garrett has authored many of today’s most popular numismatic books, including Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins 1795–1933: Circulating, Proof, Commemorative, and Pattern Issues; 100 Greatest U.S. Coins; and United States Coinage: A Study By Type. He is also the price editor for The Official Redbook: A Guide Book of United States Coins. Jeff was also one of the original coin graders for the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). He is today considered one of the country’s best coin graders and was the winner of the 2005 PCGS World Series of Grading. Today, he serves as a consultant to Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), the world’s largest coin grading company. Jeff plays an important role at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Department and serves as a consultant to the museum on funding, exhibits, conservation, and research. Thanks to the efforts of Jeff and many others, rare U.S. coins are once again on exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. Jeff has been a member of the Professional Numismatic Guild (PNG) since 1982 and has recently served as president of the organization. He has also served as the ANA President and as a member of the ANA Board of Governors.

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  1. I have a 2004 double die Roosevelt dime i cant find one in any books i have or on the web please contact me about it.

  2. If they want people to start getting rolls for the kids or your self, tell the banks to stop charging us to return in the coin machine they have.

    • I just found one at a gas station in the Cob Mountain area, Lake county.
      It’s the San Antonio Missions “ W “ it’s like brand new

  3. Why not issue some of these to the poor collectors that did not hear about them until it was too late??? I have not seen any of the × coins. They have not reached NC.

  4. I just wish they would distribute to more than just the few places that they have chosen to release these coins. Or mandate that those places distribute them to other cities than just local banks. Its a shame that they want us to get kids involved, and the only kids that may be fortunate to get them are the ones in the bigger cities.

  5. I live in San Antonio, Texas and am excited and looking foreward to the August 26 release of the Missions Historical Park Quarter. I have been looking and searching for the first quarter since April with no luck. I hope I don’t have the same luck starting August 26.
    Hopeful Numismatic.

  6. Good job! US MINT on getting kids involved in the hobby. My 9yo grandson turned off “Fortnite” to check out his new “Explore and Discover Coin Set”

  7. Yes,banks need to quit charging for rolls of coins. I’d like to get boxes and search for coins but I’m not a member of any bank. If I get rolls and afterwards re-roll what i have looked through,then i dont see any problem with them offering rolls at their face value.

  8. I am a lucky one to find one in Gallup NM, the only reason I noticed it was different is because I have never seen a coin with a w on it . Anybody interested in buying it? I could use the gas money.A

  9. Hello couldnt be happier got a war one with w on it in stockton ca thrift shop in my change she gave me went back in asked her for 5$ in quarters however did not have any in that bunch anyhow great way to start off the work week im happy thank you to everyone that got the word out or i surely would have spent mine somewhere great job

  10. It’s 28 degrees and icey in Pulaski,N.Y. not much to do if your not into Black Friday shopping so i got a few rolls of coins to look through at the bank this morning and found a 2019 W “war in the pacific” i feel like i won a million bucks

  11. I’m a new collector, it’s because of the w mint that caused my interest in coin collecting. I work for a bank and I have been very lucky to have found a few, but for those who would like to buy rolls then come to the banks that are inside the Walmart stores and open up an account and I assure you that when you are done looking and have rerolled them the bank Will gladly take them without any fees…. you just need to have an account with the bank. I know this for a fact because I take coins that are rolled on a weekly basis.

  12. I found one today 8/12/2020 in Turlock Ca. Believed 2 be from change @ McDonald’s. I only found out about these coins from an Episode of PAWN STARS where Chumlee rents a Hotel room using the Company Credit Card & got $500 in quarters from Casino down stairs & He found one , but Rick found him too… It does make you feel lucky & makes me think of Willy Wonka & the chocolate factory..LoL.

  13. I found a 2019W Washington quarter of War in the Pacific. I’ve recently acquired it but not sure of the actual date. The first time I actually noticed was today September 20, 2020.

  14. Found 7 so far of the 2019w 2 that have v75 above Liberty. Im new to collecting. Found my first and had no idea what I had till I looked it up. Its awesome!!! Good luck all!!

  15. I found one in South Lake Tahoe at the Laundry. A few marks from being in a machine. Also found a p mint 2020 COVID Quarter

  16. I live in Indiana Pa. I have been searching rolls for all of 2020 and 2021 plus emptying vending machines at work and still haven’t found any. If they want people to enjoy the hobby they need to spread the W’s around more. Surely I should have found a W by now! If new people search but don’t find they will get disgusted soon! If one person finds 10 pieces, that tells me that they are not spread around very well at all! It’s like playing cards and being dealt a full house – well, they just weren’t shuffled very well ! That’s what I have to say about that !


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