State Quarters: How Popular are They?


The mass media many times tends to focus on topics that are popular and will catch the viewer or reader’s eye.

The U.S. Mint announcement showing artist renderings of the final 2008 state quarters proved to be popular with the media, which provides another barometer reading that underscores the success of the 50 States Quarters® Program.

On the day after the announcement, some interesting state quarter facts, figures and quotes rise to the top of many articles due to their frequency in use. They also reflect to some degree the popularity and success of the quarters with the public.

A few interesting state quarter numbers

  • By the end of this year, 2007, over 32 billion state quarters will have been minted
  • A U.S. Mint survey in 2005 indicated 147 million people have collected the quarters (an often quoted survey for many quarter releases)
  • According to the Mint, approximately 20 billion EXTRA quarters were made through the end of 2006 due to collectors who grabbed them from circulation
  • Given the number above, the Mint has made a profit through 2006 of nearly $4 billion. That’s not the full $5 billion, given there’s a cost to produce the quarter.(~$0.05 in 2005; ~ $0.068 in 2006 based on the latest Annual Report from the U.S. Mint.)

Quotes provided to news organizations:

In the New York Times, Mint Director Edmund C. Moy was quoted as saying:

"They (state quarters) have educated a whole generation on geography and history… (they are a) remarkable success".

For the Associated Press, Mr. Moy said:

“The American people have made the 50 state quarters the most successful coins in United States history,”

News headlines and article links about the 2008 state quarter designs

Google News listed dozens of new articles within 24 hours of the Mint’s latest announcement. Here are a few of the headlines that were listed recently:

50-State Quarter Program Very Successful
The Associated Press – 18 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — A grizzly bear clutching a salmon, the Grand Canyon at sunrise and a scissortail flycatcher in flight. Those striking images will be on

Mint unveils design of Oklahoma quarter
Tulsa World, OK – 10 hours ago
By JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau A scissortail flycatcher will be featured on the coin, the first in the final set of five state quarters.

50-state quarter program due to wrap up in 2008
KTUU, AK – 13 hours ago
by AP WASHINGTON, DC — The US Mint unveiled the final five designs for the state quarters program. They include Alaska’s coin, which features a grizzly

US Mint Unveils Final 5 State Quarter Designs, TN – 18 hours ago
WASHINGTON, DC – The US Mint has unveiled the final five designs for the state-themed quarters that go into circulation in late January.

Final designs in state quarter program include scissortail flycatcher
KTEN, TX – 19 hours ago
AP – November 27, 2007 5:35 PM ET The US Mint today unveiled the final five designs for the state quarters, with Oklahoma’s 25-cent piece to be the first

Mint unveils final 5 designs for state quarters
KGAN, IA – 19 hours ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The US Mint has unveiled the final five designs for the state-themed quarters that go into circulation in late January.

US Mint announces final design of Arizona quarter (KNXV-TV), AZ – Nov 27, 2007
Inscribed on the coin is a banner reading “Grand Canyon State”. The coin also bears the inscriptions “Arizona” and “1912.” To see a larger image of the coin

State Quarters Near End of Popular Run
New York Times, United States – 13 hours ago
By MATTHEW HEALEY The final five designs in the popular State Quarters series were announced yesterday by the United States Mint.

4th president is rolled out by US Mint
San Jose Mercury News,  USA – Nov 27, 2007
The new presidential coins, in an effort to tap into the huge success of the 50-state quarter program, feature a changing design with a new president

In summation…

It will be most interesting to see how the 50 States Quarters® Program is judged in the public and collector’s eye some 15 to 20 years from now.

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