Lucky Collectors Find “First Discovery” & “Early Circulation” 2019-W Idaho Quarters


Four lucky collectors in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, and Mississippi were the first to submit to Professional Coin Grading Service ( examples of the new 2019 America the Beautiful® Program Idaho quarters with the elusive West Point mintmark.

PCGS Early Circulation 2019-W Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness quarters
Lucky collectors from Arkansas and Louisiana discovered 2019-W Idaho America the Beautiful quarters before their scheduled circulation date and submitted them to PCGS. (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service

The fortunate finder in Arkansas discovered more than 300 2019-W Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness quarters on October 29, a week before the United States Mint officially began sales of the coins on November 4.

As part of the year-long PCGS Quarter Quest program, the four submitters will split a $2,000 bounty and each receive $500. Their coins will carry the encapsulation insert pedigree of "First Discovery." The submitted coins discovered in Arkansas and Louisiana before the official release will also be labeled "Early Circulation."

Any submitted 2019-W Frank Church Wilderness quarters received within the first seven days after the PCGS First Discovery has been confirmed will automatically receive the First Week of Discovery pedigree. Qualifying coins submitted after those seven days and within 45 days of the PCGS First Discovery will automatically receive an "Early Find" pedigree.

"The Quarter Quest has been an exciting program for the last eight months, and while we are sad to see it come to a close for 2019, we are thrilled to have been able to bring the hunt back to the hobby and inspire so many new collectors," said PCGS President Brett Charville. "We look forward to creating more prize and special pedigree opportunities like this in conjunction with the Mint’s future releases."

Teacher and author Brenda T. of Arkansas told PCGS she was seeking 2019-W San Antonio quarters when she visited a local bank to purchase coins on October 29. She was told by a teller that only the Idaho coins were available, and she purchased five boxes of those quarters.

"I found a W in the third roll I opened, and I was shaking. After calming down, I started going through the next four boxes and found over 300 W quarters," said "Early Circulation" and "First Discovery" winner Brenda T.

She has been an avid collector of the 2019-W quarters since the launch of the Quarter Quest earlier this year. Adding her latest winning quarter to her set will make her the first to achieve the coveted 100% completion in the PCGS Quarter Quest category ( There are currently 90 collectors competing to be the first with a 100% complete set in that category.

The other "Early Circulation" and "First Discovery" winner of 2019-W Idaho Quarter Quest is business owner David M., a long-time collector from Louisiana who told PCGS he drives into Arkansas and Mississippi to buy boxes of coins from banks in those states.

David M. said he started excitedly thinking, "Jackpot! Jackpot!," when he located several 2019-W Idaho quarters in the five boxes of coins he purchased.

The two other "First Discovery" 2019-W Idaho submitters are chemical distribution company sales representative Karl P. of Maryland and telecom company sales representative Chris C. of Mississippi.

Karl P., a newcomer to coin collecting this year who recently joined the PCGS Collectors Club, has been searching for West Point quarters since June and was both delighted and astounded when he discovered an Idaho coin.

"I was surprised because the Idaho [coin] came out of a box with W quarters of San Antonio and (Guam) American Memorial Park," he told PCGS.

"I saw the W side first and when I flipped it over, I didn’t recognize the park because the Idaho coins were supposed to come out later. At first, I thought it was a mis-strike because I was not familiar with the Idaho design. Then I felt like I hit the lottery! I did some research and saw the upcoming Idaho design, and a buddy of mine said I should send it to PCGS," explained Karl P.

Chris C. was also seeking 2019-W San Antonio coins when he purchased six rolls of quarters at a regional bank. A veteran of roll hunting during his 14 years of collecting, he learned about the PCGS Quarter Quest from a local coin club in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

After finding a 2019-W quarter in one of the rolls and submitting the coin for certification, he told PCGS:

"I couldn’t believe it was there [in the roll]! I didn’t find any San Antonio W quarters, but I was surprised to find an Idaho one."

In addition to the cash bounty, these four First Discovery winners will also receive a hand-signed label from award-winning artist Emily Damstra who created the reverse design of the 2019-W Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Idaho quarter.

All First Week of Discovery submitters will also have the option to add the special signature label to their eligible coins at no charge.

For a limited time, PCGS is offering Emily Damstra hand-signed labels to all PCGS Collectors Club and Authorized Dealer submitters of 2019-W Idaho quarters and other United States coins featuring her designs. Guidelines for ordering those signature labels are online at

Emily Damstra signed PCGS encapsulation insert
PCGS Collectors Club members and Authorized Dealers have an opportunity to get encapsulation inserts hand-signed by artist Emily Damstra for coins she designed. (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service

PCGS has created an information page for the PCGS Quarter Quest at where coin hunters can check on updated bounties, see if a PCGS First Discovery has been graded and authenticated, and review the terms and conditions for the promotion.

For information about PCGS products and services, including how to submit your coins for authentication and grading, visit or call the PCGS customer service department at (800) 447-8848.

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Chas Barber

So, somehow this ‘teacher”gets $1k worth of quarters & gets THREE HUNDRED “W” s a 7.5% hit rate. Way beyond anyone else I ever heard of. Rate has been reported as like 1.5% per boxes etc. Seem to me they ship the W’s to Oklahoma area. Some other dude has rolls & rolls of W. I gave up long ago. Bought rolls & rolls, $600 face 2 “W”s from these ‘mint’ rolls. I am now Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’ing about the ATB W as with all other mint BS I just don’t care…..

Gary G

If the Mint’s going to do this again next year, they need to reconsider how they are released into circulation. Plainly it’s been gamed.

Mike Cook

I have yet to find a W quarter, I’m in Mendocino County in rural Northwest California, and I haven’t seen any when visiting Sonoma County, either, our southern neighbor. I understand that the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank wasn’t even included in the distribution of the W quarter, it serves a HUGE part of the west, stupid, mint, stupid.

P. Fanning

If anyone wants to be negative on the PCGS Cert and how it worked out that’s fine but any negativity towards the winner or the winners were someone who is extremely fortunate it’s just wrong. If any of you would’ve found 300 and some W quarters think how you would feel if there was a lot of negativity pointed your way. And accusations of dishonesty. This obviously does not happen often if ever at all so it’s an anomaly. I choose to be happy for this person. Has anyone said congratulations?? I always felt that we are all family in… Read more »

Dennis Boudreau

I haven’t found a single W quarter here in South Dakota. I had to spend money on Ebay to acquire the last 4 W quarters. Looks like I will have to do the same thing again with Idaho, to finish my complete ATB quarters set.


I have also not found a single W quarter yet. I use cash for everything just about and receive change back nothing. Seattle was a city mentioned to have been sent rolls. Still looking. I really don’t care don’t collect these but would have been nice to find one.


Same for me down in Tacoma

Gary G

One early quarter is luck. Two is a coincidence. Three hundred smacks of something more than luck.

Seth Riesling

I live in Austin, Texas not really too far from the Dallas Federal Reserve bank district which serves my city & haven’t found a single Texas “W” quarter in rolls yet!! Crazy!


Johnny Patrick

My son just found a 2019 w idaho quarter today 2/25/23. It has the V75 stamp as well. Need information if possible