Wednesday, January 16, 2008

News on the Coin Front

2008 marks the end of the 50 State Quarters Program, by all accounts the most successful circulating commemorative program in US history.

Correction: 2008 was supposed to mark the end of the program. However, on December 26th President Bush signed a law extending the program one more year.

Huh? Wha? But we're out of states, you say.

And you'd be right. 2009's quarters will not commemorate states, but territories: DC, Puerto Rico, American Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The debate in numismatic circles has been whether those 6 quarters, which were always assumed would be minted, would represent a new, one-year program or would be tacked onto the 50 State Quarters Program. Well, I guess we have our answer now. It's certainly not the answer I'd have given, but it's the answer nonetheless.

This year we get Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii--finishing off the 50 states. Next year we get the territories, commonwealths, and district.

Additionally, 2009 (next year--can you believe it?) will mark the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and 4 new cents will be released to commemorate our 16th president. Each cent will represent a different period in his life.

Good reasons, all, to keep looking at your change--at least for the next two years.

And then, as I've said before, it's time to put Dr. King on the dime.

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