Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Wednesday, August 07, 2002 I don’t claim to be a numismatist. I also don’t claim to be a coin collector. I do dig those state quarters, though. I collect those.
That doesn’t make me at all unusual, I realize. Lots of people collect them. They’re not exactly difficult to come by. According to the U.S. Mint’s website, over seventeen billion of them have been minted. Of those, maybe half are actually in circulation. The rest are in a jar in my bedroom.
What, you thought I was just collecting one of each? Heck, everyone can do that, and probably is. God knows how many unassuming little eighteen-coin stacks are hiding in drawers, just waiting to be joined by Indiana so they can see daylight again for one brief moment. Think about those cardboard maps they sell at the drugstore, the ones with the fifty quarter-sized sockets. If everyone has one of those, imagine how long it’s going to take before an everyday one-coin-per-state collection is actually worth something.
That’s right. Seven thousand years.
Since I’m hoping to retire sometime in this millennium, my project is a little more ambitious. I plan to collect an entire roll of each quarter. It’s the perfect compromise; it’s hard enough that not every United States citizen who handles currency will be doing it, but it’s not so hard that I actually have to work at it.
Here’s what I’m doing: keeping state quarters that come into my possession and my wife’s, and occasionally buying state quarters off of friends who work in the service and retail industries. Then I put them in the aforementioned jar. That’s it.
Here’s what I’m not doing:
· Buying state quarters just for the sake of buying them. I’m not ordering rolls from the mint. I’m not going into banks or stores to trade cash for brand-new rolls still in the shrink-wrap. That might be a perfectly valid way to collect coins, but it would take all the fun out of it for me. I only want quarters that come to me in the course of everyday circulation. What? It makes sense in my head.
· Worrying about the condition of any of the coins. And I’m not just talking about not putting the coins in little Mylar envelopes, either. Right now I have in my pocket a Virginia that in its short life appears to have been sandblasted, dipped in acid, and sucked through a jet engine. I don’t care. It’s going in the collection. I’m aware that to serious coin collectors, condition is everything. That’s why I’m not talking to them about this.
· Paying attention to the little letter under “In God We Trust” that tells me whether the coin was made in Philadelphia or Denver. If I thought about that, I’d have to collect twice as many rolls, and I’m just not up for that kind of commitment. Life’s too short, dude.
Here’s what I plan to do but haven’t yet:
· Actually count how many coins I have so far. I have a general idea, sure; I’ve got enough Connecticuts that I could use those the wood from those little trees to build a second home. Georgia has mooned me so many times that I’m beginning to wonder if the state prohibits pants. On the other hand, I only have a couple of Ohios (am I the only one who finds that faceless astronaut a little sinister?) and Louisianas. So maybe those will go on the ends of rolls that are stuffed with Eagles. Don’t tell anyone.
· Get a hold of some coin rolls. I know where to find them; I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Hey, it’s not like there’s any hurry. We’re only a third of the way done here. It is, however, slightly embarrassing that I don’t know how many coins fit into a roll. Maybe I should research that.
Obviously I’m not actually serious about getting rich off of this quarter-assed hobby of mine. But maybe someday my eccentric little collection will be something worth passing on to my grandchildren. Just think of all the laundry they’ll be able to do. posted by M. Giant 3:17 PM 1 comments
40 in a roll. Are you still doing this?