State Quarters have made some interesting value moves during the past quarter. (I review and update all of my coin value guides quarterly, if not more frequently.) Although the Georgia and Connecticut quarters have always been worth more than most other states, Tennessee and Illinois have seen good increases since the beginning of the year.
Rolls of Georgia State Quarters from the Philadelphia Mint (P Mint mark) are worth $52.00 right now, with the Denver minted Georgia quarters being worth $48.00 per roll. Connecticut rolls from either mint are worth $25.00 each. In order to be worth these prices, though, the coins must be in Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) condition, fresh from the Mint and never touched at all on their surfaces.
BU Tennessee rolls are $39.50 and $38.25 for the P and D Mint marks respectively, and BU Illinois State Quarter rolls are currently worth $31.00 and $30.50 for P and D. In order to find buyers at these prices, you should pick up a copy of Coin World or Numismatic News and check the classified advertising sections in the back of the magazines for dealer buying ads. Prices may vary slightly; my value guide is an average across several dealers I inquire with.
So why are some State Quarters worth so much more than others? There can be lots of reasons, including lower-than-average mintage totals, lack of people saving them at the time of issue, and dealer promotions. For instance, the Illinois State Quarter wasn't worth much more than most other quarters from the same year until Barack Obama was elected president. All of a sudden, coin dealers, especially the TV shopping show guys, wanted hundreds of thousands of Illinois Quarters to use for making Obama coins or to include in special Obama sets.
The bicentennial of Lincoln's birth was also a factor in the Illinois Quarter price rise, but I don't think we'll see the top of this demand until late this year or early next year, after all of the 2009 Lincoln pennies have been issued. Then, I think some big-time dealers might do Lincoln affinity sets, perhaps including the quarters from Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, and Washington, DC along with the pennies associated with those states. Because coin dealers, even the big-money TV shopping show types, must keep cash constantly flowing, they won't buy these too far in advance. Look for a possible price spike for these four State Quarters later this year. Although I do watch the market, nobody can predict the future, so please don't take my observations as investment advice. All I'm saying is that if you have these rolls and might want to sell them, waiting a few months might bring a better price.
Speaking of State Quarter rolls, I have been seeing a lot more nearly Uncirculated early-date State Quarters in my pocket change lately. I think the poor economy is forcing people to spend the rolls they have been putting away. Be observant! If you get shiny new Georgia Quarters in your change, ask the cashier if she has any more, or perhaps even some rolls someone might have brought in. Peek in the cash drawer when it's open and look for self-wrapped or U.S. Mint type coin wrappers on rolls and offer to buy them. I bought two U.S. Mint-wrapped rolls of Minnesota Quarters a couple of weeks ago this way (yep, one P roll and one D). Someone paid a premium for them from the Mint, but evidently spent them at face value for groceries.
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