Nearly 10 years ago, at the beginning of 1999, the 50 State Quarters Program began. I bought a coin folder to collect the quarters of all 50 states. I was in my last year of law school and living in Virginia. Over the last 10 years I’ve moved eight times and I’ve taken that folder with me from place to place.
Last night my cheap umbrella broke, so on the way home I stopped by Duane Reade for a new one. It cost me a few dollars and 49 cents. As change I got two quarters and a penny.
And they were both Hawaii quarters, thereby completing my collection.
My coin folder has spaces for both Philadelphia and Denver mint quarters, but my quarters are all Philadelphia mint. I don’t care about the different mints — I just wanted all 50 quarters.
Of course, it turns out my collection is not complete, because last year Congress extended the program to cover Washington, D.C. and the five U.S. territories: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Fortunately my coin folder has a bunch of empty spaces — I guess this was just in case we added more states after 1999?