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State commemorative coins are a boon to flagging economy

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on January 23, 2003:

Senator Dyson Five years ago I was proud to serve on the Maryland Coin Commission whose task it was to recommend five designs to the governor for him to choose which landmark would represent our state on the U.S. Mintís commemorative quarter.

I accepted the assignment because I had a sneaking suspicion that this was a great idea. I was right. As a U.S. Mint representative called the program recently, ďitís been wildly successful. Thatís really all I can say.Ē

In a time of economic recession, the state quarter program has actually been a major revenue producer. The Mint is projecting a $6-8 billion profit during the 10-year program.

There are many reasons for this. You may be one of them. I know I am. Hundreds of thousands of coin collectors are sweeping up the coins as they come out and keeping them. They canít wait for the next state coin to come off the assembly line. Indiana is next. Some are collecting all fifty states. Others just collect as many of their home state as possible.

As one of the first stateís to join the union -- Delaware was the first -- Marylandís coin featuring the State House, the oldest active state legislative body in the country, our stateís coin has proven to be one of the most popular because of its beautiful, simple design.

My family and I own a small business. I like to watch as customers examine their change. When they spot a state quarter, they always turn it over to look closely at the design. Many times Iíve seen them put the commemorative quarter in one pocket and the rest of their change in the other.

Collecting these coins is helping the national economy because collectors are taking the money out of circulation. They arenít spending it, which makes the Mint produce more coins. It only costs 5 cents to produce the 25 cent coins so for each coin that is taken out of production, the U.S. Mint turns a 20 cent product.

This simple program adopted overwhelming by Congress turned out to be a great revenue producer. Looking back, Iím certainly glad I was part of the Maryland Coin Commission that ensured that our state had a significant role in the federal process and produced a great commemorative coin.

For more history about this program, access: www.us.mint.gov, and click on to the ďcoin production link.

Notes: As we all know, the Maryland commemorative coin features the State House in Annapolis. It is actually the second state capitol house of Maryland. The first was established in St. Maryís City, the Mother County in the mid-1600s. It has been restored and is a major tourist attraction in Historic St. Maryís City. In addition to being the oldest active state capitol in the United States, the Annapolis capital has enormous history. It served as our nationís capitol in for a time and it was here that General George Washington resigned his commission to become our nationís first president. Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other signers of the Declaration of Independence served in this historic place.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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