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State Quarter Collecting with My Kids

Updated on August 26, 2021
Delaware State Quarter
Delaware State Quarter

Do the Quarters Really Matter?

Let me start off this hub by saying that I for one, have never been a fan of any type of collections, whether they be coins or stamps (maybe baseball cards, but that's a story for another time). That being said, the State Quarters Series produced by the US Mint between 1999 and 2009 turned out to be a big exception to my general beliefs about collecting. When the series first started, my three oldest kids were of the ages 7, 6, and 5.

Even before the State Quarters series started, I used to spend a lot of time just prior to bed, going over the different states with my 3 oldest kids, first teaching them about all the neighboring state in the New York metropolitan area, then later expanding the discussions to states where they knew certain things existed (i.e. Disney World - Florida, Cheese - Wisconsin, Pacific Ocean - California, ...) We used to have fun several nights a week talking about different states and also associating each state with their capitals.

Once the State Quarters Series was introduced, that took our little nightly sessions to an entirely new level. On top of all the things we used to do, we now added the concept of money and savings to the discussions. The kids knew when each new state quarter was being introduced and it was a big contest to see who would come up with the first one. We collected circulated quarters only. I personally got into the habit of saving each and every state quarter that I got as change. Each night, when I emptied any spare change out of my pockets, any state quarters always went into a special State Quarters cup I kept in my top drawer. As that cup got more and more full, we would set up a session where we would sort through them all, count them, and try to create separate rolls for each state.

State Quarter Collecting Good Up Until the Teen Years

This state quarter collecting exercise went well up and through their early teen years. It was at that point where they lost interest. Cell phones, texting, and myspace (now facebook) took over their interests. Regardless of them losing interest, we did buy each of them a state quarters book, for them to fill in each time they got a new state quarter. They did good for the first few years but as their interested waned, the books sat idle.

Lo and behold, my fourth child, a son, was no approaching a similar age and got very interested in the entire State Quarter Series. The good news about this was that he already had a good start on his collection as all the quarters saved and collected by his older siblings was ripe for the pickings, after all, they no longer had any interest in them.

To go along with their small collections (remember, they only produced 5 quarters a year so after about 4 or 5 years, only 20 out of the 50 state quarters were even minted. Now, 8 years into the program, 40 of the 50 state quarters had been minted. To top things off, to this very day, I still continue to save every state quarter I come across. I refused to spend a state quarter. So after all these years, you can imagine how many cups of state quarters I had accumulated in my drawers.

As my youngest got interested, we'd set aside hours and go through sorting through the many many cups of State Quarters I had accumulated. We'd put them in piles by state, and used little plastic lunch baggies to store the quarters according to state, placing a label in each see-thru bag with the name of that particular state.

We did this for another few years until the entire 50 state collection had been minted. At this point, we decided to slurge and we purchased 50 plastic containers made specifically to store $10 each worth of quarters. We again labeled each of these 50 plastic tubes, with lids, one for each state, and started retiring the old plastic bag process. Of course, for certain states, we had way more quarters than a single tube would hold so the plastic bags still exist for a lot of the overflow states.

At the same time, we bought several more State Quarter Books, as well as two ro three different State Quarter maps, and were able to make about 7 or 8 complete sets (all circulated). Even after filling those books or albums with complete collections, we still had many many extra state quarters.

At one point, we started an Excel spreadsheet to track the number of quarters we had by state. I also had come across a list that said how much each state quarter was worth, according to the collectors. With this spreadsheet, we calculated the total in face value as well as the value in terms of what the collectors were saying.

So What is Our Collection Worth?

So several years ago, the last time we did a giant inventory and calculation, updating our spreadsheet, we had over 1500 state quarters with a face value of about $375. Applying the values I had at the time in terms of what they were thought to be worth, by state, that $375 was worth approximately $550 if you believe the value chart per state that I came across.

Since the last time my youngest son and I did a sorting and recording exercise, I have since accumulated another $50+ worth of state quarters in a cup in my top drawer. Yes, we're long over due for a sorting and counting exercise.

The actual value of the collection is absolutely priceless, regardless of the actual dollar amount that we come up with. Even if we reach $1,000 in total value that I will give to my son, it is not possible to place a price tag on the countless number of hours I got to spend with my kids throughout the many years of collecting State Quarters. And that doesn't even take into consideration the educational purposes we made each session into. Just the fact that I was on the floor with either one, two, three, or four of my kids, with state quarters spread out everywhere, is worth more to me than any dollar amount some collector would be willing to pay us for the entire collection.

Now, What to Do with all these State Quarters?

Going back to my original statements, I never believed in coin collections or stamp collections. Case in point, now that we've accumulated a rather large collection of State Quarters, what do we do with them?

Well, we could simply roll all of them, take them to the bank, and make a nice deposit into my sons savings account. Well, that's not too much fun!!

We could cash them in and let my son buy something that he's been saving up for. I'm sure he would like that!!

Or, as most collectors would say, we should hold onto the collection and in many years from now, it will be worth a whole lot more. So what does that mean? How long should we hold them? What would probably happen is what happens traditionally with all collections. I take the collection and give it to my son. He holds onto it for many years, and gives it to his kids. They in turn treasure the collection and later on in their lives, give it to their kids!! So the bottom line, no true monetary value is ever realized!!!

Conclusion: You were Fooled!!

So all along, you thought this was a Hub to talk about State Quarter Collecting. Well, in reality, it was a hub about a father making plenty of valuable bonding time with his four kids. Those bonding times took place over many many years, but if someone told me that they would sell me something that would give me hours and years worth of quality time with my kids, I first wouldn't believe them. And secondly, Id probably be willing to pay top dollar for something that valuable.

So whether or not its state quarters, baseball cards, dolls, trains, Matchbox Cars, or whatever it may be, the intrinisc value of the unimportant object of the collection is irrelevant. It's the quality time you get to spend with your child that puts a price tag on this experience way more than any collector could ever afford to pay you for all of it!!

My advice to you, go find yourself your state quarter collection (or FILL IN COLLECTOR OBJECT HERE) and get started making memories for you and your kids!! For another bonding vehicle, see how I used Fantasy Football as another tool for father/son bonding by reading this hub.


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