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Isle banks ready for quarter rush
By Craig Gima

U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy will host a public coin forum tomorrow at the Old Archives Building on the Iolani Palace Grounds.
The free forum starts at 2:30 p.m. and runs to 4 p.m. Moy will talk about U.S. Mint coin programs and take suggestions from the public about future coins.

FREE QUARTERS FOR CHILDREN
The U.S. Mint will give out free Hawaii quarters to children under 18 at the official launch of the Hawaii commemorative quarter Monday at Bishop Square in downtown Honolulu.
Adults will also be able to exchange bills for $10 rolls of quarters following the official program. The event starts at noon with U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy and Gov. Linda Lingle along with a keiki hula performance and Hawaiian music.

Many banks will initially be limiting the number of rolls customers can exchange to one or two, so branches don't run out.

Banks are scheduled to begin selling the quarters at 2 p.m. But the first chance to get quarters here will be at 12:30 p.m. in Bishop Square downtown, following the official launch ceremony.

Tellers will be exchanging bills for $10 rolls of quarters at Bishop Square until supplies run out. There will be a limit at the ceremony of five rolls per person.

A few quarters are already in circulation after the Federal Reserve began distributing them to banks Nov. 3. Some are even being sold on eBay.

The U.S. Mint estimates it will take a couple of weeks before the coins become widely available.

Banks are anticipating heavy demand here for the quarters.

Ed Kajiyama, a senior vice president at First Hawaiian Bank, said branch managers have been advised to open special lines for quarter exchanges, if necessary, and to limit the distribution of quarters to one roll per customer to make sure the branches don't run out.

"If you run out, you're going to have a very unhappy customer," Kajiyama said.

"It's exciting," said Blenn Fujimoto, the Central Pacific Bank vice chairman for the Hawaii market. "I think people have been anticipating it for a while."

Fujimoto said the bank quadrupled its order of quarters from the Federal Reserve.

Ed Moy, the director of the U.S. Mint, who is in Honolulu for Monday's ceremony, said the mint will produce 520 million Hawaii quarters, an "above-average" order for a state coin.

The Hawaii quarter is the last in the 50 State Quarters program, the most successful coin program in U.S. Mint history.

About half the coins will end up in the hands of an estimated 147 million collectors of the 50-state series, Moy said. That's about half the U.S. population collecting the coins, he said.

The quarters cost about 7 to 10 cents to produce depending on metal prices, said U.S. Mint spokeswoman Becky Bailey, and are sold to banks at face value. Bailey said the state quarters program has brought in an extra $2.7 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

"It's a good deal for taxpayers," she said.

Next year the U.S. Mint will issue quarters featuring the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Northern Marianas.

Moy said the other benefit of the program is that it has taught children about money, geography and history.

About 3 million lesson plans to teach children about states and the coins have been downloaded from the U.S. Mint Web site, he said.

The Hawaii coin features King Kamehameha with an outstretched arm over the eight main Hawaiian islands and the state motto.

"When Americans get it, they are going to learn a lot about your history," Moy said. "It's going to be a great ambassador for your state."


Major banks in the islands have ordered extra Hawaii state quarters in preparation for Monday afternoon's official launch.

MEET THE MINT DIRECTOR
U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy will host a public coin forum tomorrow at the Old Archives Building on the Iolani Palace Grounds.

The free forum starts at 2:30 p.m. and runs to 4 p.m. Moy will talk about U.S. Mint coin programs and take suggestions from the public about future coins.


FREE QUARTERS FOR CHILDREN
The U.S. Mint will give out free Hawaii quarters to children under 18 at the official launch of the Hawaii commemorative quarter Monday at Bishop Square in downtown Honolulu.

Adults will also be able to exchange bills for $10 rolls of quarters following the official program. The event starts at noon with U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy and Gov. Linda Lingle along with a keiki hula performance and Hawaiian music.


Many banks will initially be limiting the number of rolls customers can exchange to one or two, so branches don't run out.

Banks are scheduled to begin selling the quarters at 2 p.m. But the first chance to get quarters here will be at 12:30 p.m. in Bishop Square downtown, following the official launch ceremony.

Tellers will be exchanging bills for $10 rolls of quarters at Bishop Square until supplies run out. There will be a limit at the ceremony of five rolls per person.

A few quarters are already in circulation after the Federal Reserve began distributing them to banks Nov. 3. Some are even being sold on eBay.

The U.S. Mint estimates it will take a couple of weeks before the coins become widely available.

Banks are anticipating heavy demand here for the quarters.

Ed Kajiyama, a senior vice president at First Hawaiian Bank, said branch managers have been advised to open special lines for quarter exchanges, if necessary, and to limit the distribution of quarters to one roll per customer to make sure the branches don't run out.

"If you run out, you're going to have a very unhappy customer," Kajiyama said.

"It's exciting," said Blenn Fujimoto, the Central Pacific Bank vice chairman for the Hawaii market. "I think people have been anticipating it for a while."

Fujimoto said the bank quadrupled its order of quarters from the Federal Reserve.

Ed Moy, the director of the U.S. Mint, who is in Honolulu for Monday's ceremony, said the mint will produce 520 million Hawaii quarters, an "above-average" order for a state coin.

The Hawaii quarter is the last in the 50 State Quarters program, the most successful coin program in U.S. Mint history.

About half the coins will end up in the hands of an estimated 147 million collectors of the 50-state series, Moy said. That's about half the U.S. population collecting the coins, he said.

The quarters cost about 7 to 10 cents to produce depending on metal prices, said U.S. Mint spokeswoman Becky Bailey, and are sold to banks at face value. Bailey said the state quarters program has brought in an extra $2.7 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

"It's a good deal for taxpayers," she said.

Next year the U.S. Mint will issue quarters featuring the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories of Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Northern Marianas.

Moy said the other benefit of the program is that it has taught children about money, geography and history.

About 3 million lesson plans to teach children about states and the coins have been downloaded from the U.S. Mint Web site, he said.

The Hawaii coin features King Kamehameha with an outstretched arm over the eight main Hawaiian islands and the state motto.

"When Americans get it, they are going to learn a lot about your history," Moy said. "It's going to be a great ambassador for your state."
 



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