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Quarters Opportunity?
By Al Doyle

Collectors are always looking for low-priced coins that could appreciate over time. Such an opportunity may be available throughout 2009.

This year's six District of Columbia and U.S. Territories quarter dollars could be minted in lower than average quantities due to the slumping U.S. economy, which has led to a glut in older circulating coinage.

Other factors may also cause these 25-cent pieces to be saved in smaller numbers than the State quarter dollars of 1999 to 2008.

Coins honoring distant places such as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands won't create much of a buzz in hobby circles. Some banks that made an effort to keep brand-new rolls in stock for customers during the State quarter dollars era are curtailing that practice.

District of Columbia and Puerto Rico quarter dollars are turning up infrequently in pocket change, a trend that is far different than what took place in previous years.

A fair number of collectors have had their fill of collecting the denomination after a decade of chasing new issues in the State quarter dollars program. It's easy to see why what once was the hottest thing going has become yesterday's news.

Even if 2009 quarter dollars are winners in the future, this won't be a get rich quick proposition. It will take smaller mintages combined with a decline in the number of Brilliant Uncirculated rolls and a reduction in Uncirculated Mint set sales to set the stage for profits.

If there is a precedent, it would be the 1982 circulation strike quarter dollars. Although 1982 quarters were produced in decent numbers, no Uncirculated Mint sets were offered that year. The lack of Mint sets (an important source of high-grade recent coins) and a scarcity of BU rolls combine to provide the basis for 1982-P and -D Washington quarter dollars in Mint State 64 listing for $15 and $10 respectively in the Coin Values price guide.

On the other end of the price spectrum, 2009 Saint-Gaudens, Ultra High Relief gold $20 double eagle prices on the secondary market have retreated a bit during April. Coins that sold for $1,600 to $1,650 in March are cheaper, with lower gold bullion prices contributing to the drop. One modern U.S. coin specialist was offering raw and certified MS-69 examples for $1,499 to $1,539 in late April.

 



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