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The last of the statehood quarters were released
in late 2008. Now that the 10 year program is concluded, it is
interesting to take a look at success predictions made before the first
quarters were issued in January 1999, and compare those predictions
with the actual results.
The results of the study encouraged the
statehood quarters program to
move forward. What is less known is the fascinating data gathered by
the study, and the predictions made by C&L on the basis of this
data. This section focuses on the expectations we had for the program,
long before the striking of the first statehood quarter.
|Would the Public Accept and Use Statehood Quarters?|
C&L and their sub-contractor, Opinion
Research Corporation, conducted a telephone survey from March 17-30,
1997. A total of 2032 persons age 18 and older participated in the
survey. The large sample size was selected to provide a 98 percent
confidence interval (many polls sample in the 1000 size range, yielding
only a 95 percent confidence interval) and to provide statistically
valid subsets of important demographic groups.
Data for the sample group was tabulated, and
provided the basis for
assessing likely public acceptance of statehood quarters across the
entire population. The survey also shed light on anticipated collection
rates and demand for the statehood quarters.
To dig deeper for opinions, focus group sessions
were held in six
geographically diverse cities from April 7-16, 1997. Each two-hour
session consisted of 9-12 residents of the city. Two sessions per city
The Canadian cities were included to learn about
actual impression of
125 Circulating Quarter Project.
"I think it's great. I imagine little
kids trading. You know, I'll give you a Rhode Island for a Texas or
something. I think the educational value is great."
"I was going to ask you why the
Government wants to do it. Just to encourage collection of these?
Because why should the Government go to the added expense of minting
and designing these quarters? I just want to keep Government costs
down. Quarters are quarters."
|What Would be the Statehood Quarters Demand?|
Respondents to the telephone interviews were
also asked about their interest level in setting aside statehood
quarters. About 54 percent indicated there was at least a good
possibility in saving the coins. Another 20 percent expressed a fair
level of interest in collecting the coins. Only 25 percent said there
would be little or no chance that they would save the coins. One
percent didn't know what to think.
Of the 74 percent of the respondents who showed
at least some interest
in collecting the quarters, about two-thirds of them envisioned
themselves collecting full sets of state quarters instead of individual
coins. Of this sub-group, the average anticipated collection rate was
7.8 sets per person (50 coins in a set). This anticipated collection
rate is consistent to the known collection rate for the 1975-1976
Bicentennial quarters. The telephone survey discovered that
approximately 34 percent of the American adult public is still keeping
an average of 27.5 of the Bicentennial quarters.
|What was the Predicted Financial Return to Government?|
The Treasury earns a profit for most coin types
minted and placed into circulation, the most notable exception being
the one cent penny. This is because a coin has a manufacturing cost
less than its face value, but it is "sold" at full face value to the
Federal Reserve Bank for eventual release into circulation. The
governmental income derived from the difference between the cost of
producing a coin and its face value is called "seigniorage."
By late 2008, all 50 of the State Quarter
designs had been released.
The cumulative mintage of State Quarters entering circulation over the
10 year program was about 35 billion coins.
|Could Potential Production Needs be Met by the Mint?|
One section of the C&L study sought to
determine if the Mint could meet production demand for statehood
quarters in addition to regular economic requirements for twenty-five
The approach to assessing whether sufficient
existed to support projected overall demand included the following
The conclusion drawn was that the Mint would be
capable of producing
enough quarters to meet the most realistic demand scenarios. Planned
capital equipment purchases totaling $32 million was deemed sufficient
to expand manufacturing capacity.
|Overall Tone of Report Presented to Secretary|
On May 30, 1997, Coopers & Lybrand sent
their statehood quarter feasibility report to Treasury Secretary Robert
Rubin. As required by the United States Commemorative Coin Act of 1996,
the study accomplished all the following:
To make space on the reverse side to accommodate
the state design, the
words "United States of America", "Quarter Dollar," "Liberty," and "In
God We Trust" would have to be moved to the obverse side.