Representatives from the U.S. Mint spoke with Oklahoma coin collectors in an open forum on the eve of the Oklahoma state quarter launch.
The collectors gathered Sunday afternoon at the Oklahoma History Center to discuss the new quarter and ask questions relating to the minting of American coinage with Daniel P. Shaver, acting deputy director of the mint.
What did hobbyists learn?
Shaver said that there will be between 500 and 550 million Oklahoma quarters made and that the popularity of the state quarters series has made thousands of new coin collectors.
Shaver fielded questions and dispelled rumors about the proposed Ronald Reagan dime and the reasons behind the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin issued in 1979.
"There actually was a need for more dollar coins in circulation at that time. Mass transportation companies were using them as tokens,” Shaver said.
As far as the Reagan dime, don't expect to see it on the mint's schedule any time soon.
Shaver also took the time to explain technical details about the finishing on coins that audience members brought to the forum, and about the cost and consistency of the penny. "Pennies are 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper,” Shaver said. "It costs about 1.6 cents to produce each one.”
Hobbyist club members, retailers and at least one local politician were in attendance, as well as active collectors like Anu Pugalia of Oklahoma City.
"I've been waiting since 1999 for this day, watching the mint's Web site and also tracking ceremonies and launches through the media.