Since You Asked: Despite changes, supply of quarters will be steady

Washington quarters stopped being minted in 1998. State and territory quarters were minted in five-per-year batches from 1999 to 2009, and national parks quarters in a very limited mintage are being produced in five-per-year batches from 2010 to 2021.

Meanwhile, pre-1965 quarters with 90 percent silver are essentially out of circulation, 1965-1998 quarters are showing lots of wear, and state quarters are either showing wear or being selectively taken out of circulation by collectors.

What is the treasury's long-term plan for quarter production? Are quarters to be phased out, or will a new 2021 high-volume generic quarter be minted?

— Donald B., Medford

Well, Donald, this one certainly tested our money mettle, but we made a couple long-distance phone calls to Washington, D.C., and asked spokesman Michael White at the U.S. Mint.

There's no need to worry about a quarter-less future starting in 2021, he said.

"There's no plan in general to do away with the quarter," White said. "That would require congressional legislation."

As for what that quarter will look like, White directed us to the America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, the congressional act that authorized the current series of national parks quarters, and then he saved us from having to scour the dense piece of governmentese by directing us to item 7, section B, which reads: "Second round at discretion of secretary."

"There's a possibility that there could be a second round," White said.

The document says that the treasury secretary can make a determination before the end of a nine-year period that began when the first quarter in the series was issued. So we'll have to check back in April 2019 for a more definitive answer.

As for your concerns about supply, the act authorizes the treasury secretary to determine the number of quarters for each design "on the basis of such factors as the Secretary determines to be appropriate."

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

Share This Story