The “Great American Coin Hunt,” which was held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association’s National Coin Week this April, saw hundreds of dealers and collectors drop more than a million collectible coins and banknotes back into circulation in the U.S.
From April 21-27, a variety of U.S. currency – from old buffalo nickels and silver mercury dimes to Ike dollars and silver certificates – was spent at businesses across the country to “spark interest in numismatics to a brand new demographic,” according to organizers.
“In many cases, this is going to be the first time in over 100 years that some of these coins will be brought back to their glory and used for their originally intended purposes. I hope that we can inspire children into studying the art, science, history, and economics that make coin collecting so much fun,” said organizer and dealer Rob Oberth, who also founded the organization Coin Dealers Helping Coin Dealers in 2017.
It’s the first time there has been “a concerted effort on a national level,” Oberth added.
“It is being called the biggest coin drop in American history.”
Organizers also released 250 specially marked holographic medallions, which – when found – can be redeemed for numismatic rarities at participating coin shops across the U.S. Additionally, five “golden tickets” were distributed and can be redeemed for rare coins valued up to $1,000 USD each by contacting greatamericancoinhunt.com.
As part of the initiative, the U.S. Mint also released two million of each of the 2019 “W” America The Beautiful quarters into circulation for the first time in its 227-year history.
“We want to encourage Americans to consider coin collecting by making the ‘W’ mintmark quarters only available in general circulation,” said U.S. Mint Director David Ryder.