A U.S. 2019-W 25-cent coin, 10 million of which were recently released into circulation as part of the “Great American Coin Hunt,” was found by actor Shawn Pyfrom, who’s known for his recurring role on the Desperate Housewives TV series.
The U.S. Mint recently released 10 million quarters with the “W” mintmark of the West Point Mint into circulation at random. The coins are the first U.S. quarters to feature a “W” mintmark and are relatively rare—less than one per cent of all 2019-dated U.S. quarters will have the “W” mintmark.
Five different 2019-W quarter designs will be released this year as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters series. Each design will have a mintage of two million pieces with the “W” mintmark.
The release of the first 2019-W quarter design, which commemorates Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts, coincided with the 96th annual National Coin Week, held the third week of April.
This year, a group of coin dealers created the Great American Coin Hunt promotion to draw further attention to National Coin Week and numismatics in general.
Pyfrom, 32, learned about the valuable 2019-W quarters only a day before he found one in his change from a coffee shop in Burbank, Calif.
“I heard they were not in circulation yet, so I was thrilled to find one,” he said, adding he brought the coin to a local dealer, who then sent it to Numismatic Guaranty Corp. (NGC) for certification.
NGC has since confirmed the coin was the first 2019-W quarter it received. The coin was graded Mint State-67 and encapsulated with a label noting its significance: “First Certified” and “Great American Coin Hunt.”
“This is a really exciting time in numismatics,” said NGC President and Grading Finalizer Rick Montgomery. “Mr. Pyfrom’s find shows that the U.S. Mint is getting more people to look at their change, and that can only be a positive for numismatics.”
In addition to the Lowell quarters, the U.S. Mint will strike quarters in 2019 to commemorate American Memorial Park (Northern Mariana Islands), War in the Pacific National Historical Park (Guam), San Antonio Missions National Historic Park (Texas) and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (Idaho).