Why Everyone Is Searching for the Rare New West Point Quarter
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Why Everyone Is Searching for the Rare New 2019-W Quarter

Steven Cochran
By Steven Cochran
Published April 06, 2019

The U.S. Mint made history this week with the announcement of the first-ever circulating coins to bear the "W" mint mark of the West Point Mint. This is the first new mint mark to appear on circulating U.S. coinage since the Denver Mint opened in 1906.

W mintmark

2019 ATB with W Mint Mark

Timed to coincide with the 227th anniversary of the founding of the United States Mint, the April 2nd announcement revealed that 10 million special 2019-W America the Beautiful quarters will be struck at West Point for circulation this year, making it an instant rarity. This 10 million coin mintage will consist of two million each of the five 2019 America the Beautiful designs:

  • Lowell National Historical Park (Massachusetts);
  • American Memorial Park (Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas);
  • War in the Pacific National Historic Park (Guam);
  • San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Texas); and
  • Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness (Idaho).
2019 ATB reverse

2019 ATB Reverse Designs

These historic quarters will not be available for purchase directly from the U.S. Mint, and won't be released into circulation in bulk directly from West Point. Instead, the 2019-W America the Beautiful quarters will be sent to the U.S. Mints in Philadelphia and Denver, to be mixed in with the regular ATB quarter output. The bulk bags of random coins will then be distributed as normal to Federal Reserve banks and select other Fed and Treasury facilities. This gives regular people the chance to find one at random "in the wild," instead of a few dealers buying them all.

The first shipments of these mixed bags of America the Beautiful quarters, which bear the "Lowell National Historical Park" and "American Memorial Park" designs, should be entering circulation about now in select cities. (See 'Where Can I Find West Point Quarters?')

How Heavy Is A Bulk Bag of Quarters?

The U.S. Mint ships quarters to Federal Reserve Banks and sub-treasuries in bulk bags of 200,000 coins each. One bulk bag of quarters weighs 2,500 pounds -- one and a quarter tons!The quarters are packed tightly in reinforced rectangular bags, then strapped with steel cables into special steel pallets. The pegs on the bottom of the legs of these pallets fit into the square cone-shaped holes in the top of another pallet's legs. This allows the bulk bags to be securely stacked and unstacked by a forklift.

bulk coins

Bulk Coin Bag Steel Pallet

What Are The Odds Of Finding A West Point Quarter?

Roughly 1.85 billion America the Beautiful quarters were minted in 2018 (945 million at the Philadelphia Mint, and 908 million struck at the Denver Mint). If ATB quarter production remains the same this year, the odds that any one 2019 quarter you get in change will be a 2019-W West Point quarter are 185 to 1. This assumes that none of them will be pulled from circulation, which will obviously not be the case.

This also doesn't include all the billions of quarters from previous years that are in circulation. You best bet to find a West Point quarter is probably to get $10 rolls of new quarters from your bank and go through them. Good luck!

Where Can I Find West Point Quarters?

The only way to obtain a 2019-W America the Beautiful quarter is to find it in circulation. They will not be available through the US Mint's normal "rolls and bags" quarter program.

The first shipments of 2019 America the Beautiful quarters that included 2019-W West Point quarters were released into circulation this week in the following cities, and should already be appearing in circulation.

(Bold denotes a Federal Reserve Bank, asterisks (*) mark Federal Reserve branch banks):

APRIL 1ST 2019-W WEST POINT QUARTER DESTINATIONS

  • COLORADO
    • Denver*
  • FLORIDA
    • Jacksonville*
    • Miami*
    • Orlando
    • Pensacola
  • GEORGIA
    • Atlanta
  • ILLINOIS
    • Chicago
  • INDIANA
    • Indianapolis
  • KENTUCKY
    • Louisville*
  • LOUISIANA
    • Shreveport
  • MASSACHUSETTS
    • Boston
  • MARYLAND
    • Baltimore*
    • Beltsville
  • MICHIGAN
    • Detroit*
  • MINNESOTA
    • Minneapolis
  • MISSISSIPPI
    • Jackson
  • MISSOURI
    • Kansas City
    • St. Louis
  • MONTANA
    • Helena*
  • NEW MEXICO
    • Albuquerque
  • NEW YORK
    • New York City
  • NORTH CAROLINA
    • Charlotte*
  • OHIO
    • Cincinnati*
    • Tallmadge
  • PENNSYLVANIA
    • Pittsburgh*
  • TENNESSEE
    • Memphis*
    • Nashville*
  • TEXAS
    • Dallas
    • Houston*
    • San Antonio*
  • UTAH
    • Salt Lake City*
  • VIRGINIA
    • Richmond
  • WASHINGTON
    • Seattle*

The following cities will receive West Point quarter deliveries later in April. Note that some cities will receive multiple shipments this month, while other cities will obtain supplies of West Point America the Beautiful quarters from their usual Federal Reserve regional distribution channels.

WEST POINT QUARTERS APRIL DELIVERIES - OTHER CITIES

  • ALABAMA
    • Birmingham*
  • ARIZONA
    • Phoenix
  • CALIFORNIA
    • Los Angeles*
    • Oakland
    • Ontario
  • COLORADO
    • Denver*
  • FLORIDA
    • Jacksonville*
    • Miami*
    • Orlando
    • Pensacola
  • GEORGIA
    • Atlanta
  • ILLINOIS
    • Chicago
  • INDIANA
    • Indianapolis
  • IOWA
    • Davenport
    • Des Moines
  • KENTUCKY
    • Louisville*
  • LOUISIANA
    • New Orleans*
    • Shreveport
  • MASSACHUSETTS
    • Boston
  • MARYLAND Baltimore
    • Beltsville
    • Nottingham
  • MICHIGAN
    • Detroit*
  • MINNESOTA
    • Minneapolis
  • MISSISSIPPI
    • Jackson
  • MISSOURI
    • Kansas City
    • St. Louis
  • NEBRASKA
    • Omaha*
  • NEVADA
    • Las Vegas
  • NEW MEXICO
    • Albuquerque
  • NEW YORK
    • New York City
  • NORTH CAROLINA
    • Charlotte*
    • Morrisville
  • OHIO
    • Cincinnati*
    • Tallmadge
  • PENNSYLVANIA
    • Pittsburgh*
  • TENNESSEE
    • Memphis*
    • Nashville*
  • TEXAS
    • Houston*
    • San Antonio*
  • VIRGINIA
    • Richmond
  • WISCONSIN
    • Milwaukee

The "Great American Coin Hunt"

The national coin hunt that this month's release of the 2019 West Point "America the Beautiful" has sparked is only one of the reasons to check your change through the year!

To celebrate National Coin Week, running from April 21st through April 26th, thousands of coin stores and coin collectors will deliberately spend over a million rare coins to get them into circulation.

Billed as "the biggest coin drop in U.S. history," the idea behind the "Great American Coin Hunt" is to get ordinary people interested in coin collecting by encouraging them to go through their change to see if something rare has found its way into their pocket.

So, don't just look through your shiny new quarters this month -- you might just find a real Buffalo Nickel or Wheat Cent! Even "regular" coins might have a decal from a local coin store, entitling you to a rare or vintage coin worth up to $100 when you visit. Keep an eye on your folding money as well: Your $1, $5, or $10 bill might actually be a vintage Silver Certificate, or old Blue Seal and Red Seal bill.

These rare coins and paper money will be floating around at the same time that the new historic 2019-W America the Beautiful quarter starts appearing. So, don't ignore the old rarities that may be in your pocket while looking for the newest one!


The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.

Posted In: blog
Steven Cochran

Steven Cochran

Precious Metals Market Analyst | BS University of South Florida (2002)

A published writer, Steven's coverage of precious metals goes beyond the daily news to explain how ancillary factors affect the market.

Steven specializes in market analysis with an emphasis on stocks, corporate bonds, and government debt.