Today I was able to see a West Point Mint struck Lowell National Historical Park quarter. The problem was that it was not my coin.
One of my regular customers came into the shop to ask about the quarter. He had heard that there was a bounty issued to find the first quarter and wanted to know if I could help claim the prize.
I was surprised when he dropped five 2019-W quarters in my hands. After I explained that the first-find bounty was claimed, I asked how he found five coins. The answer was obvious: roll hunting.
My customer works in the Baltimore area and stopped in a few banks to buy a few rolls. He said that he could buy two rolls at each bank without the tellers complaining that he is not a customer. When he searched through the rolls, he found the five coins.
I do not know why I was surprised by the coin roll response. It would make sense that if the U.S. Mint were sending the bags directly to the Federal Reserve for circulation, the rolls would be at the banks rather than in circulation. Large retailers usually get their change from logistics companies who specialize in transporting large sums of money. Small retailers may have a small batch of coins that are just stored and not circulated. Both situations are not conducive to forcing coins into circulation.
Then I read that one of the PCGS $5,000 First Discover winners found the coin at the end of a roll.
When I closed the shop earlier today, I opened the five rolls of quarters I purchased from my bank on Thursday. To put it in baseball terms, I am oh-for-200 with a batting average of .000! That is definitely below the Mendoza Line!