If you are a change hunter, you know the thrill that you can find in your pocket as you travel. Spend a few dollars here and there, drop the change in your pocket, then spend time later looking hoping that you find something interesting.
Earlier today, it was time to leave Atlanta. After the stress of dropping off a rental car, getting through the TSA checkpoint complete with physical and verbal molestation, I needed a cold drink. Braving airport prices, I bought a bottle of water and waited for my plane.
A few moments ago, I emptied my pockets and found the coins I have been hunting for since the beginning of the year: two nice 2021 quarters, the Tuskeegee Airmen National Historic Site and the Washington Crossing the Delaware quarters.
The first noticeable thing is that the obverse of the Washington Crossing the Delaware quarter looks closest to the last regular issue quarter in 1998. Washington’s bust is more prominent, and there are smaller fields. The compromise in the design is to fit “LIBERTY” in the field left of the bust.
If the U.S. Mint designers can use a smaller font for “LIBERTY,” they can produce an obverse similar to this 2021 revival. Remember, congress has passed legislation for circulating commemorative quarters for the next ten years.
The images produced by the U.S. Mint show promise for the reverse designs. However, when you look at the coin in hand, the design has a smooth feel. The design lacks the depth needed to bring out the design. It can be a good design, but the U.S. Mint’s tradeoff to lower relief coins to extend the die’s life ruins the intended effect.
Although the Tuskeegee Airmen National Historic Site quarter was struck in a similar relief, it appears that the dies were engraved to give the design a better image of depth and texture. The design and engraving of this coin gives the America the Beautiful Quarter program a well-designed closed.