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An interesting perspective as to why MS 32-D Quarters are rare than 32-Ss

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Washington Quarters have always been my Numismatic passion. I always wondered why the 32-D's are "rarer" in MS than The Frisco pieces even though fewer S's were minted.


First we must realize that this Nation was in the throes of The Great Depression. When I was a young boy back in the 60's, I could buy a Coke, a bag of chips and 2 candy bars with that quarter. With that in mind, if you can even fathom what The Depression was like, a quarter was A LOT OF MONEY! My Dad used to tell me what it was like-the Depression- with tears in his eyes. I felt his pain!



Meant to be a Commemorative in honor of President Washington's Birthday-the U.S. Mint/ the government made a conscious decision to give a few to any and all that were willing to stand in line for them! Jobless and hungry-stand they did! Philadelphia finished their quota early in 1932 as compared to Frisco which finished during the Summer months. By then, the newness-the novelty of this new piece began to wear off and some,"in the know" decided to put some away, especially when they learned of the very low mintages,


By the time the Denver Mint finished some time in August, if memory serves me right, indeed the novelty was now long gone. Starving Americans were concerned with existing day to day and the last thing on their collective minds(no pun intended) was what this coin MIGHT be worth "someday"! They were concerned about today-and as times were harder than any of us could ever imagine, folks used these free coins to survive.


That IS about IT. But I'd like to switch gears and offer food for thought!Personally, I believe these coins-even the very old worn out ones, should be revered for the part of American History they represent. When I see one that is extremely worn out, I can almost see all the hands that toched them that wore them out so badly...evidence of the coin's day to day value in 1932.


I truly find it a disgrace- a"head scratcher" as to how a miserable AG-3 1916-D Mercury Dime -even in this miserable state-commands significant premiums while on the other hand a perfectly,"pleasing to the eye" 32-D or S quarter will not grade because it has "cabinet or drawer marks" on it-often mistaken for cleaning. Surely , I am not alone! A 32-D with Gem like properties/ perfectly pleasing to the eye yet has "hairlines" will not grade but a worn down to nothing ,thin dime gets a grade and is worth hundreds of dollars! HMMMM!?


You know, someimes we put too much emphasis on technical grading. I have amomg several "Plastic Queens" 1932-Ds and S's, some of the most beautifully struck)Needle-sharp" pieces that won't grade out. Unless you scrutinize some of the you'd never see these miniscule "problems".Well- not every coin must be in plastic. I either carry them in my front pocke-the obverse up against my leg and -presto, the little lines go away or just pu them in a Whitman os a flip!Nothing else goes in the pocket with the coin, by the way, so as not to damage it. Ihave a 32-S that is even more beautiful than my pedigreed ones-but it won't grade....not yet anyway!


Reality hasn't quite struck home yet but soon, very soon-when all the MS pieces are in the hands of private collectors, the old worn out specimens will be comparable in value to the 1916-D Merc. That day is coming! Then the coin will attain it's rightful place in American Lore! I know I drifted from the topic but there IS a reason that although fewer S issues were minted-more survived and I think this opinion pretty well sums up "why" this is! Novelty wore off and everyday fols neede to eat and used them quite often! Ever wobder just how much these beat up old coins changed hands to actually get in that condition? Hmmmmm? It sparks my imagination and I can almost go back to that time in my mind's eye! sign-rantpost.gif Hello everybody, I'm Boom ANA 189578 also Registry Set Participant from across the street!




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Very interesting perspective, and although I admit my ignorance on the series, I freely admit to owning some of the worn out pieces in my set (I completed it in 2001 and it now resides in a whitman folder). Personally, I think us collectors are too hung up on grade at times to the detriment of the historical significance of circulated coins. I was looking at an AG 1859 Indian head cent the other day, and imagine it being carried in the pocket of a citizen soldier in the Civil War! And that might have been a small part of its journey to 2004. As collectors, we above all should respect these little pieces for the story they tell, and part of that story includes the wear they received from everyday use.

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Nice post, Boom.


It seems like what you wrote o fthe 32D is reasonable. Comparing it to the 16D 10C is interesting, because I find the fame of that piece (not in the ultra-high grades) to be overblown compared to its availability.


Relative to the 16D 10C, there are many others that I would consider to be much greater value or possess much greater potential.




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