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Quarterly Update

September 30, 2008

Um…don’t be deceived.  This isn’t some kind of update on my life.  I just thought the title to this post was funny.  Well, not so much funny as I can’t think of anything better.

I periodically have a need to use quarters for various purposes…parking meters, bubble gum jars, or (best of all) press-on Harley Davidson tats.  Yeah, I’m a rebel.

In recent years, the U.S. mint started printing 5 state quarters per year in order to promote coin collection and make a profit on the millions of Americans who have collected these coins and taken them out of circulation*. ($4.6 billion so far.  That’s huge!  Seriously, it’s almost 0.7% of the way toward solving the mortgage crisis.)

Unlike most Americans, I haven’t caught the coin collecting buzz.  Every time I’m about to use a quarter for whatever useful purpose, I look at the back and wonder, “have I seen that one before?” and consider saving it.  Then I remember that I haven’t saved any of the other 49, insert my quarter, and go on my merry way.

However, examining these coins is an enlightening educational and cultural experience for me.  Not only does it help me remember my states, (which is vitally important, since I never learned the state song in elementary school), there are also great tidbits of information to be gleaned from these coins.  I’m not just talking facts about the state.  These coins are a statement of state pride and provide a glimpse of how the residents of each state perceive their home turf.

Today I found a coin that is making me consider relocation.  I have discovered the “Land of Enchantment.”  Who wouldn’t want to live somewhere enchanting?  I’m picturing the Emerald City with New England falls and a Hawaiian breeze.  Somewhere with beautiful blue waterfalls, pleasant beaches, and majestic mountains.  Aww, what a lovely fantasy… who knew all that could be yours in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.

*There’s an interesting (and reliable) Wikipedia article on the quarters here.  Well, interesting to me.  But at least there’s a picture of the quarters so you can see what I’m talking about.

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