It took me almost the entire year, but I finally received 2018 quarters in circulation. I attended the launch ceremony of the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge Quarter in Charlestown, Rhode Island, today, and I bought two rolls. One, I kept for myself and had autographed by Chris Costello, the coin's artist. The other, I will crack open and spend.
Quote: I attended the launch ceremony of the Block Island National Wildlife Refuge Quarter...
Awesome! I am really jealous of you. I really wanted to do to the Michigan launch earlier this year but it was held in the dead of winter, and I didn't know if all the roads (and bridge) were open. Also, it would have been about an eight hour drive one-way, gas would have cost me around $90, and I'd probably have to get a hotel for one or two nights.
Anyway, I hope your visit was worth it; I'd like to hear more of what was seen/learned at the launch.
Quote: Anyway, I hope your visit was worth it; I'd like to hear more of what was seen/learned at the launch.
This was the first launch ceremony I attended in over five years and my fourth overall. The audience was much smaller compared to the previous ceremonies I attended (2010 Franklin Pierce $1 coin, 2011 Native American $1 coin, and 2013 White Mountain National Forest quarter), but the positive was I could see the dignitaries much better.
I also met John Frost, who is the editor of the Journal of the Barber Coin Collectors' Society. He had an image of a pattern 1877 commemorative quarter that was intended to mark the beginning of the U.S.'s second century.
He explained that there's groundwork to issue a commemorative for the country's sestercentennial (250th birthday) in 2026 and that he presented the design as a candidate. I don't think it would be circulating though.
There were local dignitaries to represent Rhode Island and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They explained the significance of the refuge and why it's important to preserve the environment that attracts many visitors. Also, a local middle school had students present information on the images of the coin-the heron, the geological and ecological history of Block Island, and North Light. Finally, Mint Director David Ryder spoke and expressed how the country's history is through our coins and he wanted to encourage the youth to take up collecting as a hobby. He also joked that when he's approached by people, they ask him for gold, silver, or bullion, but he can't help them out.
Then, Director Ryder presented examples of the coins to dignitaries and poured some out from the canvas bags. I captured video of the coin pour below:
After the coin pour, I went inside the visitor's center and exchanged $20 for two rolls, as I stated before. Unlike the previous launch ceremonies, there was cake and coffee served to guests, and there were people onsite to stamp programs and special postcards about the event. I had my program stamped and autographed by David Ryder and Chris Costello, the coin's designer.
I'll be attending the next launch ceremony for the Lowell National Historical Park quarter on February 6, 2019, in Lowell, Massachusetts. I won't have to wait until the latter part of the year to find my first 2019 quarter.
Quote: The audience was much smaller compared to the previous ceremonies I attended...
SilverRoosevelt, could you give me an estimate of the crowd? (I'm guessing maybe ten people showed up for the Michigan launch). I was happy to hear that there was a variety of topics to see; it seemed like it was well worth the visit. Much better than just going for a couple rolls of UNCs.
Atticguy, there were about 30 people in the tent for the ceremony, plus many more on Block Island, who were watching via a livestream.
The previous coin launch ceremonies I attended had the following in attendance, by my estimate:
*2010 Franklin Pierce $1 coin, in Concord, NH: About 40 people, outdoors. *2011 Native American $1 coin, in Plymouth, MA: About 60 people, indoors. *2013 White Mountain National Forest quarter, in Plymouth, NH: Over 100 people, in an auditorium.