2013 Fort McHenry US Quarter

Started by kena, September 15, 2013, 02:59:29 PM

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I have decided to add a proof 2013 Fort McHenry proof US quarter to my collection to go along with my 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Proof Dollar coins.

On September 7, 1814, Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay to secure the release of his friend Dr. William Beanes.  The elderly physician had been taken prisoner when the British invaded Washington, setting fire to several government buildings, including the U.S. Capitol, White House and Treasury Department.

Beanes' release was secured, but he and Key were held by the British during the shelling of Fort McHenry, the principal fort defending Baltimore.  On the morning of September 14, 1814, after the 25-hour British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Key peered through the clearing smoke to see a 42-foot by 30-foot American flag flying proudly over it.

He was so inspired by the sight of the enormous flag that he wrote a verse he named "The Defence of Fort McHenry" to commemorate the occasion.  He also included a note that it should be sung to the tune of the popular British melody "To Anacreon in Heaven."  Within a month, the words had been published in papers along the eastern seaboard. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered that the anthem, which had been popularly renamed the "The Star-Spangled Banner," be played at military and naval ceremonies.  On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a resolution passed by Congress that officially designated "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the U.S. National Anthem.


Alan Glasser

Having read the post before this one, I realized that as a "Music Coin" collector, I missed the boat on the "Star Spangled Banner" dollar coin and the accompanying gold. I very much appreciate the heads up, Kena. Thanks. I had forgotten about the issue. Well I figured a $1 silver was adequate to fill the gaping hole (though I'm not quite sure what category the coin would fit into in my music coin set...probably "Nationalism" as was discussed here on the board a few months back).

Anyway, a hunting I went...figured I would go for a proof. Now let me explain that back in "the day" when I was building my Early U.S. Type set, Certified was KEY! I would look for the best I could afford but certified was mandatory...PCGS or NGC preferred. If I had coins that were in the type set that weren't certified...off to the coffin maker I sent them to be placed in little plastic tombs with company and "guaranteed" grades on them. I did OK...with 1 glaring exception but I told that story here a year or more ago. Don't want to repeat it...it was too painful.

So, on E-Bay I searched Star Spangled Banner Proof and lo and behold...it was like a kid in a candy store....goodies of every possible "mutation". Every possible grade and description (distortion) were written on those little labels in their little plastic tombs: Early Release, Proof 69, Proof 70, deep Cameo, Ultra Cameo, Gold label...blessed by somebody's grandmother...I'm sorry to say this but...what a crock!! I just don't get it.. WHY would anyone pay for "Gold Label"...or "Early Release"...I mean...WHO CARES!!! I don't care if the coin was a "First Strike" or "Left in the bin at the end of the day". MAYBE...and that's a BIG MAYBE, I could POSSIBLY see a Proof 70 being a bit (tiny to be sure) more desirable than a 69, but Ultra Cameo vs. DEEP ultra Cameo, ...even for the hard core perfectionist collector...is the difference in price justified by the little words on the label and maybe a bit of a different color in the plastic label????? If the grader had an off night...would a coin be downgraded to only ULTRA cameo rather than Deep Ultra??? GIVE ME A BREAK!! Then someone would probably say something about "investment value" of the best of the best. Well, yes...on rare material, that is very often true, but on modern mass produced coins??? Oh really? I am unaware of a tremendous potential "value" differentiation between these grades and holders. I expect that the certifying companies are laughing all the way to the bank and in future generations...I can only wonder if ANYONE would give a second look at a Proof 70 Ultra Deep Cameo with a spiffy colored holder saying first issue and blessed by all knowing powers. I say it again. What a crock!!!!

What happened to the hobby????

Now I  must admit some ignorance when it comes to U.S. commemorative coinage. I certainly respect anyone who loves this material. I mean...I must be the only "Music Coin" collector on the planet and there are FAR more collectors of some of the very nice commemoratives out there. However, the grading nonsense and slabbing hoax hasn't infested my area of collecting.... yet. I have just a few rarer pieces that are certified...but only to assure authenticity. An Ultra Deep Cameo Proof 70 is probably NOWHERE in my collection. I don't CARE!!! I sure don't want to start now with the "Star Spangled Banner" coin. I like the design and the history...but I can easily pass on the grading nonsense. Maybe I'll hunt for a plain old UNC in the mint capsule.

By the way...I still don't have a 1976 Bicentennial quarter (drums) in my Musical Instrument set yet. I was going to hunt for a nice proof silver example. Now, I think I'll just pull one out of circulation. They aren't that hard to come by...and it will suit my needs and cost 25 cents...rather than many dollars...and I can pop it in a 2x2 and not need a $5 slab holder page for it to boot.

Someone PLEASE educate me. Am I way off base on this or do the fancy grades and pretty holders...well...do they justify the added costs? I absolutely respect the collector who is building a "finest known"  set or who is particularly picky as to the coins he will covet. But there are so darned MANY of the Proof 70 super duper, Ultra spiffy shiny reflective deep ultra cameos out there...is there THAT much of a demand? In past commemorative issues of the U.S., are the price levels still supported by the market or are they experiencing a slow death? My 1 venture in U.S. commemoratives was in the White House dollars of 1992...and only because I read an article in Numismatic News that suggested that this might be a lower mintage. So I bought 4 from the  mint, watched the price climb and since there were other coins I wanted more, I sold and bought 1 or 2 pieces I needed. I seem to recall selling for somewhere in the $70 range each. Where are they now? NO...I did NOT have them certified.

Someone please set me straight before I get an ulcer!!!!   Alan        Proof 70 Deep Ultra Cameo   ...yea...my - - -


If you don't like the case, crack it. I have done with all (2) I ever received. I also take coins out of their official packaging, except for proof sets, which I hope to trade for uncs.

As for grading, I go for six (G, VG, F, VF, EF, UNC), with an occasional intermediate grade. Just ignore the grade the seller quotes, grade the coin yourself and pay for THAT grade only. That's how I deal with BU. I'll pay UNC for it only. I occasionally tell a seller I do this. No one ever told me it was madness (two buyers did, though.)

Alternatively, skip the grade altogether and concentrate only on what you are willing to pay. After all, a grade is just part of a description of a coin you can't see (common, before computers.) If you can see the coin, what's the point of agonising over a grade?

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Hi Alan,

Yes, all of the labels are confusing since some of it just seems to be a marketing gimmick but something you need to deal with, if not buying the coins in person.

If you had some of them in hand, I doubt you could tell the difference between a Proof 69 and Proof 70 even without the deep/ultra cameo.

I do miss the coin collecting days, when all of the coins you wanted circulated unless you wanted a proof set.

No commemorative coins (I started collecting before the modern ones and after the early ones.

All we had was the Lincoln Cent, Jefferson Nickel, Roosevelt Dime, Washington Quarter, and Kennedy Half to collect.  Then the Ike dollar came along.

These days, collecting sometimes seems to be more trouble then it is worth.

I am getting a silver proof quarter to go along with the dollar coin.  I did briefly think of getting the 5 ounce coin.


Alan Glasser

I share your sentiment, Kena.

Collecting was SO much easier when I was a kid growing up in the 50;s and 60's (that's 19 50...60...)   ;)



I grew up in the 1960's and 1970's.

Alan Glasser

Wow, Kena...

That means that I am only a little bit more of a relic than you!  ;D

Ancient Alan


When Silver left US coinage in 1965 I was 10 and had been a sporadic collector of that Silver at least the smaller denominations. Some Silver (40%) stayed in in the 50 cent coins for a few years. I did get to experience collecting from pocket change which was fun. I think I have more fun now though.


Alan Glasser

Hey, Prosit. (See...I put the comma in before the name...old habit),

When my wife and I were in college...our idea of a hot date (well...MOST of the time  ;D) was to go to the main bank in Tallahassee, Florida and buy rolls of half dollars and search them. I think between the 2 of us we could maybe buy 3 or 4 rolls every month or so...(our on campus jobs paid $1.60 an hour). We'd pick out the silver...still a fair number of 90% coins in there and a good number of 40% coins, and stash them away. They we would pay bills, grocery shop and stuff with the non-silver half dollars. Over the 3 or 4 years we were doing this...we accumulated about 12 rolls of 40% and maybe 4 rolls of 90% silver halves. We still have them now in the safe deposit box. The time frame was around 1971-1975 when we shipped out to PERU for 4 years working in the American School near the border with Chile. I should look those halves up and see if we have any "better dates"...but...now days...ANYTHING with silver is a "better date". We continued searching rolls when we got back from Yugoslavia (now Belgrade, Serbia) in 1981 and still found a respectable number of 40%ers and a very occasional 90%er. Now days...forget it!!!! Most banks don't even HAVE half dollar rolls now. They would offer to order them for us...for a fee. I'll pass.   Sigh...oh for the good old days. Alan