Don't you hate it when you have a goal set in your mind and you almost meet that goal only to find out that you're really not even close?
Beginning in 1999, I opted the play role of every 4th grader in the country. I went out and bought one of those binders for the 50-State Quarter series that had been set up by the Treasury. I'm sure you have seen them, right? Each state gets its own quarter with some cool design that signifies that particular state (Michigan is the exception here. What an ugly coin...). Anyhow, over 10 years, all 50 states released their coin in the order in which they entered the Union. (On a related note, the Treasury is doing the same thing with the National Parks.)
Anyhow, I decided to make life difficult and get a state coin from each mint (either Philadelphia or Denver). So, instead of 50 quarters, I needed 100. It all had to be done with basically one simple rule - I can not go out and buy the quarter. In some cases, a trade was used to acquire a needed coin or people where operating as...well, operatives and looking, too. I just can't buy the coin. Up until a week ago, I was almost done. I only needed the Denver mint Alaska quarter.
I was complaining to a buddy of mine about how hard it has been to secure that 100th coin. So, yesterday, he brings me a little envelope when I was in the parking lot. Some people might have looked at that little package and the circumstances and thought "Cool! Drugs!" but, that is not my thing. This particular envelope was quite heavy. I dump the contents in to my hand and voila, there it sits - the Alaska quarter from the Denver mint. Coin #100. Woo-hooh! Mission accomplished, right?
The envelope was rather heavy because it was stuffed with a few other quarters - Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Washington D.C. with both mints accounted for.
Huh? Well, it turns out somewhere in the last 10 years the Treasury department decided to include the United States Territories, as well. So, I acquired #100 only to find out that I now need to get 112 coins. The goal posts got moved. I hate that. I will now be on the lookout for the US Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands coins. Then I'm done. I think........
Oh, speaking like a lawyer or politician, Mike's gift does not violate my rule. I said I can't buy them. The rule doesn't say anything about someone else buying them and giving them to me as a gift.
By the way, guess what the US Territory quarters cost if you buy them from a coin shop?
Fifty cents a piece.