The 4th quarter in the District of Columbia & United States Territories Quarter series is now in circulation and making its way to a pocket, purse, and bank near you.
The American Samoa quarter was released in late July 2009 and honors the beautiful Pacific U.S. territory.
The Coin’s Design
The American Samoa quarter honors the territory’s rich cultural and social background, and the coin’s design reflects this.
On the reverse (tail’s side) is the image of a shoreline representative of American Samoa’s beautiful Pacific shorelines. They are an essential aspect of the 5 islands and 2 atolls which form the territory. Also sharing a spot on the coin’s reverse are an ava bowl, a fly whisk, and a staff, all of which are elemental and symbolic to traditional Samoan gatherings and events.
Inscribed on the coin is the motto "SAMOA MUAMUA LE ATUA" ("Samoa, God is First"). Other inscriptions include "In God We Trust," and "E Pluribus Unum" (Latin for "Out of Many, One").
On the obverse (head’s side) of the American Samoa quarter is the same image of George Washington which has been featured on the 50 State Quarters (1999-2008) and the other 2009 D.C. & U.S Territories Quarters.
Stephen Clark, who is a designer in the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, designed the reverse of the American Samoa quarter. Charles Vickers sculpted the design for the coin.
Where To Find the American Samoa Quarter
The U.S. Mint has released the American Samoa quarter to general circulation, therefore in pocket change is the place where most people are going to find the American Samoa quarter. General circulation will continue to yield examples of the coin over the late summer. But you can also find the coin in proof sets and mint sets, which are being sold by the U.S. Mint.
Rolls and bags of the American Samoa quarter are also being distributed to banks and stores across the country. If you have not found an American Samoa quarter yet, one should be turning up in your hands soon. "D" (Denver-minted) coins will be hitting the pockets and purses of the western half of the nation while "P" (Philadelphia-minted) quarters should be turning up across the eastern half of the U.S.
To ensure you are getting "mint" condition American Samoa quarters, you will have to order them directly from the U.S. Mint. The U.S. Mint is selling roll sets of American Samoa quarters for $32.95 each. Each set includes 40 P-mint American Samoa quarters and 40 D-mint American Samoa quarters. These roll sets come in colorful paper wrappers.
If you prefer something other than "typical" uncirculated American Samoa quarters, you will want to check out the 2009 D.C. & U.S. Territories quarters proof set. The proof set includes one proof example of each of the 6 DC & US Territories quarters. The copper-nickel proof set sells for $14.95 from the U.S. Mint. Coin dealers and other outlets (including eBay)) are selling these sets, too.
American Samoa Quarter Values
Unless any special errors arise, the American Samoa quarter is and will remain a common coin.
There have been no major reports of any American Samoa quarter errors. However, the quarter is still fairly new and there are plenty of chances for a keen eye to discover a significant error. Quarters with die cracks and filled dies, for example, could turn up and result in "error" American Samoa quarters worth more than usual values.
Circulated examples will be worth only face value. Therefore, if you find an American Samoa quarter in circulation (like in your pocket change), it will be worth only 25 cents.
Uncirculated examples of such coins tend to sell for a markup of approximately 3 to 5 times face value, depending on demand. Uncirculated examples of the American Samoa quarter are retailing from between 50 cents to $1.25 each, depending upon who you buy the coin from. Copper-nickel proof examples are worth $3 to $5 each. And 90% silver proof examples are worth $5 to $7 each.