Banks, Collectors ready for Wyoming coin release.

By: Michael Johnson

Managing Editor

Wyoming quarterWyoming’s connection with the U.S Mint goes a bit deeper than the 50 State Quarters Program.

That’s one of the reasons some area banks are hoping to lend teachers in the Cody School district an educational hand in state history.

Wyoming’s state quarter will be released in mid-September, 2007, although some reports have the quarter ---- featuring the state’s trademark bucking horse and rider logo, along with the motto, “The Equality State” — being released as early as Sept. 4.

What’s sure to be part of the history lesson is the state’s connection with the Mint and its first female director, Nellie Tayloe Ross.     Ross, who also was the country’s first female governor, was nominated for the Mint post by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who Ross helped elect in 1932 by establishing voting rights for women.

Area bank officials are hoping they can help tie the release of the Wyoming quarter to history lessons Cody students will be learning in the classroom.

“We’re working with the Wyoming Bankers Association to make sure every fourth grader receives a Governor’s Card with a quarter in it,:’ said Ashley McCarten, executive assistant with Pinnacle Bank in Cody. “Fourth grade is when kids start studying Wyoming history”

The Governor’s Card is a tri-fold commemorative card with information about Wyoming history - including the state bird and flower - as well as an uncirculated quarter . People also can buy the commemorative card, as well as tri-fold cards of all 50 states, for $2 each.

“It tells a little bit about Wyoming,” McCarten said.

The bankers association and state worked to design a commemorative coin card that will be produced by Unicover Corp. of Cheyenne.

‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime event and these quarters, of course, are so important to Wyoming. But when you think about it, they will be picked up by coin collectors around the world,” said Dave Johnson, president of the Wyoming Bankers Association.

Sarah Greenwald, teller manager at First National Bank and Trust, says they will sell cased single quarter sets — not the commemorative card offered through the bankers association.

“We think they’re nicer than what some others are offering,” she said. “It comes in a case and has information about Wyoming. It’s something we offer for all of the state quarters.” The single quarter case costs $7.50.

Pinnacle Bank also is selling silver and gold-plated necklaces and money clips featuring the quarter. The silver necklaces will cost $19, while the gold-plated version will be $21. Money clips will be $20 and $22, respectively

Expecting an onslaught of requests for the quarter, McCarten said Pinnacle Bank requested “triple the amount we normally order.”

The bank also has a “call list” of people who have requested to be notified when the bank receives the quarters.

“We have a list of people we call no matter what state quarter we get,” McCarten said.

Graham Jackson, executive vice president of Shoshone First Bank, said 2,000 orders for specially packaged quarters— a “little carrier” as she called it — were submitted in April to the bankers association.

But there’s no way to gauge just how many of the packaged quarters will arrive, she said. “We should receive them in mid-September,” Jackson said. “We usually do order more and receive less.”

Like Pinnacle Bank, Jackson is working on plans to distribute the quarters in schools, as well as to kids at the Boys and Girls Club and rec center.

“We’re not sure if we will distribute them to first or second graders, but we’re working on getting the quarters into the schools,” she said.

The specially packaged quarters also will be for sale at Shoshone First Bank.

Like Pinnacle, SFB has it’s own “call list.”       “People are collecting them. They buy them in rolls,” she said. “We have a “call list” to let people know when we get new quarters.

“We want to make it spe-cial,” Jackson said. “We hope the schools will tie the quarter release into their curriculum.”

Ditto for Goldie Mandella, Bank of the West branch man-ager for Cody and Meeteetse.  “We’re getting the regular state quarter,” she said. “We opted to not order the coinmemorative (card) quarters. I’m the coin captain for Meeteetse, so we’re working on distributing the coins to fourth-grade students.”

Ken Stockwell, Cody branch manager for Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, said he’s an avid collector of state quarters and many of his customers are too. “I expect a rush,” he said. “It’s a pride thing. We have so many people who collect them that we’ve ordered more than usual. “We all know someone with Wyoming connections,” he said.

U S Bank will also have the state quarter. Travis Keith a teller in charge of ordering the coins, said he isn’t sure when they will arrive. “We’ll order as many as we can,” he said.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal and others will mark the release of the state quarter Sept. 14 at a launch ceremony in Cheyenne. A second, shorter observance will take place later in the day on the Capitol steps with children who will be attending the Wyoming Book Festival.



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