Two months from now, in late April 2019, the Great American Coin Hunt is planned to launch as part of National Coin Week. Initially, the Great American Coin Hunt started as an idea formed between several coin dealers, but has since evolved into a viral, grassroots campaign that has taken off in the online numismatic community with tens of thousands of enthusiasts planning to participate in the phenomenon. The plan urges hundreds of coin dealers and collectors to drop over one million vintage and collectible coins back into circulation in the United States in an effort to generate renewed interest into the hobby to demographics that have previously been untapped. Coins and notes planned to be released include Buffalo nickels, Ike dollars, Wheat cents, Silver Certificates, five and 10-dollar blue and red seals – and more. These desirable numismatic treasures will be gracing venues ranging from grocery stores to restaurants from April 21, 2019, to April 27, 2019.
The stated goals of the campaign are as follows:
- Inspire a new generation of coin collectors and dealers. From kids to adults, we will make searching your coins fun again.
- Increase traffic to local “mom and pop” coin shops.
- To gain national media attention to our hobby and profession.
While this idea is not considered completely novel, as it has already been discussed for decades among collectors and dealers who have already implemented similar programs on the local level, the scale of the drop in the Great American Coin Hunt is on a whole different level. It is being called “the biggest coin drop in American history.” Managers at banks, restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores will be crucial in the plan to distribute the coins effectively, but everyday participants are also encouraged to distribute coins into high-traffic areas like malls and airports and to eschew using digital forms of payment for the entirety of the event week. Organizers also plan to release an undisclosed amount of specially marked coins which can be redeemed for genuine numismatic rarities at participating coin shops across the United States. Companies participating in the Great American Coin Hunt will be displayed on the event’s website, with companies pledging more coins getting a more prominent spot on the site’s listings.
Organizers explain that to avoid the chance of losing a key or semi-key date coin forever, they will be distributing a limited amount of vintage coins with hologram stickers on them. Treasure hunters will be able to take these coins to their local participating RAD dealer, which will be listed on the website of the Great American Coin Hunt. That dealer can trade that stickered coin for a true rare coin with a listed Red Book value of up to $100. The dealer would have the choice and would cover the cost of the giveaway.
On social media, the campaign is using the hashtag “#GreatAmericanCoinHunt,” which has already yielded a great deal of interest on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Various online numismatic publishing websites will be covering the Great American Coin Hunt as well, but again, the campaign urges everyday collectors and participants to contact their local news on social media to help spread the word in a grassroots fashion. Participants in the program have already begun to post where they will be spending their coins on ZeeMaps. Organizers of the Great American Coin Hunt are also encouraging collectors and dealers to drop coins in publicly accessible areas for those who wish to hunt with metal detectors. These areas will be marked on ZeeMaps as well.
For more information, please visit the website of the Great American Coin Hunt.