Web surfers can get new state quarters early
June 24, 2001
By JIM BROOKS
Unless you've been writing checks for the exact amount for the past
couple of years, chances are you're well acquainted with the 50-state
quarters that are being issued by the U.S. Mint.
The design of each state's quarter honors its history, traditions and
symbols. Each state's quarters are produced for a 10-week period.
After that, the dies used to make the quarters are destroyed.
The quarters are being produced over a 10-year period, beginning in
1998, and ending in 2008.
The quarters have ignited interest in coin collecting as a hobby, and
the U.S. Mint is offering state quarters in a variety of collections
and incorporated into gifts like money clips, pendants and watches.
The Kentucky state quarters will be unveiled and distributed later
this fall, according to the Mint's Web site.
The quarter will feature the famous Federal Hill mansion, located at
My Old Kentucky Home State Park in my hometown of Bardstown, Ky.
The Kentucky quarter's arrival is much anticipated, but Rhode Island
and Vermont come first this year.
But as Dan Bennett, the head of the Bardstown-Nelson County Tourist
and Convention Commission told me, that doesn't mean you have to wait
to see the Kentucky, Vermont or Rhode Island state quarter right now.
Bennett showed up in our offices with a beautifully shiny set of five
state quarters for 2001 -- including the new Rhode Island quarter in
circulation, and the Vermont and Kentucky quarters that won't be
released until later this year.
The U.S. Mint is selling official 2001 five-coin state quarter proof
sets from its Web site.
The five quarters are in a great display case, and a great
collectible. The coins are special too because they are
"proof" coins -- which means they get special treatment to
insure they are struck at least twice to ensure they are distinctive
and of high quality.
To get your quarter set, visit the Mint's Web site at www.usmint.com.
TEENS ONLINE. The Internet revolution has changed the mode of
personal and business communications there's no denying that. But the
real impact is being seen in the generation of American youth who
were raised using computers and using the Internet.
A new survey reports that three-fourth of U.S. teens say the Internet
plays a major role in their lives. Instant messaging is their most
popular mode of communication.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that nearly 75
percent of U.S. youth in the age 12-17 bracket use the Internet regularly.
And while the early adopters of the Internet were predominantly male,
the generation coming up is evenly split between male and female users.
The parents of teen Internet users are generally well educated, with
most having at least some college education, and fully 44 percent
having a degree.
Nearly all of the parents surveyed know it's important their children
know how to use the Internet.
Parents' fears of their children been approached by strangers appears
to be well founded. Nearly 60 percent of teens said they've received
unsolicited e-mails or instant messages from strangers.
Only a few teens surveyed said they were worried about their safety online.
Most parents -- 70 percent -- monitor their children's Internet use
by putting the computer in a public area like the family den.
Teens and their parents both agreed that the Internet can suck up a
lot of valuable time -- 64 percent of teens said their time online
takes time away they would spend with their families.
CAR DEALS. Car dealers are missing the mark with their online
efforts to get customers, said top research firm J.D.Power and Associates.
Dealers have trouble determining how the Internet will improve their
sales, the study found.
J.D.Power representatives said most dealers weren't familiar enough
with the software tools offered by their company to generate leads
that could bring in more sales.
Most dealers offer e-mail, and that frequently is considered the main
Even then, J.D.Power's research found that many dealers thought
online shoppers were unrealistic in their search for good deals.
According to the study, dealers close fewer than 11 percent of the
new-car leads they receive from new-car Web sites.
Among national automotive Web sites, AutoNation ranked highest in the study.
Among used car Web sites, Cars.com provided dealers with a greater
number of good sales leads, though AutoTrader.com is used by more
dealers and has a great share of the market.
Dealers were asked to rate Web sites for 14 attributes. These ranged
from loading speed to sales lead generation.
For more information, visit J.D. Power's Web site at www.jdpa.com.