Do you remember the Beanie Baby fad and how customers would stand in line just to get one beanie bear? The fad of the Beanie Baby as we knew it back then has come and gone. Yes, the beanie babies are still out there but new fads evolved. The U.S. Mint state quarters combined with cute 9” collectible stuffed bears.
The story of the cute state collectible coin bears begins
In October 15, 1998 the company Limited Treasures, Inc. started producing 9” stuffed collectible bears called home heroes. These small stuffed bears consisted of a police, rescue fire bear, Army bear, Navy, Air Force and Marine bears, and more.
Then in 1999, the U.S. mint initiated a new state quarter program featuring each of the nation’s states in the order they were ratified by the constitution or admitted into the Union. The 50 State Quarters were to be minted over a 10 year period with five different states being released each year. Each state quarter was to be produced for about 10 weeks and then never to be produced again which made the earlier coins harder to find. And so, collectors started collecting the states quarters as they were released. Seeing this as an opportunity, Limited Treasures decided to start making State Quarter Coin Bears by sealing a state quarter into the paw of each bear.
During this time, Limited Treasures started producing state quarter coin bears about 6-8 weeks after the U.S. state quarters were released. Each bear was designed with different colors and its statehood number on the bears left foot. An actual U.S. minted state quarter was mounted on its right paw. The date the statehood was embroidered on the side of its right leg. (See chart below for each state and statehood.) To give the bears more history, the state’s name was embroidered across the chest of the bear with the outline shape of the state the bear representative. Inside the shape of each state. an embroidered star was located representing the approximate location of the state’s capital.
#41 Montana – Star represents the state capital
Front on Hang Tags
Each bear has a Limited Treasures Coin Bear Hang Tag. Inside each hang tag is information about each state describing the state flag; information about the state flower, state bird, nickname, capital, and statehood. These cute collectible bears not only had the state quarters representing their state…but also contained educational information about each state.
Inside Hang Tag Facts about each State
On the butt of each bear is a small label bearing Limited Treasures trade mark. On back of label is the date bear was manufactured and information about the material used in the bear: “All New Material Polyester Fiber and P.E. Pellets.”
To verify the bear and state quarter was an authentic Limited Treasures collectible coin bear, a counterfeit resistant hologram was placed on the back of each hang tag.
At this time, there were other companies making small stuffed bear and placing a state quarter on the chest of the bears, but these bears did not seem to be as popular as the Limited Treasure state quarter coin bears.
Since the state quarters were not being produced any more, many of the state quarters were becoming limited. As long as Limited Treasures was able to obtain the quarters, the bears continued to be made. However, many of the quarters are no longer available for the bears…thus some bears are no longer being produced and are becoming very limited. Several of the retailers are no longer able to obtain them for sale now. So when trying to buy any of the Limited Treasure bears, be sure the retailer has the bear before you buy.
Since the value of the quarter goes up each year, especially the earlier quarters… will this also have impact on the value of the bears over time? The state quarters have been the envy of collectors and many of the uncirculated and quality quarters are no longer in circulation due to being collected making the quarters more valuable. But, with time and the decreasing available of quality mint quarters, I ask the question. Will these cute collectible bears become more valuable over time? I believe they will! So hang on to your cute educational, state quarter coin bears!! And, if you have not started collecting these cute education coin bears….what are you waiting for? These bears are all retired so don’t miss out on the chance of collecting each state’s history.