Set of New US Quarters

LORELAI: Someone recruited him, promised him a handsome sum, financed his theatrical snowman accoutrements, so he could snatch victory away from a deserving local in order to bag the contest prize for himself.
RORY: Seems a little elaborate considering that the prize is a set of new US quarters.

A quarter is a 25 cent coin – a quarter dollar. The head of George Washington is on the obverse side, and originally, the reverse side was an American eagle.

In 1999, the US Mint began issuing commemorative quarters with a reverse which featured each of the fifty states of the US. It was the most successful coin-collecting program in history, with about half of the country’s population collecting the coins. I think this is the set of new quarters that Rory is talking about.

By late 2001, the set of quarters included Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Kentucky.

The program was completed in 2008, after which the Mint went on to do DC and US Territories, then national parks and monuments. You can buy a full set of the Fifty States coin sets for around $25 today.