Jiggle your pockets, your wallets, and your dust-covered coin jars because it’s time to go a’huntin. For what? Quarters. We’ve talked about the worth of rare coins before, and usually it’s some type of penny (which are easy to stash) or dime.
Pennies are rarely spent and are therefore easily unloaded into a copper abyss somewhere in the house. Dimes may get a little more airplay than pennies, but quarters? Quarters are that piece of pocket change that can be turned into dollars or prevent you from breaking one. So we spend them without checking the dates.
It’s time to spare an extra two seconds and change that habit. The quarter that’s the belle of the coin ball and raking in tens of thousands of dollars? The 1970-S Proof Washington quarter. We need to highlight the word “PROOF” here because that is key to its rarity and high value. In the case of this quarter, it was put up for auction by a collector for $35,000.
On top of that, literally? In addition to the coin being a proof, this quarter also has a not-so-glaring error: it was cast on top of a 1941 Canadian quarter.
To check your own stash of quarters, first look for an “S” on the head side, which denotes the San Francisco mint.
Next, flip the coin over to its tail side. You will have to look for the fine detail which reveals the year “1941” etched on top of the word “Dollar”. If you have a winner, the year will be imprinted upside-down. Look carefully. Twice. Thrice.
Proof coins are usually minted in limited numbers and are not typically sent into circulation, which adds to their worth. When regular coins are minted, they are only struck once, whereas proof coins are struck twice. This gives them a shiny luster with definition that is incomparable to standard pocket change. Diehard collectors are willing to pay a pretty penny to get their hands on proof error varieties like these.
This 1970-S version was created at the San Francisco mint, but was supposed to be struck on blanks. Though they were never released into circulation, a group of these coins was auctioned off by the state of California in sets. But there are many mysteries that surround this coin.
For example, no one is sure how the Canadian coins ended up in where they did in the first place. It’s also unknown how many of these special quarters are still floating around out here. If you should happen to find one, have it appraised before putting it up for sale. Depending on the condition, you might be able to fetch a few thousand bucks.
For you budding collectors that are interested in learning more about quarters that are worth more than 25 cents, also be on the lookout for Barber quarters, Standing Liberty quarters, or silver Washington quarters made between 1932 and 1964. You never know what you could wind up getting!
Are you ready to dig through your hefty coin stacks to search for this quarter? Have you discovered any valuable coins by happenstance?
Image source via AKS.9955 via Wikimedia Commons