In the world of antiques and collectibles condition is king. No matter if we talk about vintage toys, furniture, or cameras the perfect condition is what collectors look for. The almost perfect example will fetch you the biggest money.
However, when it comes to collecting stamps, coins, and banknotes, imperfections are much more valuable. This might sound strange to you, but if you think about it this is logical. A coin or a stamp with printing and minting errors is unique. So collectors are willing to pay a lot of money to get their hands on it.
Also, minting and printing errors are valuable because minting and printing machines are so precise that they hardly ever make mistakes. When that happens most coins and banknotes are destroyed before they leave the mint. However, some do survive the purge and end up on the market.
Coin errors are very interesting and desirable to collectors, and these coins are sold for insane amounts of money. Since we love talking about coins and banknotes, we decided to dig deep into the world of coin errors. We found a lot of interesting facts that we will share with you.
In this article, we will introduce you to the most valuable state quarter errors and show you why they draw so much attention.
Short History Of State Quarters
The fact is that the statehood quarter program is one of the most publicized coin mintage and the most attractive one in the 21st century. These coins were advertised on air so you understand how much work is put into them.
Naturally, thanks to all that exposure, these quarters were the most collected mintage in entire coin-collecting US history. The whole collection consists of amazing 56 designs. What was fascinating is that these coins were produced in a record-breaking period of only 10 years!
However, since they were produced in such vast quantities, they do not bring any big value in terms of money to your collection. Now you know there is always a but. In case you are a lucky person that owns a state quarter with a minting error, congratulations. These coins can fetch you a pretty nice amount of side money.
Although these coins are ultra uncommon, there is still a chance to find them. Later in this article, we will list some well-known and valuable errors so you know what to look for.
The order of releases by year
The production of the 50 state quarters started in United States Mint in 1999. Every next year, five new special-edition quarters were released. On each obverse side of the coin, you will find the representing state, until a quarter had been minted for every state.
These special coins were released into circulation in the same order as the states join the statehood. Here is the list:
- 1999 – Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
- 2000 – Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia
- 2001 – New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky
- 2002 – Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi
- 2003 – Illinois, Alabama, Maine, Missouri, Arkansas
- 2004 – Michigan, Florida, Texas, Iowa, Wisconsin
- 2005 – California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas, West Virginia
- 2006 – Nevada, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota
- 2007 – Montana, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah
- 2008 – Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii
- 2009 – District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, United States Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands
Were there any changes in the design of the obverse and reverse sides?
Some changes were made, even though George Washington’s portrait is still on the obverse side of the state quarters. The changes are in small details like the word “Liberty” which was printed smaller. Also the phrase “United States Quarter Dollar” was relocated from the reverse to the obverse side.
Each coin features the year of mintage and one of the 50 state designs on the reverse sides of the coin. What makes these coins one of a kind is that their design will never be reproduced again and it was chosen by the state governor.
What Type Of Mint-Made Errors Are The Most Attractive?
Coins with minting errors are very rare and valuable in the world of coin-collecting. Naturally, whenever they appear they cause fuss and confusion. A lot of collectors are willing to pay large amounts of money for them since their rarity and uniqueness are prestigious.
Minting errors won’t happen often since the machines that are designed for this job work almost perfectly, yet sometimes they can fail. Most minting errors are caused by equipment malfunction, unintentional human intervention, or some kind of accident. This explains why every minting error is unique.
Most minting errors are visible even at the first glance, yet some coins come out with such minor minting errors that only a well-trained eye can spot them. There is a long list of minting errors, however, these are the general categories.
Planchet minting errors
The term planchet labels the blank that is used for minting the coins. Logically, planchet minting errors occur due to improper preparation of the planchet. In some cases, the main problem is the usage of the wrong type of material for the planchet.
The most common types of planchet errors are:
- clipped planchets;
- blank planchets;
- wrong shape and size of the planchet;
- wrong thickness;
- chipped and cracked planchets;
- transitional errors.
Die minting errors
In process of minting coins, two different dies are used for letters, numbers, and images that are printed onto the surface. A die is a hardened piece of metal or planchet that is transformed into a coin after the strike process. One die is used for the obverse side and the second one is for the reverse side.
These are the most common die minting errors:
- die breakage;
- clashed dies;
- doubling of design;
- mismatching of two dies;
- misaligned dies;
- rotated dies;
- missing edge lettering;
Strike minting errors
The last step in the minting process is striking. This is a process when the final design from the die is imprinted onto the coin. Strike errors can be numerous, but the most common ones are the following:
- misaligned and off-side strikes;
- multiple strikes;
- weak strikes;
- rotated dies;
- designs struck on the wrong size planchet;
- bonded strikes;
- struck fragments.
Table Of The Most Valuable State Quarter Errors
Keep in mind that the prices fluctuate a lot due to demand, as well as rarity, and eye appeal. The price can be based on the rarity and grade of the particular coin, and in some cases, the price is dictated by how rare the error is.
When you are about to purchase an error coin we recommend you use multiple resources to determine value, or hire an expert to do so. There are so many mint errors that they can’t fit into one category so it can be really hard to know the real value.
Where Can You Buy Or Sell State Quarter Coins With Errors?
For all coin enthusiasts, stumbling upon a rare coin is a reward, but finding a rare error coin is like hitting a jackpot. No matter which type of coins we talk about, minting errors are always rare, special, and very valuable.
Many collectors dedicate their whole collecting career to hunting error coins. It is exciting, and when you finally find it you feel like you accomplished a big thing. However, be warned, you can never be sure if the error is real or fake. This is why you need to base your search on proven sources.
Since these coins are relatively new, some errors are probably not yet discovered so make sure you open your eyes well and consult with an expert. Sometimes you can easily overlook something just because you are inexperienced.
When it comes to buying and selling valuable collectibles such as coins and banknotes it is important to find a reliable dealer. The best option at all times is to work with some of the auction houses and reputable coin web pages such as Heritage Auctions, PCGS, Coins For Sale, or Littleton Coin Company.
Also, just for reference, you can explore places like eBay, Etsy, and LiveAuctioneers and investigate the market and price ranges. In case you decide to buy an item from here, just make sure you are buying from a proven seller that has a lot of positive feedback. When purchasing a coin or a banknote from these platforms always consult with your mentor or specialist.
Which districts and territories have quarters?
As you all know The United States began minting a 50-state quarter program in 1999. However, in 2009 they decided to extend the original program and add 6 additional quarters. These quarters commemorated:
- The District of Columbia;
- Puerto Rico;
- American Samoa;
- The United States Virgin Islands;
- The Northern Mariana Islands.
What are the rarest state quarters?
Did you know that there are a total of 34,797,600,000 50 States Quarters produced? Can you imagine how many coins that is? However, not every state had the same mintage. For instance, the average mintage was 696 million coins per state.
The highest mintage of 1,594,616,000 is for the state of Virginia. On the other hand, the state of Oklahoma had only 416,600,000. All state quarters were produced for circulation at the Philadelphia and Denver mints. While all proof coins were struck in San Francisco.
Oklahoma is not the only state with very low mintage. Here is the list of the ten rarest circulating 50 State Quarters:
- 2008-D Oklahoma
- 2003-P Alabama
- 2004-P Iowa
- 2003-P Missouri
- 2002-P Ohio
- 2003-P Illinois
- 2003-P Maine
- 2004-D Michigan
- 2008-P Oklahoma
- 2004-P Wisconsin
What factors help you determine the state quarter value?
As I already said there are a few things you need to take into consideration when trying to figure out how valuable your error quarter might be. Yes, errors significantly increase the value of the coin but when they are paired with features like
- Special series
- Special date and mintmark
- Scarce quarter varieties
- Grading condition
Should I invest in old coins with minting errors?
You need to know that some errors are very valuable while others are not. Some cheaper errors are not certified because the process of grading the error coin costs more than the final price.
However, if you still think seriously about collecting coins, especially the ones with minting errors investing in older coins with mint errors is the best option. The reason is logical, minting machines evolved. Nowadays, the minting process is done with high-tech new technology that is much more precise. This means that some very valuable errors will less likely occur.
Also, our kind advice is to choose a reputable mentor to teach you how to recognize real from fake minting errors. Unfortunately, some mint errors can be faked with ease nowadays.
Long Story Short
Now we understand that for many of you, the idea of investing large amounts of money in damaged money sounds like a ridiculous idea, but think about it for a moment. All around the world coin collecting is a fruitful and profitable hobby, but only for those people who are willing to take risks, learn, and search.
State quarters are by far the most common coins among collectors. However, state quarter coins with minting errors are a true gem and pretty hard to find. Since there are billions of state quarters minted, the odds are still on your side. Just be persistent and keep a sharp eye since some errors are not so visible at the first glance.
If you are experienced with the state quarter error hunt and you have some interesting information to share, please contact us or leave a comment in the section below. We know a lot but we would love to hear your side of the story. Good luck with your coin-collecting adventures, and happy hunting!