As you are all aware there are so many kinds of quarter coins available, finding those that will stand out from the rest can be gruesome. Luckily, some good people were fortunate enough to come across rare specimens and errors and share them with the rest of us, so we know when and where we need to pay attention.
When you are a coin enthusiast you get quite excited when you stumble upon a rare error coin or potential error on the coin. However, you can never be sure if the error is real or fake and if it makes your coin valuable and unique or not.
There are a few more details you need to pay attention to when determining the real value of your error coin and I will mention them in the upcoming paragraphs. So if you are interested in finding out more about quarter errors worth money keep on reading.
Determining The Quarters 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
Make sure you know all special series
Some quarter series are more valuable than others because of the minting date, special design, material combination that is used in the minting process, etc. Here are some of the most valuable quarters series that are rich with minting errors. These will bring you a lot of money.
- Draped Bust Quarter – these coins are very rare and scarce even without minting errors.
- Capped Bust Quarter – low mintage makes them extremely rare and valuable.
- Barber Quarter – rare minting dates and uncommon combinations.
- Liberty Seated Quarter – rich with rare dates, minting errors, and varieties.
- Standing Liberty Quarter – rich with rare dates, minting errors, and varieties.
- Washington Quarter – made from silver so their price is tightly related to the price of silver.
- Washington 50 States Quarters – this series is rich with experimental coins made of rare material combinations.
Dates and mintmarks
You should keep in mind that early quarters, minted between 1796 and 1840 are much more valuable than those minted after this period. Also, coins minted in this period originate from the Philadelphia mint, which was the only mint at the time. This is what makes them scarce, also, the mintage numbers were low, from two to three hundred thousand per year so a coin from this period is a real gem, especially the one with the error!
Branch mints were created after 1840. Other branch mints became important to the quarter series, New Orleans, San Francisco, Carson City, and Denver. Mintmarks are a very important detail to pay attention to since branch mints struck lower numbers of quarters over the year, creating scarce varieties.
Why I’m saying this? Well, because a lot of people forget to pay attention to these details when they come across the error and forget to count these details into the final price. Meaning they end up selling their valuable error quarters for lower prices!
An error quarter is a coin that was incorrectly manufactured by a mint. Even though they don’t come in their best condition and they can feature different shapes, sizes, and types of errors, they still need to be recognizable. Coins can be in
- Mint state – Only coins with no wear to any surface can be classified as mint-grade coins. Every series of quarters have specific guides and points they need to score according to their original design and first signs of wear. For instance, the first signs of wear are smoothed and flattened high spots.
- Extremely fine state – These quarters retain all major design elements and strong and sharp relief. However, some signs of wear are noted. Just small amounts of flatness are acceptable when grading coins with an extremely fine grade.
- Fine state – For these coins signs of wear and tear are easily visible on a surface. However, these are only moderate wear that has smoothed all high areas, but these flattened areas do not connect!
- Good state – These quarters feature heavy wear that has smoothed the majority of the designs you can’t notice any fine detail. For instance, on portrays, the inner lines of hair, headbands, and indications of a gown are faded to smooth.
Different Types Of Quarter Errors You Need To Pay Attention To
When you are determined to search and collect coins with errors the first thing you need to learn is how many different types of errors are there. To someone who is inexperienced and does not have a sharp eye for details, any scratch can seem like a valuable error, but unfortunately, that ain’t true.
- Die cap – This happens when a coin sticks to the hammer die and when it remains on the die long enough it spreads around the outside of the die, and forms a cap that looks like a bottle cap.
- Wrong planchet – This error occurs when a die of a certain type or denomination coin ends up striking a planchet that is not intended for it. To be more precise when we talk about quarter errors it is very common to see that a half dollar is struck on a quarter planchet and vice versa. This error is easy to identify by weight and by size.
- Off-center – This error is when the coin is struck slightly to one side or another. In some cases, the design can be partially printed since it is above 50% off the center.
- Broadstrike – You will recognize this error with ease. When a coin is struck without the collar that forms the rim and edge and it has a strange shape that is a broadstrike error coin.
- Partial collars – This is a very rare and uncommon error. It will occur only when there is some kind of malfunction of the striking press. In this case, the collar is in an incorrect position. The lower die will form a rim, and after a coin is struck the lower die will move the coin upwards and eject it. After this happens an edge will have a partial reeding and a partial blank surface.
- Uniface strikes – This error will occur when a blank planchet is mistakenly placed on top of another blank planchet. In the coining process, they are struck together with the hammer and die. However, the bottom planchet will receive only the reverse design, while the planchet on top will receive only the obverse design.
- Brockage – This will occur when an already minted coin sticks to the die and impresses onto the next blank planchet that has not been struck. That new blank which is fed between the struck coin and the hammer die will receive a mirror image of the same design.
- Double and triple struck – If there is a malfunction in the pressing machine an already struck coin won’t be ejected and it may receive a second or third strike by the dies. This is a very common minting error.
- Indents – This is a rare error that occurs when two blanks are fed into the same collar. In this case, one blank will partly overlay on top of the other and when the hammer dies strikes it will create a depression that is shaped similarly to the upper blank.
- Die adjustment – When a coin is struck from the press with very little pressure due to adjustment an extremely weak strike occurs that is hardly visible.
- Bonded coins – These errors occur when the feeder system of the coin press is jammed. In this case, a struck coin is not properly ejected and another blank is fed into the same collar and struck. The blank coin will land on top of the unejected coin and when struck they will bond together.
- Double denominations – This error occurs when a coin is struck on a previously struck coin of a smaller type and denomination. Coins with this error are very valuable and sought-after!
- Mated pairs – As the name says this error involves two different coins that were struck together at the same time. These coins can be overlapped, or one can be off-center positioned on top of another coin.
- Proof errors – These are the rarest errors that occur since the proof coins are struck by technicians who load blanks into special presses manually.
- Transitional errors – This error occurs when a coin is struck on a planchet from a previous year on a planchet with a different metal composition.
- Fold-over strikes – This error is extremely rare since it occurs only when the blank is standing vertically between the dies. The force of te strike is so great that it bends and folds the blank.
- Missing edge lettering – This error occurs when the edge-lettering, inscriptions, mint mark, and year are absent form the coin.
Comprehensive List Of Quarter Errors Worth Money
What you need to understand is that the prices fluctuate due to the date, grade, eye appeal and how rare and dramatic the striking error is. In some cases the price is based on the rarity and grade of the particular coin, an sometimes the price is dictated by how rare the error is.
I will always mention that when purchasing a coin with a mint error, it is important to use multiple resources to determine value. Remember, there are so many mint errors that they can’t fit into one category, so make sure you include all the features.
It seems like quarter errors are by far the most common and valued one among collectors. However, they are pretty hard to find, but don’t let the odds go against you. There are billions of quarters minted, no matter the era and series, so there’s always a chance that one of these valuable error quarter will find its way to you.
The only thing you need to do is to keep a sharp eye out, and don’t give up on your search. Yes, you won’t find early quarters in your spare change, but some Washington quarters that are still in circulation can fetch you a lot of money if they have some unique error in design.
So the morla of the story is check your pocket change religiously, because if you never look, you’ll never know! If you have some interesting error coin to share with us please let us know, we will love to hear more about it. As always, good luck with your coin collecting adventures and happy hunting!
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