Modern American Coins – 1970 Washington Quarter Mistake Gets 15 Minutes of Fame
People recently checked their change for 1970s Washington neighborhoods – what is it?
Through Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for CoinWeek …….
Las Vegas Coin Dealer Mike Byers recently listed a 1970-S Washington District Proof to eBay which was minted on a 1941 Canadian Quarter. The Error Proof Quarter is offered on eBay on a “Buy It Now” basis for US $ 35,000. As of June 9, 2016, nearly 2,900 people were viewing the lot and potential bidders have submitted around 40 inquiries.
“This unique 1970-S quarter proof from the United States was struck on a 1941 quarter from Canada,” the lot description reads. “This mint error was originally discovered in a San Francisco Evidence Group that was auctioned off by the State of California. There is a significant amount of detail on both sides showing the design of the Canadian Quarter. This is one of the most fascinating and intriguing proof mint errors ever discovered. “
Proof of the 1970-S Washington Quarter Error List, which first caught the attention of AOL.com, was featured in a May 31, 2016 Woman World article. “While it is not surprising that many 200-year-old coins are worth more than standard value, some 1970s quarters could be worth well over 25 cents,” the article read. Meredith Bodgas. “How much more? How about an annual salary!”
Snopes.com shed some light on the story, saying that “the chances of finding any of these coins are virtually non-existent, as they are ‘supporting documents’ and therefore were never intended for circulation.” Snopes investigators continue, “While the third-party coin certification company Numismatic guarantee company [NGC] couldn’t provide the reason the coin was created, they confirmed to us that it was legitimate.
NGC said, “Yes, the part is NGC certified. We do not know how the minted Canadian coin ended up with blanks and was struck by 1970 25c dies at the San Francisco Mint. The NGC label reads “1970-S 25C STRUCK ON 1941 CANADA 25C 5.63 GR [the weight of the 1941 80 percent silver Canadian quarter] MINT ERROR PF 65.
The proof of the design of the Canadian quarterback is relatively clear, if only slight, on the proof of Washington’s error. A ghostly image of George vi the head appears superimposed under that of Washington, the top of the bust of the monarch is squarely oriented towards the three o’clock position to the right of the portrait of the first president. Traces of the original inscription on the obverse of the Canadian quarter, GEORGIVS VI R: L: REX AND IND: IMP :, are visible along the edge of the obverse of the Washington design. Small glimpses of the caribou on the reverse of the canadian quarter, take a look at tiny specks of the heraldic eagle design, as is usually seen on the reverse of the Washington district.
One can certainly speculate on how a silver Canadian quarter from 1941 ended up in the 1970 Proof Washington neighborhood board lineup in San Francisco nearly three decades later. Maybe an enterprising Currency of the United States the employee intentionally placed the part in the blank supply to create instant rarity or as part of a challenge. Or maybe the error is due to some really abnormal accident.
No one knows… or at least no one will.
Regardless, the story of Washington’s Canadian Quarter mistake in the 1970s has gone viral, prompting many members of the general public to sift through their coins for valuable coins.
When Philadelphia ABC-6 News posted the story on their Facebook page, it inspired a flurry of comments. “I have a jug full of coins and dimes,” Bill Atwell commented on the Philadelphia ABC-6 News Facebook page. “I know what I’m doing after work.
Others shared the same enthusiasm, including John Lamb, who said: “I found 13 1970 quarters in my old piggy bank, [sic] check my 5 gallon water bottle which is [sic] full or half empty.
Kerry Ventura enthusiastically tagged her Facebook friend Charles: “Check your box. “
Of course, many skeptics posted their comments on the story as well, including John McCann. “What a shrink [sic] pay $ 35,000 for a quarter? I saw a badly printed quarter […] It must be a joke, ”he wrote.
Joe Vector joked, “I know exactly how much it’s worth, 25 cents.”
CoinWeek will keep you posted if anyone bites on Mr. Byers’ offer.
In the meantime, the treasure hunt will continue for a while, hopefully “hitting” a few new collectors in the process.
1970 Washington Quarters currently available on eBay