Coin Details

Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Item Description: 25C 2004 D EXTRA LEAF HIGH WISCONSIN
Full Grade: NGC MS 65
Owner: Cellgazer

Set Details

Custom Sets: This coin is not in any custom sets.
Competitive Sets: Leftovers   Score: 764
Research: NGC Coin Explorer NGC Coin Price Guide

Owner Comments:

At the time of its inception, the 50 State Quarters® Program was universally hailed as exciting and innovative, but by 2004, it was becoming old news. The program was already more than five years old and had passed its halfway-point. The coin market had certainly benefited from a rush of new collectors who entered the field by assembling quarter sets from pocket change; for the first time in a long time, Americans were looking at circulating coins. But outside of the design selection process, which made headlines in their respective states, these coins weren’t a front-page story anymore. The 30th coin in the set would change everything. First released on October 25, 2004, the agriculturally themed Wisconsin quarter was well received. Shortly after the Wisconsin quarter’s release, though, a Tucson, Arizona, collector named Bob Ford found a handful of the newly struck coins that were clearly something different. For more than a decade, Ford had searched through circulating coins, looking for errors and varieties. On December 11, 2004, he noticed, unexpectedly, that some Wisconsin quarters appeared to have an extra leaf placed beneath the left leaf on the ear of corn, one of the central elements of the coin’s design. This “extra leaf” could be found in two distinct varieties. One showed a thin extra leaf that ran from the base of the ear and connected with the larger, curved leaf above. The other variety showed a thicker leaf that came out of the ear at a lower angle, never touching the leaf above. Ford shared his find with coin dealer Rob Weiss of Old Pueblo Coin in Tucson. They realized that this was indeed something highly unusual and alerted the numismatic press. The extra leaves caused a flurry of speculation about their origin, and almost immediately “extra leaf” Wisconsin quarters were trading for hundreds of dollars. Quick on the uptake, collectors in Western states demanded rolls of Denver Mint Wisconsin quarters from their local banks, hoping to strike it rich. The story soon spread to the mainstream media. By mid-January 2005, it was front-page news on the Arizona Daily Star, and less than a month later it was reported in USA Today. Questions regarding the irregularity remain unresolved. It is clearly the result of a die-gouge, an impression in the die that creates a raised element on the struck coin. Some people speculate that the gouge was created purposefully, to create an embellishment and stimulate waning collector interest. Other compelling evidence suggests that a mis-aligned die clash may have transposed elements of Washington’s hair curls, which in radius and size resemble the shapes of the leaves. The exact cause of these varieties is unknown and certainly ranks among the most intriguing mysteries of modern coinage. Of the two varieties, the Extra Leaf High is a bit scarcer than the so-called Extra Leaf Low (number 19 on this list), and therefore rates higher on the top-100 list. Among experts, the estimate of the number of coins struck varies widely from 10,000 to 25,000.

Garrett, Jeff; Schechter, Scott; Bressett, Kenneth; Bowers, Q. David (2011-03-04). 100 Greatest US Modern Coins (Kindle Locations 1269-1294). Whitman Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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