100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins, Second Edition (Lastufka Collection)





Coin Details

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

Owner Comments:

Purchased July 2, 2012

Composition: Copper-Nickel Clad
Diameter: 24.3mm
Mintage: (estimated 3,000 high leaf, estimated 9,000 low leaf)

Obverse: George Washington profile that has remained relatively unchanged since 1932.

Reverse: Wisconsin Statehood design featuring a dairy cow, cheese, and an ear of corn.

The extra leaf Wisconsin Statehood quarters were the first variety or error coins that I collected. The mystery that surrounded their minting fascinated me. The fact that in 2004 they were being found in circulating change and were worth hundreds of dollars each, was exciting… like a little metal lottery ticket in your pocket. And almost a decade later, both coins were included in the 100 Greatest Modern US Coins book, ensuring collector interest for a long time to come.

Long after I took an interest in my dad and grandpa’s coin collections as a kid, you could say these Wisconsin quarters were the beginning of my passion for serious coin collecting.

Even after a prolonged internal investigation by the US Mint, no one is really sure how these “errors” or extra leaf varieties came to be. Some argue it looks like a shard of metal that got stuck in the die, shifting from the high leaf position to the low leaf position as the coins were struck. Others believe an employee may have tampered with the original dies. But the jury is still out over a decade later.

Whatever the reason, these varieties added a bit of interest to the Statehood quarter program, and given their relative scarcity (an estimated 3,000 high leafs and 9,000 low leafs) they should continue to grow in mystery and value over the years. Check your pocket change carefully, all 12,000 extra leaf quarters went out into regular circulation and now sell for a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars depending on the condition!

Coin obverse and reverse photos by Brandon Grossardt.

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