Unnamed set - 208006





Coin Details

Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Item Description: 25C 2004 D EXTRA LEAF LOW WISCONSIN
Full Grade: NGC MS 67
Owner: Cellgazer

Set Details

Custom Sets: This coin is not in any custom sets.
Competitive Sets: Latest and Greatest   Score: 1886
146987   Score: 151
Latest and Greatest, 2nd Ed.   Score: 1886
Third time's a charm   Score: 1886
Round 4   Score: 1886
Unnamed set - 208006   Score: 1886
Research: NGC Coin Explorer NGC Coin Price Guide

Owner Comments:

This variety is slightly more common than the related Extra Leaf High variant, although it is also more dramatic in appearance. The story of its recovery is recounted under its sibling coin, which was discovered simultaneously: the 2004-D Extra Leaf High Wisconsin state quarter. It appears on this list of the 100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins as number 18. The Wisconsin quarter design was the first in the entire state-quarter series to display an agricultural theme. It’s certainly fitting, as Wisconsin is among the leading dairy-producing states. More than 350 different cheeses come from Wisconsin, more varieties than are produced in any other state. Wisconsin is also the fifth-largest producer of corn, and, for numismatists, fortunately so. It is a variation on the ear of corn depicted on this coin that was to inflame collectors’ passions. In a clean arrangement, the Wisconsin quarter design depicts the head and neck of a dairy cow. Beside the cow is a round of cheese, with an ear of corn above and behind. The corn ear is unfurled, with a single leaf sweeping out to either side. The design also bears an inscription of the state motto, FORWARD, on a pennant. Each component is well-proportioned and precisely detailed, sitting on an empty, flat field. The precise spacing of the elements provides a perfect canvas for this unusual variety. About two months after the coin was originally released, an astute collector in Tucson, Arizona, discovered that an extra leaf, in two different varieties, could be seen beneath the left leaf on the ear of corn. Its unexplained appearance excited collectors around the country. On the Extra Leaf Low variety, the added leaf is broad and appears to have two symmetrical sides. Its shape complements the curve of the leaf above it. Although this design element was clearly not part of the coin’s intended design, and is in fact absent on the vast majority of Wisconsin state quarters, it seemed too perfect and too deliberate to simply be a random die-gouge. Its apparent precision caused many to believe that this was an intentional creation by a Mint employee. According to data from a Freedom of Information Act request made by USA Today and released in January 2006, approximately 50,000 coins displaying blemishes were struck on a Friday night in November 2004. Presumably, this figure includes both the Extra Leaf High and Extra Leaf Low varieties. In this same statement, the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General stated that the errors “were most likely produced as a result of machine or product deficiencies, not as a result of an intentional act.” Even though these coins had been detected by Denver Mint employees, they had already been bagged and prepared for shipment. Quite simply, it would have been too costly to separate them from regular coins, and thus they were released into circulation. Although collectors around the country searched for these coins, most of their efforts were in vain. Their distribution appears to have been localized, and nearly all significant finds were in the Tucson area. Seemingly about 20 to 25 percent more common than the Extra Leaf High variety, the Extra Leaf Low variety is estimated to number somewhere between 12,500 and 30,000 pieces.

Garrett, Jeff; Schechter, Scott; Bressett, Kenneth; Bowers, Q. David (2011-03-04). 100 Greatest US Modern Coins (Kindle Locations 1308-1334). Whitman Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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