Pennies are rarely spent and therefore they can easily get lost in a copper abyss somewhere around the house. Dimes get a little more airplay than pennies, but quarters? Quarters can be turned into dollars or prevent you from having to break one up, so we often spend those without checking the dates.
However, it’s time to spare an extra second or two and change that habit as there’s a quarter floating about that is raking in tens of thousands of dollars. This is the 1970-S Proof Washington quarter, and it’s important that we highlight the word “proof” here as this is key to its rarity and high value. One such quarter was put up for auction and sold for $35,000.
Furthermore, in addition to the coin being a proof, this quarter has a not-so-glaring error: it was cast on top of a 1941 Canadian quarter. To check your own stash of quarters, first look for an “S” on the head side, which denotes the San Francisco mint. Next, turn the coin over to the tail side. You’ll have to look for the fine detail which reveals the year “1941” etched on top of the word “Dollar”. If you have yourself a winner, the year will be imprinted upside-down. Look carefully. Twice.
Proof coins are usually minted in limited numbers and are not typically sent into circulation, which is what gives them their value. When normal coins are minted, they are only struck once, whereas proof coins are struck twice. This gives them a shiny luster with definition that is incomparable to standard pocket change.
This 1970-S version was created at the San Francisco mint, but was supposed to be struck on blanks. Though they were never officially released into circulation, some of these coins were auctioned off by the state of California in sets. However, there are many mysteries that surround this coin.
For example, no one is particularly sure how the Canadian coins ended up where they did in the first place. It’s also not known how many of these quarters are floating about. If you do find one, have it appraised before putting it up for sale. Depending on its condition, you might be able to get yourself a few thousand bucks.
So, what are you waiting for? Get hunting!