While visiting one of my favorite local coin shops, I came across a Standing Liberty quarter that lacked sharp detail, yet had much of its original luster present. Feeling something was not quite right, I took a closer look with my trusty 10x loupe.
The only sound that owner Al Ferrante of Roxbury Coin Investment Service in Ledgewood, N.J. could hear was ?Wow?!
As I shared the find with Ferrante, all he could say was, that?s the ?wildest repunched mint mark that I ever saw!?
Just seeing this coin launched me on a journey over the next several weeks with an insatiable desire to learn more about it. My first e-mail was to Bill Fivaz to describe a most incredible 1924-S/S/S/S/S coin. I told Bill that I saw a 1924-S Standing Liberty quarter with at least 5 separate mint marks, two of which were separated quite a distance. He responded that he had seen one, but he thought it was a counterfeit.
At the very next coin show, I purchased the Standing Liberty Quarters: Varieties and Errors book by Robert H. Knauss. On pages 196-198, there were references to a 1924-S/S/S and a 1924-S/S that both Bill Fivaz and Ken Potter concluded ?was probably a counterfeit?. On the former, Bill Fivaz commented that it had the wrong style of mint mark for the era. On the latter, few other specimens were found, but found in such low grades (G-VF) that it was probably a counterfeit. When I saw the photo of what appeared to be a low grade, circulated coin on page 198, I knew it was the same one that I found with multiple repunching of the S mint mark and multiple repunched stars.
Unfortunately, there was no reference in the book for me to get in touch with the author so that I could report this relatively high grade example. This was likely a finest known contemporary counterfeit with an incredible ?wow factor,? one that would send any SLQ collector?s heart beat pounding through his chest.
I next e-mailed veteran dealer Steve Sabatino of SLQ coins in Newfoundland, N.J., who gave me Knauss? e-mail address. Knauss advised that he had several in low grade and had been looking for a higher grade for many years, and would like to use any photos of a high grade specimen for his new book.
At the very next local coin show in Parsippany, I showed the coin to Sabatino who was manning his table. As he looked at the coin, a big smile broke out on his face as he slowly looked up. It was a look of shock, awe and happy wonderment, but it could all be summed up in the same word that I uttered when I first saw it, ?wow?.
Contemporary counterfeit or not, this is one variety that any coin collector could appreciate. It?s a coin that only a collector could love.