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Isabella quarters not meant to circulate

 1893 Isabella commemorative quarter (Image courtesy

1893 Isabella commemorative quarter (Image courtesy

Unsold Columbus half dollars were released into circulation What about the Isabella quarters?

The Isabella quarters were sold to collectors and the public but were not released into circulation. Surviving examples showing wear were mishandled after their sale.

Whose idea was it to introduce our 50-state Statehood quarter series?

There are a number of people who would like to take credit for the program, but the series only became a reality after the success of a similar program by the Royal Canadian Mint marking Canada’s provinces and territories caught the attention of the Treasury Department.

Is the CAL marking on the 1848 CAL $2.50 quarter eagle a countermark or part of the coinage die?

According to, “The stamping appears to have been done while the coins were still in the press, as none of the obverse features appear to have been flattened. At least one example (the James F. Lindsay – 1978 GENA, Lot 1839 example) shows triple punching.” This contradicts what the late Walter Breen wrote to Q. David Bowers. In that letter, Breen says, “I theorize that the obverse die was taken out of [the] press after this batch was struck, then fixed on an anvil, face up. In that position, each coin was placed face down atop the die so that it fit, then given one or two blows with the logotype.”

How can I detect an 1848 CAL $2.50 quarter eagle forgery due to the CAL being added outside the mint?

Studies indicate there is some flattening of the obverse features opposite the CAL punch on genuine examples. Placement of the punch varies.

Has the so-called Omega counterfeiter ever been identified?

While the “work” of the Omega counterfeiter has been identified, his personal identification has not. The small Greek letter omega with which he marked his counterfeits can be found on fake 1907 High Relief Saint Gaudens $20 double eagles; 1913 and 1926 Indian $10 eagles; and 1874, 1878, and 1882 $3 coins.

Have there been other coin counterfeiters who signed their fakes?

Yes. The one that comes to mind is the Bulgarian Slavei, whose fake ancient Greek and Roman coins he claimed to be replicas. Neither the Bulgarian police nor coin dealers in the United States agreed. I’m sure there are others.

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This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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