Like many other collectors, when the state quarter program was started I put a roll from each state and mint away for the future. I recently realized that I had a significant amount of money tied up in quarters that were going no where price wise.
In reviewing my inventory and the mintage quantities from each Mint, I concluded that the coins were never going to appreciate much in my lifetime. Therefore, I decided to go through all the rolls and put aside the 10 best coins from each state and mintmark. As most of the rolls had never been opened, the results of my selection process were rather eye opening.
My study was based on approximately 95 rolls of quarters evenly divided between the Philadelphia and Denver mints. The major conclusion I reached was the difference in the quality of coins produced at each of the mints. The quality of the coins produced at the Denver mint is far superior in all aspects to those produced at the Philadelphia mint. In arriving at my findings and conclusions, I considered a number of criteria as follows.
1. Overall quality of the coin
2. Eye appeal
3. Surface blemishes produced during the manufacturing process
4. Overall brightness/brilliance
5. Errors found
6. Amount of bag marks on coins
When going through the selection process, I had no trouble picking out 10 coins from the Denver rolls that I believe were MS-65 or better. It was not the same when I went through the Philadelphia mint coins. In fact, there were numerous times when I had trouble getting the 10 coins from the Philadelphia rolls, but had no trouble getting the desired 10 from the Denver rolls.
I found a number of other interesting finds included in my search. I found a number of coins that had a very fine line of metal that ran from the state design to the edge of the coin and from Washington’s breast to the edge of the coin, all on Philadelphia coins. I attributed them to a hairline crack in the die.
I found a number of coins from Philadelphia where the work “United” in “United States of America” was crushed so that it was almost flat.
On many of the Philadelphia coins, there were large areas that looked like a “blochy surface,” as if the coin had a bad rash.
I found a number of Alaska quarters from the Philadelphia mint that had the designer’s initials completely gone and others where the initials were partially missing.
On a number of Arizona quarters from Philadelphia, there was an extra glob of metal at the base of the cactus at 5 o’clock that obliterated two of the three designer’s initials.
There were a number of problems found on the Hawaii quarter. One quarter had the first two letters of the motto at the 8 and 9 o’clock on the coin completely filled in. Another coin had the “E plu” missing from the “E Pluribus Unum” at the bottom of the coin.
There were a number of other minor finds, but those above were the major items. Without a doubt, the state quarters produced at the Denver mint were far superior in all aspects than those produced in Philadelphia Someone at the Philadelphia mint needs to review and evaluate their processes and procedures because the current quality is unacceptable, in fact I believe it is junk. I am sure that the balance of coin denominations produced at the Philadelphia mint are probably experiencing the same poor quality.
I believe that Mint Director Edmund Moy should spend more time on better and improved quality rather than traveling around the country pushing new products, more sale sand increased profits.
Joseph Cozzolino is a hobbyist from Washington Crossing, Pa.
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