Manufacturing errors usually reduce the value of products — often making them completely worthless. Sometimes though — like in the case of some 1999 Georgia state quarters — the error creates a rare collector’s item. The mistakes included on that particular minting have made the coins extremely valuable, with the Georgia quarter selling for as much as $10,000.
For coin collectors, also known as numismatists, the more mistakes made during minting, the more rare — and therefore more valuable — it becomes. Investopedia explains that it’s the rarity of these messed up coins that attracts collectors.
According to the U.S. Coins Guide, the Georgia quarters from 1999 — part of the long-running state quarters series — have several misprinted and “stained” spots on them, which makes the quarters a hot commodity for coin collectors. Five types of 1999 Georgia quarter errors could result in you getting some extra cash. However, there’s only the one created on experimental planchet could give you a major payday.
Back in 1999, just as the state quarters series was starting, the U.S. mint was also experimenting with a new metal alloy for coins. While this new, pale gold alloy was eventually used for the Sacagawea dollar coins, officials tested it on several batches of state quarters. They ultimately decided to stick to the traditional copper-nickel alloy for the quarters, but the experimental batches were released to the public somehow.
In addition to the Georgia quarters, the new alloy was also used to produce some Delaware quarters — one of which sold in 2007 for $3,450 — and some Pennsylvania quarters — one of those sold for $9,775.
As for the Georgia quarter that’s worth up to $10,000, here’s what to look for:
- It was minted in 1999
- It has a golden or greenish color, similar to Sacagawea dollars
- It appears thicker than a normal quarter
- It lacks the copper (orange-colored) stripe on the edge of the coin
- It lacks some or all of the edge reeding
Over a billion Georgia quarters have been produced, so finding one of the estimated few hundred made from the golden allow will be tricky. But there are other Georgia quarters with minting mistakes hat make them more valuable that 25 cents.
- Double die quarters sell for $3-$15
- Off-center stamped quarters can sell for $150 a piece
To verify your quarters, visit the Coin Grading Agency website and find a local reputable coin dealer near you. Before visiting the coin dealer, be sure to check its ratings and verify them with the Better Business Bureau.