Some 2004 Wisconsin state quarters have an error, upping the coin’s value, and a TikTok video has gotten everyone excited about it again
More than 17 years later, the revelation that some Wisconsin state quarters have a flaw (and could be worth more than 25 cents) has begun to make the rounds thanks to a TikTok video.
The TikTok account @coinhub posted a video this week that points out the particular discrepancy in the design on the back of the coin, which shows an ear of corn alongside a cow and a wheel of cheese (obviously).
The video points out that versions of the flawed coin have sold for in excess of $2,000, and heck, one might be in your pocket right now.
But don’t get too excited; when Snopes.com first wrote about this in 2011, most were fetching in the neighborhood of $500. CoinTrackers sets the expectations at around $250-$300.
How to check if your Wisconsin quarter has the ‘up leaf’ or ‘down leaf’ flaw
On the normal quarter, just one leaf extends from the left side of the corn’s husk. There are actually two variations of the flaw:
The “down leaf” version, where an extra leaf moves horizontally outward.
The “up leaf” version, where what looks like a simple line connects to the first leaf and creates the appearance of two.
The TikTok video hones in on the “up leaf” variation.
See a larger image of the Wisconsin quarters and the errors here.
When the flawed coins first came to everyone’s attention in 2005, most were only found in Arizona and Texas.
How the Wisconsin quarter error occurred
A USA Today investigation published in 2006 concluded that as many as 50,000 coins include the flaw.
The flaw is the result of a lunch-break related error at the Denver Mint. The operator had stopped the machine upon noticing a flaw and left for a lunch break. When he returned, he saw the machine was running and assumed someone had changed the die.
By the time he realized that hadn’t been done, the flawed coins had mingled with coins that didn’t contain the flaw.
“Over the years, we have greatly tightened our quality control, and this is a highly unusual occurrence,” Mint spokesperson Becky Bailey said, noting 5 million quarters are produced daily at the Denver Mint.
The coin’s release was part of the “50 State Quarters Program,” in which the U.S. Mint rolled out state-themed coins between 1999 and 2008. Wisconsin was the 30th state given the treatment (as it was the 30th state to enter the union). A party at State Fair Park in West Allis commemorated the release in late 2004.
JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin 2004 quarter has error, features leaf flaw, TikTok indicates