The Washington quarter dollar struck with two reverse dies reported by an error coin dealer has been
authenticated and graded by Professional Coin Grading Service. The grading
service has also certified a Proof 1968-S Washington quarter struck in
90 percent silver instead of the intended copper-nickel clad composition.
Both U.S. coin errors struck at the San Francisco Mint in the 1960s
were submitted to the grading service by error coin dealer Fred
Weinberg of Fred
Weinberg & Co. in Encino, Calif. The coins came from
U.S. Mint welcomes a fourth metal to the
American Eagle bullion program.
Also in this week’s print issue of Coin World, we teach our readers
about what a “weak-fatty” gold coin is and why you don’t want one in
PCGS graded the two-tailed quarter dollar mule Mint State 62, while
the 1968-S coin is graded and encapsulated Proof 64.
The two-tailed Washington quarter dollar is only the third known
such error struck with two Eagle reverse dies. Weinberg purchased the
coin from a collector during the Sept. 7 to 9 Long Beach
Expo in Long Beach, California.
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The coin is struck with normal die alignment on the intended
copper-nickel clad planchet composed of outer layers of 75 percent
copper and 25 percent nickel bonded to a core of pure copper.
The coin’s weight is 5.6 grams, slightly lighter than the 5.67-gram standard.
Production of the two-tailed Washington quarter dollar is believed
to have been executed at the San Francisco Mint between 1965 and 1967.
Wrong composition error
The Proof 1968-S Washington quarter dollar is struck on a silver
planchet composed of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper used from
1932 through 1964 for the Washington quarter dollar. A date freeze in
place, intended to help the Mint overcome a national coinage shortage,
permitted production of 1964 Washington quarter dollars into 1965.
Concurrent with the date freeze was a switch to a new composition
for the coin. The copper-nickel clad composition was introduced in
1965 on the Roosevelt dime and Washington quarter dollar pursuant to
provisions of the Coinage Act of 1965.
The copper-nickel clad composition wasn’t introduced on the Kennedy
half dollar until 1971.
The wrong planchet error weighs 6.3 grams, slightly heavier than the
It was not until relatively recently that genuine errors bearing two
reverse designs were authenticated.
Discovery of the first two-tailed quarter dollar was reported by
Coin World on the cover of the July 3, 2001, issue. Bob Wiborg from
Gold’n Coins Jewelry in La Habra, California, purchased the mule along
with several hundred other error coins in a May 2001 sale by the
California State controller’s office featuring unclaimed property from
bank safe-deposit boxes. The error coins Wiborg purchased had been
seized by the Secret Service, then returned to the state of California
to be sold as unclaimed property.
Weinberg, on Wiborg’s behalf, brokered the two-tailed coin’s $80,000
sale to New Mexico collector Tommy Bolack, who owns 12 of the 16
publicly known Washington quarter dollar/Sacagawea dollar
Bolack’s two-tailed quarter dollar exhibits perfect coin turn alignment.
The second two-tailed quarter dollar, also pedigreed to the
California unclaimed property sale, was submitted to NGC late in 2001
by Abbot’s Coinex Corp. of Birmingham, Michigan, on behalf of an
unnamed client. The coin is reported to have come from another
safe-deposit box whose contents were unclaimed by the same individual
whose safe-deposit box yielded the first two-tailed quarter dollar.
The second two-tailed quarter dollar exhibits medal turn die
alignment, meaning the tops of both sides back each other, which is
180 degrees out of rotation from normal coin die alignment.
Weinberg said he bought the two-tailed Roosevelt dime from error
specialist “Lonesome” John Devine on Nov. 1, 2001. Devine had owned
the coin since 1973 after purchasing it from a collector along with
other major San Francisco Mint errors.
Weinberg submitted the dime to PCGS, which graded the coin MS-64.
Weinberg said he sold the coin in 2002, bought it back from the same
party six months ago, and sold it to another party who placed the
unique piece with a serious collector of error coins.