US Coins

Inside Coin World: 1917 Standing Liberty quarter dollars

Two different subtypes of 1917 Standing Liberty quarter dollars were issued, with changes made to both the obverse and the reverse. The changes made to the figure of Liberty probably had nothing to do with the popular theory often given.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Every weekly and monthly issue of Coin World has content exclusive to the print and digital editions, including columns and features.

Here is a preview of three of those exclusive articles in the Oct. 28 issue.

Coin Values Spotlight: 1917 Standing Liberty quarter dollars

The first Standing Liberty quarter dollars were struck in December 1916, but the coins’ small mintage makes them very expensive. In 1917, a slightly tweaked version of the coin was struck before a much more significantly modified version was released later in that same year. In my “Coin Values Spotlight” column in the Oct. 28 issue of Coin World, I examine both versions.

The first version or 1917 Standing Liberty, Bare Breast quarter dollar was replaced by the 1917 Standing Liberty, Mailed Breast quarter dollar subtype. While some collectors claimed modesty drove the change, evidence suggests another reason for Liberty to don chain mail.

Both versions of the coin struck at the Philadelphia Mint are very affordable today. To learn more about the design change and for a look at the market for the coins over the last 10 years, read the column, found exclusively in the digital and print editions of Coin World.

Coin Shop Lottery: ANACS photo certificate purchase

While the “slab” is a mainstay of third-party grading today, that has not always been the case. In the late 1970s, ANACS — the certification service of the American Numismatic Association — began grading coins. The graded coins were returned with a photo certificate bearing images of both obverse and reverse, as well as details about the grade assigned to the coin. As Thomas Cohn explains in his “Coin Shop Lottery” column, some of those certificates survive to this day.

He recently purchased at his local coin shop for $12 a Proof Franklin half dollar that was accompanied by its decades-old ANACS photo certificate. The coin is common and inexpensive, and the certificate adds no monetary value to the half dollar. However, its existence is a physical link to the early days of third-party coin grading.

To learn more about the photo certificates and to see photographs of one, be sure to read Thomas’s column, found only in the print and digital editions,

Collecting Paper: Paper money turning to plastic

Today, “paper” money is often made of plastic, as banks and security printers transition from traditional high-quality currency paper to more durable polymer substrates. In his “Collecting Paper Money” column in the Oct. 28 issue, Wendell Wolka briefly examines the history of polymer notes and the advantages polymer offers over paper.

Wendell writes that the first polymer note was issued by Australia in 1988. Since then, more than 50 other nations have followed suit. Polymer is playing an increasingly important role in bank note production for a number of reasons.

To learn more about these reasons and to see an example of a bank note made of plastic, read Wendell’s column in the latest issue of Coin World.

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