US Coins

Latest PCGS Quarter Quest prize claimed by two collectors from Nevada, Arkansas

Two winners, one apiece from Nevada and Arkansas, are the latest to claim the PCGS Quarter Quest top prize with a 2020-W Salt River Bay quarter dollar find.

Images courtesy of PCGS

With the release of the 2020-W Salt River Bay quarter dollar for the U.S. Virgin Islands in June, the hunt was on to become the first to submit a coin to Professional Coin Grading Service and earn a First Discovery pedigree and a cash prize of up to $2,000 in the PCGS 2020 Quarter Quest.

The latest effort culminated in PCGS receiving two coins, each graded Mint State 64, meaning two submitters will split the cash prize.

Under the program, coins submitted within the first week of the initial discovery will get a “First Week of Discovery” designation. Qualified 2020-W examples received within the following 45 days earn an “Early Find” label.

In 2019, the U.S. Mint began striking a limited run of circulating quarters at the West Point Mint bearing the “W” Mint mark. Mintages of the 2019-W and 2020-W quarter dollars are capped at 2 million examples per design so far, and these special coins are released in circulation only; they can’t be bought in U.S. Mint Uncirculated sets, Proof sets, or any other of the Mint’s numismatic offerings. Instead, U.S. Mint officials filter these West Point quarter dollars into circulation by peppering the scarce coins into rolls and bags of quarters originating from the Philadelphia and Denver Mints.

“The U.S. Mint has really helped spark a lot of interest in numismatics with these circulating rarities,” says PCGS President Brett Charville. “We want collectors to realize the value of these and other coins in circulation with PCGS Quarter Quest. Since 2019, PCGS Quarter Quest has awarded some $20,000 in bounties and other rewards to collectors around the United States and also offered a variety of limited pedigrees and special labels.”

Anthony F. of Nevada says he began looking for the W quarter dollars in 2019 but had come up dry until a fortuitous stop at a filtered water dispenser. “My wife and I were going to make a pot of coffee and needed some ‘good’ water,” says Anthony.

He drove to the nearest filtered water machine. “I go up, order a jug of water for 35 cents, put a dollar in, and get 65 cents back in change — two quarters, a dime, and nickel.” Both quarter dollars appeared really “shiny” to Anthony, causing him to inspect them closer, and he discovered the 2020-W date and Mint mark. He says he was a little surprised that the bounty was still out for the Salt River Bay quarter dollar when he and his wife sent their 2020-W quarter to PCGS with the hopes of being the first to submit one of that design.

Anthony was thrilled when he learned that his quarter was tied at first place. “I want to put the coin up in a special frame on the mantle with a wreath around it,” he laughs. “This is the coin I’ve been waiting my whole life to find.” Adds Anthony, “It goes to show you don’t always have to search rolls to find good coins – you can still find them in ordinary circulation.”

Kenny R. of Arkansas found his 2020-W Salt River Bay quarter dollar through roll searching. Finding the 2020-W quarter that qualified for the grand prize and a PCGS First Discovery pedigree didn’t necessarily come easily for him. “I became a silver hunter,” he says, looking through bank rolls of dimes, quarters, and half dollars for any made from silver. Over the past year, he has landed many rolls worth of W quarters, each worth $15 to $20 or more due to their scarcity.

“Then, last week I found the 2020-W [Salt River Bay] Quarter and started looking up information to see what the coin was worth,” he remarks. “My 18-year-old son then told me to send the coin in for the PCGS Quarter Quest, saying ‘Dad, you gotta do it.’ ” So, he did, becoming a PCGS Collectors Club member at the same time. And, sure enough, he was glad he did. Kenny exclaims, “It was definitely worth it!”

For more information about The PCGS 2020 Quarter Quest, visit www.pcgs.com/2020quarterquest.

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