US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Jan. 29, 2024: Just a quarter

The Jovita Idar quarter dollar was intentionally made with all of the words on her blouse. It is not an error.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

Our customer service department is starting to field a number of calls about a certain 2023 American Women quarter dollar that has been in circulation for five months now. The non-numismatic world, always looking for that rare find, thinks they may have found it with the Jovita Idár quarter dollar.

The timing of the release of the Harriet Tubman commemoratives may have played a role in some of the confusion. Granted, you’re not going to see a Tubman coin in circulation, but those outside of the hobby heard somewhere about coins honoring Harriet Tubman. Then, they find a shiny new Jovita Idar quarter in change and are confused at seeing no words. The legends are all there, found on the subject’s apparel, a concept that doesn’t resonate with most callers.

Most of them insist it is Harriet Tubman. Having never heard of Jovita Idár, they begin to question why the government would put this person on a quarter (which starts another conversation altogether).

I have never seen a Jovita Idár quarter in the wild and can’t accurately relate to what the world is finding. The lack of words in the fields suggests to some that the coin is from another country, but UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is prominent if you know where to look.

As the May 9, 2022, issue of Coin World reported, the winning design was chosen from 12 proposed designs. “The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) recommends a submission that illustrates Idár with her hands clasped. Text within the body represents the newspapers she wrote for and great accomplishments in her life, along with required coin inscriptions.”

So tell all of your non-numismatist friends it’s not Harriet Tubman, it’s not rare and it’s not a Proof coin. It’s a quarter, worth 25 cents. Maybe the knowledge will help them start their own interest in coins and history.

Or they’ll go back to looking for rare coins that don’t exist.

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