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Experimental Planchets used for State Quarters
July 25, 2007

planchetAmongst the United States pattern issues offered for sale in the upcoming Heritage Milwaukee ANA auction there are five coins which may hold a very broad appeal for modern US coin collectors. They are examples of several experimental golden alloy planchets, which were tested on some of the State Quarter dies from 1999.

You can look at these as tests for the Sacagawea Dollar, done prior to the decision being made for a manganese-alloy for the circulation strikes. I guess they used the quarter dies because they were readily available and planchets for quarter-sized coins could be prepared more quickly.

Heritage notes that there are four known compositions for these off metal strikes, with gold or greenish color and with or without a copper core. The examples up for bid are all golden in color and made use of the dies for Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. All are dated 1999 and bear the P mintmark from Philadelphia.

In May 2007, Heritage sold an example of the experimental golden planchet Delaware Quarter for $3,450. In October 2006, Heritage sold an example of the Pennsylvania experimental golden quarter for $9,775. Earlier, in 2003 and 2004, four examples of experimental golden quarters were auctioned by Heritage, bringing prices in a range from about $3,000 to $6,000.

All of these were slabbed by PCGS, as are the five offered this time around. It will be interesting to see what the current five pieces bring at the biggest forum of the year for coin collectors!

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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