$2,000 Quarter? Check Your Pockets Before You Use This 2004 Coin

A quarter of Wisconsin on US dollar bills. stock photo
CaptureLight / iStock.com

The next time you toss a quarter into a gumball machine down at the local grocery store, think about this: That piece of gum could be costing you a lot more.

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It all depends on which type of quarter you use. If it’s a Wisconsin state quarter issued in 2004, it could be worth at least $30 and maybe much more. The vast majority of 2004 Wisconsin quarters are worth their face value — 25 cents. But some contain errors, which makes them somewhat of a collector’s item.

All of the quarters from that series show a cow, a wheel of cheese and an ear of corn on the back, WLAC reported. If you have one, pay close attention to the corn — especially the leaf on it. TikTok user @coinhub has posted a helpful video on the subject, embedded below.

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Real Values May Not Match Book Prices (Even For Graded Specimens)

If you see a “high extra leaf” on the corn, hold on to that coin — because the tiny little leaf is not supposed to be there. An “extra leaf high” coin in excellent condition has sold for as much as $2,530. However, in more recent times, a circulated coin may be worth ~$50, per The Spruce Crafts, and ~$130 uncirculated. PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) offers a price guide valuation, for graded and slabbed specimens, of between $115 for MS60 and $3,200 for a MS67 (the higher the number, the more pristine the coin). At auction, however, graded specimens have sold for significantly less than book price — a PCGS-listed high of $825 during a 2021 GreatCollections auction for an NGC-graded (Numismatic Guaranty Company) MS67 example.

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Now, if you happen to see a 2004 Wisconsin quarter with a low extra leaf below the corn, it’s also good to hold. The Spruce Crafts estimates the value of an uncirculated, ungraded “extra leaf low” specimen at ~$100; PCGS places a value of $95 on a graded MS60 example — but a much higher $5,500 for a MS67 example via their current price guide. Again, actual values of sold examples at auction are typical significantly less than this figure, at least in the current numismatic coin market. However, PCGS does list a single remarkable sale of a PCGS-graded MS67 example (taking place at a 2020 Heritage Auctions event) of $6,000.

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On the other hand, if you have a 2004 Wisconsin quarter with neither a high extra leaf or a low extra leaf, well… find three more just like it and you’ll have a dollar.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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