Steven D. writes: I Have been trying to locate someone who can give me an intelligent answer concerning the statehood quarter program. I have recently acquired two sealed uncirculated sets of 1999 coins. Contained within these two sets was one quarter that was distinctively yellow in color, one Georgia and one New Jersey. I have been trying to determine if they are worth anything and what has caused this mint error. The coins are clad, but they are distinctively yellow toned.
The following is a definition of a Mint or uncirculated set. Some collectors only buy part of a set forgetting that the there are more than one package included.
Mint Sets consist of regular circulating coins that are inserted into a clear plastic film. For 1999 there are 4 clear coin packages. Two from the Philadelphia Mint consisting of one package with a cent, nickel, dime, half-dollar and a Philadelphia mint token struck on a cent blank and one package that has one example of each State Quarter (5) with a “P” mint mark. These two packs are inserted into a blue and white envelope labeled United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set Philadelphia.
The other half of the set, consists of two packages similar to the above with each coin having a “D” mint mark. The two Denver packs are in a Dark Red and white envelope labeled Denver. The Philadelphi adn Denver envelopes together make one 1999 uncirculated mint set. Again, outside of their superior condition, they are identical to regular circulating coinage.
All United States coins are made to specific specifications and blanks are cut from prescribed strip. Dimes, quarters and half-dollars are struck on clad blanks and have been made this way since 1965. The specifications of a clad quarter are the following:
The weight is 5.67 grams with an outer layer of copper-nickel (75% copper and 25% nickel) bonded to a core of pure copper. Though nickel doesn’t tone, copper does, especially in the presence of oxidizers such as sulfur compounds and acids, both of which are available at the Mint.
The possibility of quarters being struck on other metals than what is on hand to strike coins is small. Recently, for the first time in United States history a “mule” was created, that is two mismatched dies from other coins. In this case it is a quarter obverse and a Sacagawea dollar reverse struck on a dollar planchet. But dollar planchets are available.
Weighing the coin is diagnostic. Coins struck on other coin blanks happen occasionally but their weights and sizes are different than normal coins (see Prices for U.S. Error Coins for a partial listing).
If your coin weighs more or less than the specified weight you might want to send the coin for diagnosis and authentication.