The coin’s owner, Mike Byers, is a self-professed expert on government-issued error coins and author of the 2009 book World’s Greatest Mint Errors. Thanks to a major mint error, he says, the quarter was struck over a 1941 Canada quarter instead of a blank one. You can still see some of the coin’s original details, including a 1941 date stamp on its tails side and Latin writing on the border of its heads side.
The 1970 quarter is a proof coin, which means it was a special early sample of a coin issue that was never released into circulation. It’s unclear how many were made, but Byers says that the coin was once part of a tiny collection auctioned off by the state of California after the Secret Service declared the quarters legal to own.
Byers put the coin up for online auction last week, and re-listed it after he didn’t find any immediate buyers. However, plenty of people seem to be intrigued by the rare coin. As of 12 p.m. on Monday, June 13, Byers’s quarter had 445 people watching it, as well as nine inquiries.
Byers isn’t the only one hoping to profit from the rare quarter, KGW-TV reports. Other eBay users are selling the 1970 quarters online; some of them are asking for thousands of dollars. However, don’t expect to join their ranks any time soon. Since the coin was never distributed among the public, you’re unlikely to find one in your couch cushions or in an old piggy bank, WHIO points out.