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Coin and Paper Money Collecting/2003 Missouri State Quarter/no copper visible


I have a 2003 Missouri State Quarter that appears to have "no" visible copper...?  Is it possible it could have been minted without any copper at all?


Yes. Key is weight. Clad quarters weigh 5.67 grams (0.182 troy oz). Compare the coin in question to a normal one.

Your piece may be plated, after it left the mint, and would be considered altered. Altered coins have no added numismatic value. It also may be struck from the end of strip planchet material, where the copper core would possibly be missing. A real error of this type could be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars to an interested collector. Your coin should be looked at by an error expert, if it doesn't have an "S" mintmark, and weighs differently than a normal clad quarter.

Sometimes you can think you have a real error coin. Here are examples of coins either being altered or damaged.
See link:
See link:

You may want to check Ebay listings under US coins in the error category to see what your coin is going for.

You may also want to check out these links on error coin values:

If you live close to a local shop, they should offer an opinion as to the value at no charge. Always try and get at least two opinions and try and deal with PNG dealers if possible. If you should decide to sell your items to a dealer, remember they will offer about 50% to 60% of the retail value. Here's a link to find one in your area:

Please remember to go to the experts site to rate this answer. And check the nomination box on the rating page below any comments you may have.

Thank You and Good Luck in your collecting.  

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Ronald Fern


I can answer most all questions relating to US coins, tokens, and currency. I'm not strong on world coins or ancients. Primary field of expertise is errors and varieties. Over 55 years experience in coin collecting. Part time dealer since 1976. Employed by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 34 years as an Industrial Engineer/Technical Specialist before retiring in 2002.


Worked weekends for "Lonesome" John in the late 1960's to mid 1970's processing error coins, packaging, and preparing orders. Worked with John Devine and Fred Weinberg on several California Error A Rama's in the early 1970's. Served as display judge at annual Error-A-Rama coin shows. Opened and operated mail order coin business DBA "CAL ERRORS" in 1976. Contributor to Alan Herbert's "Official Price Guide To Mint Errors" and Fivaz/Stanton "Cherrypickers' Guide". Worked Saturdays at Huntington Beach Coin Exchange 1980-1999. Had table and sold coins at a number of coin and gun shows in So CA, AZ and NV. Sell coins, tokens and currency on Facebook. Past "Errorscope" Editor. Presently CONECA Examiner.


Errorscope, Numismatic News, Civil War Token Journal, Error and Variety News

AA Degree LBCC pre Engineering, 1964 BS Degree CSULB Ind Technology, 1968

Awards and Honors
1st Place EAR Trophy for Civil War Token Errors, NLG Author of Year Award for best monthly coin column "Error News and Views" in small Numismatic paper, owned and published by Ray Anthony.

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