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Coin and Paper Money Collecting/The difference between the two?


Can you please tell me why these two year 2000 quarters look different... In appearance.

Hi Tiffany,

Thank you for the picture.

The coin on the left is a regular business strike from the Denver Mint ("D" mint mark").

The coin on the right is a special PROOF strike from the San Francisco Mint ("S" mint mark").  These were made using special coin blanks and special coin dies, struck with extra pressure, and struck multiple times.  This gave the coins extra sharp features and a mirror-like finish.  These coins were only issued in special proof sets, sealed in a hard plastic holder -- so it would have to have been broken out of this holder at some time.

I can't tell from the pictures, but it's also possible that the S-mint coin is made from silver.  If you look at the reeded edge, and you do NOT find the copper stripe (like you'll see on the D-mint coin), then this is a 90% silver coin that currently has about $3 worth of silver in it.  If it has the copper stripe, then it's just copper/nickel, like a regular quarter, and has little added value, because it's been in circulation.

I hope this helps,


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Dan Moore


My strong familiarity with all U.S. Mint coins, extensive reference library, and close relationships with many other dealers allows me to identify just about any coin made in the USA. I receive regular updates to all the current price guides -- both wholesale & retail -- to provide accurate values. So, with a good description or pictures, I should be able to identify and value any U.S. coin you have.


I've been a coin dealer since the 1980's and a coin collector since the 1960's. I specialize in U.S. Silver Coins and have an active online website -- The Working Man's Rare Coins -- -- offering information and inventory in U.S. coins.

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