The Louisiana Purchase

What is the value of a 2004 Louisiana Purchase nickel with the back struck upside down?

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2011-04-17 00:39:16
2011-04-17 00:39:16

First verify that the back side really is struck upside-down. Hold the coin with Jefferson's face upright. Your fingers should be holding the coin on the right & left sides -- NOT at the top & bottom. Now when you flip the coin over like the page of a calendar, the shaking hands or keelboat should be right-side-up facing you. (The Jefferson head becomes upside-down on the side away from you). This is known as a "coin turn".

If you were holding the coin at the top & bottom and you flip it side to side like a book page, the shaking hands or keelboat would (normally) be upside-down facing you, while the Jefferson head would remain right side up (on the back side). This is called a "medal turn".

If you did the above "coin turn", and the shaking hands or keelboat design is now upside-down, then you have a rare rotated die error -- perhaps worth hundreds of dollars. If you did the "coin turn" and the shaking hands or keelboat is now right-side-up, you have a normal coin.

Rotated Die StrikesWhen you say it is upside down, are you turning it side-to-side like turning pages in a book, or top-to-bottom? The reverse should be upside down when turning side-to-side, but if it is not you have a rotated reverse which could be fairly valuable, but nothing to plan your early retirement around. Search eBay for other modern coins (probably statehood quarters have shown up) with "rotated" in the description.

The simplest and most obvious thing to do is to look at other coins in your change. This question comes up very frequently and can almost always be addressed by simply looking beyond the one coin in your hand at the moment. In fact, ALL current circulating U.S. coins have the sides oriented oppositely when flipped side to side like a book page.

Some countries (Canada, U.K, EU) use what's called "medal rotation" where both sides are oriented the same way when flipped side to side. Neither is right or wrong, they're just different.

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