As reported in VAMs and More: The View….
It is most likely the major cherrypick of the decade. Rob Franklin, author of the WOW! VAMs! Book, pulled it off with a $50 snatch on eBay. The coin is the 1898-O VAM 20. It is apparently the only example of a mint worker accidentally stamping the dies with numbers meant for the 1898 quarter and then using the correct punch to re-stamp the date into the working dies.
As pointed out by well-known expert Dr. Grant Hobika, there are less than a handful of examples of the issue known.
In fact, the SSDC Registry only lists one — a net -graded EF45 example owned by Ash Harrison that was used as the cover photograph for the 2006 edition of the VAM-View Retail Price Guide.
Franklin said there was no awesome story behind his cherry pick:
“I look at all of the 1898- O coins on eBay for VAMs 4A and 20. I‟ve found a couple of 4A coins, while the VAM 20 seemed to be an impossibility.
“However, and I know this sounds like a cliché, this one just called to me for a closer inspection! I honestly am not sure if I noticed the line between the 8-9, the pick-up- point I always look for, without actually realizing it was there. But I just had a feeling that I wanted a closer look. Sure enough, it was there.”
Franklin said he would be sending the coin to ANACS and expects an EF40/45 details grade.