By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
People in a handful of cities across the United States have noticed something unusual about the change in their pockets. Quarters that feature the Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump on the obverse have been found in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Amarillo, Texas and New York City.
Above his effigy is the inscription TAKE A DUMP ON TRUMP. To the left of his face is the word INSANITY. Behind his head to the right is the phrase TRUST ME. Beneath his neck’s truncation is the denomination QUARTER DOLLAR.
The particular legends and their positions on the face of the coin imply that a 50 State Quarter-era (1999-2008) specimen served as the template for the spoof quarter, but the reverse is from an otherwise normal Heraldic Eagle type.
For now, no one knows where they are coming from or who is producing them.
News of the first sighting came out of Amarillo, when Joni Prater discovered the coin while going through her change.
On the West Coast, the wife of Devo founder and LA-area resident Gerald Casale apparently picked up one of the parody coins at a grocery store.
Further news came out of San Francisco when resident Caio Simbula received the Trump-faced quarter in his change at the laundromat, and another quarter popped up when Niclas Ullstrom found it in San Francisco’s Washington Square Park.
Most recently, New Yorker Paul Malmstrom had a similar experience to Ms. Prater in his home city.
And even though every one of the individuals who finds themselves in possession of a Trump quarter has obviously lost 25 cents somewhere up the line, all of those mentioned above have taken the prank (if, indeed, it is a prank) in good spirits.
Some even anticipate that it might be worth more than quarter in the near future.
As for the legality of the altered coin, Amarillo Police Officer Jeb Hilton was quoted by MyHighPlains.com as saying that the placement of the satirical Trump quarter into circulation was not a crime and is instead a “novelty item”.
However, we at CoinWeek can’t help but think of Bernard von NotHaus and his conviction for counterfeiting in regards to the infamous Liberty Dollar. In that instance, the government’s case seemed to center around the fact that a face value (in USD) was inscribed on the coin – a detail subtly altered on von NotHaus’ subsequent foray into the world of Trumpian exonumia earlier this year.
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