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V13 2010 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 10, March 7, 2010, Article 12

OBAMA QUARTERS CIRCULATING IN NEW YORK

It doesn't take an act of Congress to get these quarters into circulation. This article from New York notes that quarters with stickers picturing President Barack Obama are freely circulating there, to the point that some people think they are real U.S. Mint products. -Editor

Obama Quarters Circulating in New York They don't look like regular quarters. The small discs actually look fake.

"These are the new Obama quarters," explained the clerk at a Yonkers UPS store as she handed over change.

Huh? Doesn't it take an act of Congress to put a person on coin or currency and doesn't that person have to be deceased?

The Obama quarters are gold plated and bear a picture -- baby pictures, in some cases -- of the 44th president on one side. Regular quarters are engraved with the face of George Washington and made of copper and nickel.

In the case of the Obama quarter, a decal of Barack covers the engraving of George. Nonetheless, the store clerk insisted the Obamized 25-cent pieces were authentic because she got them from the Webster Bank a few blocks away.

Branch manager David Delgado said customers deposited the coins and the bank recirculated them to other customers.

"These are real coins turned into novelty items, "said Ed Steadham, a Webster Bank spokesman.

But is an altered coin still currency? As long as you're not trying to cheat anybody with one and it's accepted by the other party, it is, according to Michael White of the U.S. Mint.

Dubious, we tested it out. But when we bought a soda from a Manhattan street vendor using one of the coins, we were surprised by his lack of curiosity.

"This is the second time I've seen one," said Alberto Delacruz.

To read the complete article, see: Is the Obama Quarter for Real? (www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Obama-Quarters-Loose-Change-85821077.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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