I have no clue whats going on with this quarter. I thought it was just post mint & heavy circulation damage. Also, it is a weird "alien" grey color. Almost as if the lamination was forgotten..? But, I bought my first USB microscope and now I'm not sure about some of the damage I see... ( p.s. I love this microscope & am still learning how to use. I will be posting "too much" now ) Thank you as always!
We prefer to this type of coin as "a parking lot find" as that is the most likely way it received this amount of abuse. Yes, it is post mint damage. There is not any mint error that would one close to this type of damage. No microscope needed on this one! You can decide for yourself, but this isn't worth keeping. In fact, you might have trouble spending it for fear of getting cut by it. Good luck... keep searching and asking questions!
What makes me think this is a "parking lot coin"? Primarily the damage done around the edges. Now, I am assuming this quarter wasn't the torture project of some thirteen year old, usually those have more uniform markings (from being in a vise or grinder).
Imagine a lost quarter grinding underfoot against stone, shoes and bad weather. No telling exactly how the cuts and scrapes came to be. Yes, the coin looks terrible, but the damage is man made (man caused?). I have seen mint issues, and I recommend you searching here on CFF (upper left hand corner search box) or just on Google for mint errors to aquatint yourself with the mint process to see and understand for yourself how coins (and errors) are made. The scrapes on your quarter's surfaces are usually earmarks of gravel contact.
How can I tell 100% this damage is from a parking lot. I can't say that with certainty, but I can say with 100% confidence it is not the result of a minting error. As a police detective would say, it doesn't match a mint error's "modus operandi." Mint errors vary in scope from smooth mis-struck coins to multiple struck coins, but *usually* mint errors are regular coin shape and not jagged or rough in appearance (I am sure someone here will correct me and show 1000 examples to contradict me), but the bottom line is this... errors from "the mint" look nothing like your quarter.