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Elvis Quarters Drawing Controversy

Elvis Presley Enterprises has licensed a company to replace George Washington on some of Tennessee’s 2002 quarters with a color illustration of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The coins, souvenirs honoring Presley on the 25th anniversary of his death, went into production this month through the International Collector’s Society. The process fuses a color portrait of Elvis over Washington’s face.

Pete Davidson, EPE’ senior licensing manager, said the British colony of Gibraltar mints Elvis coins as part of its currency, but the refaced quarter is the only option in U.S. currency.

Secret Service Agent Tim Viertel said defacing U.S. currency is a misdemeanor crime but the Elvis quarters are in a gray area because they are not part of a deceptive scheme.

“I don’t know of a U.S. attorney’s office around who would prosecute it,” Viertel said.