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Category: Errors

Useless Money: Production “Error” to Cause Delay in New $100 Bill Debut

The US government said it is still trying to identify the source of the production glitch that forced it to postpone introducing the new $100 bill and could force it to shred hundreds of millions of error-ridden bills. The issue stems from what officials called a “problem with sporadic creasing of the paper during printing” that resulted in blanks spots on some of the newly redesigned bills.

Officials at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are working with Crane & Co., the Massachusetts company which has supplied the government with paper for currency for more than 130 years, to identify what caused the errors, but it’s unclear if the problem was caused by Crane’s paper or some other element of the printing process.

A person familiar with the situation said that at the height of the printing process, as many as 30 percent of the bills rolling off the printing press included the flaw, leading to the production shut down.

The government said it believes most of the 1.1 billion bills already printed can be salvaged, but any of the bills that were misprinted will have to be shredded.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the bills are the most costly ever produced, with a per-note cost of about 12 cents—twice the cost of a conventional bill. That means the government spent about $120 million to produce bills it can’t use. On top of that, it is not yet clear how much more it will cost to sort the existing horde of hundred dollar bills.

Sorting such a huge quantity of bills by hand, the officials estimate, could take between 20 and 30 years. Using a mechanized system, they think they could sort the massive pile of bills in about one year. (more…)

Unique 1943 Bronze Cents Set To Be Displayed at the FUN Show

The first-ever public display of the one-of-a-kind set of 1943 bronze Lincoln cents from the Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints will be hosted by Professional Coin Grading Service and Legend Numismatics, Inc. during the first three days of the Florida United Numismatists convention in Tampa, Florida, January 6, 7 and 8, 2011.

The unprecedented exhibit marks the first time the complete set has been included in the PCGS Set RegistrySM. It also marks the fulfillment of a boyhood dream of the collector who owns the coins, Texas business executive Bob R. Simpson, Co-Chairman of the Texas Rangers baseball club.

“A total of nine off-metal World War II-era Lincoln cents from Mr. Simpson’s collection will be displayed at the PCGS booth (#102) at the FUN convention,” said Don Willis, President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ:). “There’s the unique set of three 1943 bronze-planchet cents, a set of three 1944 cents on zinc-coated steel planchets, and three wartime Lincoln cents erroneously struck on silver planchets apparently intended for the production of dimes.”

Simpson wanted to own a 1943 bronze cent error since he was a teenager, and now owns the only-known 1943-D bronze cent as well as other wrong-planchet, wartime cents. All will be exhibited at FUN.

Zinc-coated steel was used for producing cents in 1943 to conserve copper for other uses during World War II, but a small number of coins were mistakenly struck on bronze planchets left over from 1942. In 1944 the Mint resumed use of copper for cent production using recycled ammunition shell cases; however, a small number were mistakenly struck on zinc-coated steel planchets intended for use only on 1943-dated cents.

“Mr. Simpson is the first collector to ever assemble a complete P-D-S set of bronze-planchet 1943 Lincoln cents,” said Laura Sperber, President of Legend Numismatics. “When he recently saw all three coins together for the first time, he said, ‘This is incredible!’ Now, he’s graciously agreed to publicly display them.”

Sperber said that when he was a youngster, Simpson thought he’d actually found a 1943 copper cent in circulation. “But it was not authentic. He still has that in his desk drawer.”

The unique 1943-D bronze cent was purchased by Simpson in September for a record $1.7 million through Legend Numismatics after four years of negotiations with the coin’s anonymous former owner who donated all the proceeds to charity. It is the highest price ever paid for a United States cent.

“It was always special to buy each coin for this set, and until I had all the coins together I just did not realize how important and unreal this project really was! I’m as excited as any collector can be to see this amazing display,” Sperber said.

“Not only is Mr. Simpson’s Set of Off-Metal Cents the All-Time-Finest, it’s the absolute finest possible given the scarcity of the coins,” said BJ Searls, PCGS Set Registry Manager. “Photos of Mr. Simpson’s 1943 bronze and 1944 steel cents can be viewed online in the PCGS Set Registry for ‘Lincoln Cents Off-Metal Strikes, Circulation Strikes (1943-1944)’. The one-of-a-kind complete set has a weighted grade point average of 62.89.” (more…)

Legend Numismatics Pays $2 Million Dollars For 3 Lincoln Cents!

By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatic Market Report

You may have noticed the past two weeks or so we have been saying and doing little with our web site. NEWPS have been minimal and Market Reports and Hot Topics have slowed. We can now tell you why. We have been super busy traveling completing deals-not just any deals, deals that are at world record prices and that include some of the rarest coins on earth! We are now finally back home and are pleased to make the following announcement:

LEGEND NUMISMATICS HAS BOUGHT AND SOLD THE UNIQUE 1C 1943D COPPER FOR $1,700,000.00!

We actually purchased a 3 coin coin deal for $2,000,000.00. We figured the 1943D at $1.7 million cost. The other two coins in the deal were the finest 1944 P Steel cent PCGS MS64, and a 1C 1942 PCGS 65 made out of white metal. Yes, you have read this right-3 pennys for $2 million dollars!

The 1943D and the 1944P are both now part of the ONLY COMPLETE PDS sets for their metals. The steel cent collection is by far the finest, as are the coppers. We are hoping to display both these sets at the PCGS table at FUN 2011.

Hard to believe, but Legend tried unsuccessfully for four years to buy the 1943D. The seller in the end was still reluctant. However, we can state ALL of the monies he received from the sale are going to a pet charity project of his. The seller (who wishes to remain anonymous) was represented by Lincoln Cent Specialist Andy Skrabalack of Angel Dee’s.

Our customer is thrilled to own the 1943D. Ever since he heard the coin existed, we had been sent on a mission to acquire it. His desire to own the complete and only PDS copper set came from his finding what he thought was a 1943 copper when he was young. Sadly, this piece was found to be a fake. Still he keeps this coin in his desk draw. He believes 43 Coppers are one of the ultimate classic rarities (and so do we). While the price we paid was stiff, the monies went to a good cause and the coins are now locked away in a great home.

Legend Numismatics has handled MANY million dollar plus classic rarities over the years. The 1943D really is one special highlight for us. We thank the seller and congratulate the new owner. For us, it really has been a career highlight.

WHAT ELSE DID WE TRAVEL FOR?

We have now flown several coast to coast trips over the past 2 weeks. There have also been stops in Dallas, NYC, and Denver in between.

One exciting collection we purchased was a spectacular Pattern Collection. When we got the call we were like, “oh great, more patterns”. This deal turned out to be an incredible “old time” collection with the majority of the coins being raw. Highlights included Earring Quarters, Amazionan Dollars, and several R-8 Seated patterns. These coins will be sent in for grading shortly. We did not grade anything less than PR65! ALL of the coins have been off the market for at least 20+ years. Guess we can never have enough great Patterns!

Besides patterns, we also bought and sold a 50C 1919D PCGS MS65. The price was in excess of $200,000.00. This sale now completes what maybe the second finest Walker set assembled (no, its NOT registered). (more…)

Unique Bronze 1943-D Lincoln Cent Sold for $1.7 Million by Legend

A one-of-a-kind Lincoln penny, mistakenly struck in 1943 at the Denver Mint in bronze rather than the zinc-coated steel used that year to conserve copper for World War II, has been sold by Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey for $1.7 million to an unnamed Southwestern business executive.  The coin’s anonymous former owner made arrangements for the entire sale proceeds to go to a charitable organization.

The only known 1943-dated Lincoln cent mistakenly struck at the Denver Mint on a bronze planchet has been sold for a record $1.7 million by Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey. The unique coin, not publicly known to exist until 1979, is graded PCGS MS64BN.

The new owner is a Southwestern United States business executive who wants to remain anonymous, but who plans to exhibit this coin and others in January at the Florida United Numismatists convention.

He also purchased in the same transaction through Legend a 1944 Philadelphia Mint cent struck on a zinc planchet, graded PCGS MS64, for $250,000, and an experimental 1942 Philadelphia cent mostly composed of tin for $50,000. The unnamed new owner plans to exhibit these coins and others at the Florida United Numismatists convention in January.

(Photo credit: Legend Numismatics.)

“The 1943-D bronze cent is the most valuable cent in the world, and it took four years of aggressive negotiations with the coin’s owner until he agreed to sell it.”

“The new owner is proudly now the only collector to ever own the all-time finest and complete sets of Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco 1943 bronze cents and 1944 steel cents,” said Laura Sperber, President of Legend Numismatics.

“The new owner is a prominent Southwestern business executive who’s been collecting since he was a teenager, searching through pocket change looking for rare coins. As a youngster he thought he’d actually found a 1943 copper cent in circulation but it was not authentic. He still has that in his desk drawer, but now he’s the only person to ever assemble a complete set of genuine 1943 bronze cents, one each from the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints. He will display that set at FUN along with his 1944 Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco zinc cents,” said Sperber.

The anonymous collector who formerly owned the coin “donated it to a charitable organization so they could sell it with all of the proceeds going to the charity,” according to Andy Skrabalak of Angel Dee’s Coins and Collectibles in Woodbridge, Virginia who acted as agent on behalf of the former owner.

“As a specialist in small cents, this transaction is the ultimate accomplishment for me and I’m privileged to be part of it. I don’t think it will ever be duplicated in my lifetime,” said Skrabalak.

Zinc-coated steel was used for producing cents in 1943 to conserve copper for other uses during World War II, but a small number of coins were mistakenly struck on bronze planchets left over from 1942.

“We estimate that less than 20 Lincoln cents were erroneously struck in bronze at the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints in 1943, but this is the only known example from the Denver Mint,” explained Don Willis, President of Professional Coin Grading Service.

Sperber said the collector’s historic, mis-made World War II era cents will be displayed during the first three days of the FUN convention in Tampa, Florida, January 6 – 8, 2011. (more…)

Coin Rarities & Related Topics: The Sept. Goldbergs Coin Auction in Southern California

News and Analysis on scarce coins, coin markets, and the coin community #18

A Weekly Column by Greg Reynolds

For decades, the Long Beach (CA) Coin, Stamp and Collectible Expo has been a major event for coin collectors. The third Long Beach Expo of 2010 will start on Sept. 23 and end on Sep. 25. As usual, Heritage will conduct the official auction. Earlier, in Los Angles County, the firms of Bonhams and of the Goldbergs will also conduct auctions. The Goldbergs will offer a very wide variety of coins on Sept. 19th, 20th and 21st at the Beverly Hills Crowne Plaza.

I. Eliasberg 1893-S $5 Gold Coin

At the ANA Convention in Boston, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to closely examine some of the coins in the upcoming Goldbergs auction. One of my favorites is an 1893-S Half Eagle ($5 gold coin) that was formerly in the Louis Eliasberg collection, which is the greatest collection of U.S. coins that was ever formed.

Many gold coins with an Eliasberg pedigree are of tremendous quality, and this 1893-S is one of them. It is PCGS graded MS-66, and was certified at some point in the mid 1990s. I grade it as 66+. Furthermore, it has a sticker of approval from the CAC, which indicates that experts at the CAC determined that its grade is at least in the middle of the 66 range.

This 1893-S Half Eagle has great luster and an excellent strike. It is wonderfully brilliant. This coin has almost no contact marks or hairlines. The inner fields exhibit some pleasant, natural light green toning.

The 1893-S Half Eagle is somewhat common in grades up to MS-62, in which range it is valued only slightly higher than the most common Liberty Head ‘With Motto’ Half Eagles. In MS-63 and MS-64 grades, an 1893-S Half Eagle commands a substantial premium. In MS-65 and higher grades, it is an extreme condition rarity. At most, one half dozen true gems exist, and probably not even that many. This Eliasberg 1893-S is the only 1893-S that is graded MS-66 by the PCGS or the NGC, and none have been certified as grading higher than MS-66. There is certainly a good chance that it is the finest known.

In MS-66 grade, the PCGS price guide values this 1893-S at $22,500 and very common dates at $7500. A rival price guide at Numismedia.com values a MS-66 grade 1893-S, which must be this one, at $20,150. An old green PCGS label, an Eliasberg pedigree, and a CAC sticker all have the potential to bring about a price that is higher than would otherwise be realized. This coin, though, speaks for itself. It is exceptionally attractive and a delight to view.

II. Carter 1797 ‘small eagle’ $10 Gold Coin

In the upcoming Goldbergs auction, the re-appearance of the NGC graded MS-63 1797 ‘Small Eagle’ Eagle is newsworthy. Gold coins were first struck at the U.S. Mint in 1795. The major varieties of the first type of Eagles that are collected as if they were distinct dates are: the 1795 with thirteen leaves on the branch, the 1795 with nine leaves on the branch, the 1796, and the 1797 ‘small eagle’. This first type has a bust of Miss Liberty on the obverse (front) and a relatively small eagle on the reverse (back). The second type of Eagles, which date from 1797 to 1804, have the same general obverse (front) design along with a much different reverse (back) design. The new reverse features a large or heraldic eagle. It is not just the size of the eagle that is different; the style of the eagle and other reverse design devices are also different. (more…)

Unusual Items: 1913 Buffalo Nickel Struck on a Dime Planchet

1913 5C Type Two Buffalo Nickel–Struck on a Dime Planchet–MS66 NGC. 2.5 gm, which is exactly the expected weight of an Uncirculated silver dime.

This remarkable wrong planchet error is predominantly silver-white, but the centers display a whisper of almond-gold toning. Luster shimmers across the immaculate surfaces, which display the finely granular texture characteristic of first-year Buffalo nickels.

Well struck despite the undersized flan, although slight incompleteness is noted on the hair above the braid, the jaw of the Indian, and the flank of the bison.

The date, designer’s initial, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and UNITED are intact. Portions of the other legends are off the flan, although all are readable. Remarkably, all of the Indian’s head is present, as is all of the bison except for the tail. Just enough of the exergue beneath the E C in FIVE CENTS to confirm that no mintmark is present.

Nickels struck on dime blanks are much scarcer than cents struck on dime blanks, but when the error combination is encountered, it is almost always on Jefferson dies.

The Buffalo nickel on silver dime planchet combination is priced at $12,000 in the 2010 Guide Book on page 403, the highest specified price on the page with the exception of the Walking Liberty half on a silver quarter planchet.

However, such prices are for examples in typically encountered grades, which for century-old issues usually imply brief circulation before a fortunate finder realized the uncommon color and diameter. A flawless MS66 certainly demands a considerable premium.

The invaluable Heritage Permanent Auction Archives, which date back to 1991, contain 8,277 lots of error coins. None of these are Buffalo nickels struck on dime planchets, although Buffalo nickels on cent planchets have occasionally appeared at auction. The present error category in such outstanding preservation may never surface again in a Heritage Signature, and the opportunity is fleeting.

To be sold By Heritage as Lot 2039 as part of the 2010 April-May Milwaukee, WI CSNS US Coin Auction #1139

Misdated Presidential Dollar Excites Error Collectors

NGC recently authenticated a 2009 D Zachary Taylor Presidential $1 coin bearing the date 2010 D on its lettered edge.

NGC has certified a Zachary Taylor Presidential $1 coin that bears the date 2010 D. The Zachary Taylor coin was the fourth Presidential dollar released in 2009 and should correctly bear the date 2009, not 2010. This is the first time that the wrong date has been reported on an edge-lettered US dollar.

The date on each Presidential $1 coin appears on its edge and is applied by an edge lettering die after the obverse and reverse are struck with a blank collar. Because edge lettering is an additional and subsequent step, it has been the source of several types of novel mint error coins. Most common among these errors is partial edge lettering, which occurs when a coin gets hung up in the edge lettering machine and part of the edge lettering is not impressed. Another error is missing edge lettering; that error occurs when a coin misses the edge lettering step entirely. A third error type that has been encountered is doubled edge lettering, which is created when a coin passes through the edge lettering machine twice.

While there are many possible explanations for how this incorrect date error may have occurred, its story is seemingly revealed by the coins that accompanied it. This error coin was included in a roll of 2010 D Native American $1 Coins that were purchased using the US Mint’s Direct Ship Program. Since only this lone Zachary Taylor $1 was found in the roll, one can speculate that the same machinery was used to strike 2010 D Native American dollars after completing a run of 2009 D Zachary Taylor dollars. A coin was left behind somewhere between striking and edge lettering became mixed with Native American dollars headed for the edge lettering process, and was thus inscribed with the wrong date.

Because of where this coin was found, it does not suggest that a large run of error coins were made and, therefore, this type of error coin may remain a significant rarity. (more…)

Is it an Error Coin or a Variety?

By Ken Potter

By way of introduction, I am an error and variety coin specialist from Michigan. As a charter life member of the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America (CONECA) and a founding member of the National Collector’s Association of Die Doubling (NCADD), I serve both groups independently as their official attributor of world (non-U.S.) hub doubled dies and I privately list all types of die varieties on both U.S. and other world coins in the Variety Coin Register(r). I am also a columnist for Coin World, World Coin News, Canadian Coin News, Cherrypickers’ News and several club publications.

While I plan to examine issues other than errors and varieties, most of what I plan for this column will relate to my area of expertise. Before getting started I should mention that varieties listed within the Variety Coin Register(r) (VCR) are assigned a primary VCR number and a secondary number that defines the variety type or class. This reference number will accompany the description for most varieties shown in this column. I believe the system is rather self- explanatory but if anybody desires a detailed explanation they may contact me via e-mail and request “Form#VCR”.

Another item in need of explanation is how I differentiate between errors and varieties. The lines of demarcation are not always clear and tend to vary between specialists. One area of agreement is that any mechanically misstruck coin or a coin struck on an improperly prepared planchet is an error coin. It is also a consensus that any coin displaying a deliberate change in design is considered a “die variety”. Thus a coin struck “off-center” or “struck on a damaged planchet” is considered and “error” while a coin exhibiting a change in the style of lettering, etc., is considered a deliberate “variety”.

Some specialists argue that certain “varieties” such as repunched Mint marks (RPMs) and hub doubled dies are actually “errors” because there is no intent by the Mint to prepare a “flawed” die. Others argue many RPMs and doubled dies are more appropriately defined as a “variety”; they believe they’re deliberately released and contend that many issuing authorities consider such flaws trivial and an expected byproduct of tolerances and processes in place (a stance with which I pretty much agree).

It is also known that some “overdates” were deliberately created by the Mint to extend the life of an otherwise obsolete die, while it is presumed that others were created in error. While most specialists agree, determining which dies were deliberately overdated and which were not is often an exercise in futility. Thus we cannot know for certain if we can accurately apply the term “error” to many “overdates”. (more…)

1943-S Lincoln Cent Struck in Bronze sold by Heritage for $207K

The Amazing Branch Mint Error Rarity Graded VF35 by PCGS

Coming on the heels of Heritage’s offering of a 1943 bronze cent struck at Philadelphia in their January 2010 FUN Auction, Heritage has just sold this 1943-S bronze cent in the February 2010 Long Beach Auction.

Few coins are so misunderstood, so mysterious, so legendary as the 1943 cents struck in bronze, known informally as the 1943 “copper” cents.

In 1943, the U.S. Mint switched from bronze to zinc-plated steel for cent coinage in an effort to conserve copper for use in World War II. Over a billion “Steel Cents” were struck by the three Mints combined in 1943, though a majority of the known 1943 “copper” cents were struck in Philadelphia, not Denver or San Francisco. Fewer than 20 are known.

Most experts believe the error occurred when left-over bronze planchets were mixed with a batch of the new Steel planchets that went through the usual striking methods, then escaped into circulation.

An article by Gary Eggleston stated “In the June issue of the “Numismatist,” 1947, it was reported that a Dr. Conrad Ottelin had discovered a 1943 bronze Lincoln Head cent. A few weeks before Dr. Ottelin’s discovery, Don Lutes, Jr., a 16 year old from Pittsfield, MA, found one in his change from the high school cafeteria. Then in 1958, a boy named Marvin Beyer also found the 1943 bronze cent. With the publicity from all three finds, and estimates that these coins could sell for at least 5 figures (at that time) at auction, a national frenzy was created. Every man, woman and child sifted through their pocket change looking for their fortune.” (more…)

Unusual Items: Remarkable Double Denomination Mule 1993-D Cent with Dime Reverse

ha_11c_error_fun09U.S. coins struck with dies of different denominations are extremely rare. Until recent years, none were known.

The most famous among those are the Sacagawea dollar reverse, paired with a statehood quarter obverse, of which ten examples are known, per Fred Weinberg.

In Heritage’s April 2006 Central States Signature, a 1999 cent with a dime reverse hammered down for $138,000, the largest prices realized for an error coin in a Heritage auction, excluding the 1944-S steel cent that sold for $373,750 in our 2008 ANA Signature.

Aside from malfeasance of a mint worker, the muled denomination error is only possible when the denominations involved are similar in diameter. A cent is 19 mm, and a dime is 17.9 mm, a difference of 1.1 mm or approximately 5%.

Given the billions of cents struck annually at the Federal mints, it was inevitable that an absent-minded worker would pair cent and dime dies.

Presumably, the mistake was discovered and the struck pieces were destroyed before dispersal, with the single exception of the present survivor.

This lustrous Gem shows the characteristics expected of a cent and dime mule. The dime side has a broad, tall rim, since metal was forced into the collar of the dime die by the wider diameter cent die opposite. As a result, the cent side has a soft strike near the rim, since metal in the vicinity flowed into the dime collar.

This coin is being offered for sale at Heritage’s 2010 FUN Auction as Lot 2383

Bowers and Merena 2010 Orlando Rarities Coin Auction Includes Humbert $50 Error

Important U.S. Coins to Cross Auction Block in January

humbert_error_bm_121109Bowers and Merena Auctions, America’s leading rare coin and currency auction house, will commence its 2010 auction schedule with the Orlando Rarities Sale. The auction will be conducted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010, beginning at 6 p.m. ET at the Doubletree Resort-Orlando International Drive. Pre-sale lot viewing will take place in the same location January 3 to 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

“2010 promises to be another exciting year for Bowers and Merena,” remarked Steve Deeds, president of the firm. “The year will certainly begin on a high note with our eagerly anticipated Orlando Rarities Sale. Many important coins are included among the highlights of this sale, and bidding promises to be spirited for all U.S. coin series and types.”

Continued Deeds: “Among the leading rarities set to cross the auction block in our Orlando Rarities Sale is an 1851 Augustus Humbert Fifty-Dollar gold piece with an extremely important, previously unknown engraving error.

humbert_error_details_121109Nominally an example of the Kagin-2 Lettered Edge variety—itself a scarce variety with a Rarity-5 rating—this particular piece is missing the digits 88 in the inscription 880 THOUS, resulting in a partially blank scroll on the obverse above the eagle.

A discovery piece that has been certified AU-55 by PCGS, this coin is sure to warrant the undivided attention of Territorial gold specialists.”

Deeds also called attention to highlights in the regular issue United States silver- and gold-coin series. “We will also be presenting a low-mintage 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter graded MS-65 Full Head by NGC, an elusive 1796 Draped Bust, Small Eagle Half Dollar of the 16 Stars variety in PCGS/CAC VG-10 and an exquisite 1879 Flowing Hair Stella rarity that NGC has certified as Proof-66 Cameo.” (more…)

New Gold Indian Cent Error Coin to be Sold By Heritage at FUN

Exactly five Indian cents are known on gold planchets, according to information available. Among them are three dated 1900, this piece dated 1905, and an example dated 1906.

ha_1905_indian_cent_gold_error_120509The Judd pattern reference lists 1900 and 1907 gold cents in the section on mint errors. However, Andrew W. Pollock, III listed the 1900 gold Indian cents as P-1990 in the regular pattern section of his reference.

Pollock writes: “Listed in Judd as a mint error, but it is difficult to imagine that a Mint employee would be so careless as to feed gold planchets into a coinage press fitted with one-cent piece dies.” Pollock suggests that these pieces may have been deliberately struck for one or more collectors.

One example dated 1900 is also known in silver, from the identical dies as the 1900 gold Indian cents, suggesting they were all made at or near the same time. Rick Snow writes in A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents that “both the silver and gold examples are struck from the same dies, with light roughness on the reverse die, probably from die rust.” That all three 1900 pieces have higher weights suggests that they were specially made, perhaps without the knowledge of Mint officials.

Fred Weinberg explains that “the weights vary because in all probability, they were on planchets that might not have been filed down to the proper weight spread.” Hand adjusting of individual gold planchets continued in the Mint until circa 1910. Those three pieces are almost certainly fancy pieces made for collectors, while the 1905 and 1906 examples, on correct weight planchets, are more likely pieces truly made in error, and substantially more important as such. (more…)

PNG Members Recover Coins from 2001 Theft

The only known Walking Liberty half dollar mistakenly struck on a five-cent denomination planchet was among the 12 stolen error coins recovered by PNG member-dealers. (Photos courtesy of Fred Weinberg, Inc.)

off_metal_walker_recoveredA dozen of the 44 U.S. error coins stolen from an Indiana motel room in 2001 have been recovered and returned to their delighted owner through the joint efforts of three Professional Numismatists Guild members. At the time of the theft eight years ago these coins were to be the foundation of a planned book about off-metal errors.

The recovered coins belong to collector and researcher Mark Lighterman of Sanford, Florida. They include what is believed to be the only known Walking Liberty half dollar struck on a planchet intended for five-cent pieces; one of three known Standing Liberty quarter dollars struck on a one-cent planchet; a unique 1858 Flying Eagle cent on a silver half-dime planchet; and a double denomination Indian cent on a previously-struck Barber dime. There is also a transitional error 1944-dated Washington quarter on a zinc planchet intended for 1943 cents.

The coins were stolen along with a camera, laptop computer and a collection of over 1,000 casino gaming chips from Lighterman’s motel room in Southport, Indiana when he was traveling to the Central States Numismatic Society convention in Indianapolis in April 2001.

The recovery was made by PNG member Paul Nugget of Spectrum East in East Meadow, New York; PNG associate member Andrew Glassman, President of Spectrum Numismatics International in Irvine, California; and PNG Board Member and former PNG President Fred Weinberg of Fred Weinberg, Inc. in Encino, California.
(more…)

Unusual Items: 1906 Indian Cent. Struck in Gold

One of the more unusual and rare items in US numismatics will be auctioned by Stack’s in their Philadelphia Americana Sale September 23-26 in Philadelphia,  is Lot 4299, an Indian Head Cent struck in gold.  From the Stacks Catalog description ……..

stacks_gold_indian_cent_092309“This off-metal error is 18.3 mm (horizontal) X 18.1 mm (vertical). 1.1 mm to 1.2 mm thick. Plain Edge. with Lovely olive gold fields join yellow gold lustre and coppery highlights in the protected areas. This specimen weighs 64.4 grains and was probably struck on a quarter eagle planchet, which should weigh 64.5 grains. The physical size of the planchet is also very similar to that of a quarter eagle (17.78 mm), the slightly larger diameter of this specimen accounted for by the spread during striking of the soft gold to fill the larger diameter collar (19.05 mm) of an Indian cent.

Only a handful of Indian Head cents in gold of various dates are known. The most frequently encountered Indian cent in gold is the 1900, which is estimated at two to four specimens, according to various sources. We have traced two specimens:

1) John A. Beck (A. Kreisberg, January 1975, Lot 609), later sold as Auction ’89:856, again as part of the 1991 ANA Sale (B&M, August 1991, Lot 4103) and now owned by error collector Mike Byers;

2) 1993 ANA Sale (Heritage, July 1993, Lot 8000). Although the uspatterns.com web site reports that “With regard to the 1900, 3 or 4 are believed to exist including the circulated 1993 ANA example and the PCGS65 Col Green, Beck, Byers coin,” this estimate might be on the high side. A 1900 in gold is pictured as coin 6 in figure 131 of Don Taxay’s Counterfeit, Mis-Struck and Unofficial U.S. Coins, but it is hard to determine whether or not this is one of the above two listed specimens.

The 1900 is listed as Pollock 1990, referencing the 1991 ANA Sale specimen, and it is also listed in Judd’s Appendix B. A 1900 specimen in the Dewitt Smith collection was purchased by Virgil Brand in 1908 and is listed in his ledgers as #46973, but it is not clear whether this is one of the pieces cited above. Also known is a silver 1900 specimen struck from the same, rusted dies used to produce the gold specimens. The 1907 is referenced in several places, including Judd’s Appendix B, but has not been seen at auction recently. It is not inconceivable that other dates exist, as well as additional specimens of known dates.
(more…)

Bootstrap Error Lincoln Cents In Circulation

By Richard Giedroyc of HCC, Inc. www.hcc-coin.com

There are many minor error coins that can be found in circulation, but there are few error coins on which the error is both graphically visible and available in significant enough quantities to grab the interest of collectors as being a major variety.

There may be such a major variety now appearing in circulation, this being a 2009-P Bootstrap Lincoln cent. This appears to be a major variety of the Formative Years Lincoln cent, the second of four circulating commemorative cents to be issued during the year. Significant numbers of cents with a prominent die crack graphically visible without magnification extending from Lincoln’s left boot through the second U in PLURIBUS at six o’clock on the reverse of the Formative Years cent recently appeared at random in 2009-P Uncirculated cent rolls. The die crack is similar to a bootstrap, thus gaining the nickname for the variety.

The die crack error was first discovered in a roll of Lincoln cents examined by Jason Rodgers of HCC Inc., a rare coin company based in Holland, Ohio (a suburb of Toledo). Rodgers wasn’t particularly impressed by the first example discovered, but when several Bootstrap cents began appearing sporadically within other rolls Rodgers began to pay closer attention.

Jason Rodgers - HCCRodgers said his sample of more than 300 error coins was too small to conclude if the die crack is not progressive or not, although the die crack does not appear to become worse on later strike coins from the Bootstrap die. A progressive die crack would indicate the coins are late die state coinage originating from a deteriorating die. Error coins that as a group do not show a die progression suggest the coins originated from a die produced with a crack that was in the die when the die was first used.

This could put this error in league with the 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln cent and the 1937-D Three Legged Buffalo nickel, each of which are error coins produced from a single faulty die the mint failed to detect prior to commencing production with that die rather than from a deteriorating die or from a faulty hub.

No guess of the number produced will be available for some time, but considering the die crack is consistent and appears to come from a single reverse die the life expectancy of that working die can be estimated.

World’s Greatest Mint Errors by Mike Byers Available May 15th

World's Greatest Mint Errors by Mike ByerWorld’s Greatest Mint Errors is an enjoyable resource packed full of some of the most dramatic, rare and extraordinary mint errors and die trials ever assembled in one publication.

This book combines stunning imagery with the most accurate information available to provide anyone interested in mint errors with the latest information on mint error coins from the United States and around the world. Hundreds of spectacular mint errors are pictured. Each error coin photo is presented in full color, and enlarged to enhance the smallest details. Some of the error coins featured in this book have never been seen by the public before, and each is described in great detail as to the type of error, the assigned grade, rarity and estimated value.

· First published book on mint errors that accurately lists retail values.

· Accessible to any coin collector or numismatist, regardless of experience.

· Up to date with the latest information on new discoveries and new types of errors.

· Hundreds of rare, expensive, and famous coins to excite all collectors.

· Will educate and raise awareness in this fascinating area of numismatics.

The release of World’s Greatest Mint Errors will ignite an interest in non-collectors and advanced collectors alike. This book is a must have for every numismatic library!

Releasing on May 15th, look for copies of World’s Greatest Mint Errors at your local coin shop, or visit www.amazon.com. You can also order from Zyrus Press by mailing to PO Box 17810, Irvine, California 92623, calling (888) 622-7823, or online at www.zyruspress.com.

Unusual Items: Unique “Six Cents” Coin

1859 pattern cent. P-3188.An amazing “six-cents” coin, with the obverse of the 1859 Indian cent impressed on the obverse of an 1857 half dime with some of the star, date, and Liberty details visible beneath the Indian type; the reverse, though somewhat flattened, is of the host 1857 half dime.

Called Unique by Pollock in his reference on the series, and no other example has been rumored to exist since the publication of that volume in the 1990s.

At the uspatterns.com website, site director Saul Teichman is of a different opinion: “Although listed as an obverse die trial in silver for the 1859 Indian head cent struck over a struck 1857 half dime planchet, it is more likely a mint error in which the struck half dime ended up on top of blank cent planchet resulting in the striking seen above [the present coin is pictured at the website]. The half dime’s date can be seen in the field to the left of the Indian’s face under the STA in STATES.”

Indeed, the PCGS holder states “Mint Error.” A known entity that has been around for some time; perhaps Judd considered this a piece to be a “Mint Error,” and thus did not list it in his seminal work the pattern series.

Anyway you slice it, the present specimen is unique. PCGS Population: 1; no others certified in any grade.

Seavey, Parmelee Collection; Superior’s February 1974, Ruby Collection Lot 1988A; Bowers & Merena, April 1986 Lot 2209.

The Coin is being offered at Auction in Stack’s sale of “The Keusch, Snow & Del Zorro Collections” to be held on November 18-19 in Baltimore, MD.

Unusual Items : Unique Quarter Eagle Struck on 3 Cent Nickel Planchet

By Mike Byers – MintErrorNews

Unique 1866 $2.50 struck on a 3CN PlanchetUnique 1866 $2½ Struck on 3 Cent Nickel Planchet Certified by NGC

This numismatic discovery was certified in 2007 by NGC. It is one of two known U.S. Liberty gold coins struck on wrong planchets and certified by either NGC or PCGS as a mint error. The other known piece is a unique 1851 $20 Liberty struck on a cent planchet and certified by NGC.

Coincidentally, in 1975 I bought the 1851 $20 Liberty on a Large Cent planchet from Fred Weinberg. It was one of the highlights from the famous Dr. J. Hewitt Judd Collection. Judd listed it with illustration in Appendix B of his pattern book as a mint error. Until the discovery of this 1866 $2½ struck on a 3 Cent Nickel planchet, it was the only known U.S. gold coin struck on a wrong planchet. The $20 struck on the Large Cent planchet now resides in an East Coast collection of mint errors and is valued by many mint error specialists at over $150,000 should it ever become available.

This unique 1866 $2½ is an incredible discovery for many reasons. An 1866 $2½ has an extremely low mintage with only 3,080 struck and is one of the rarest dated $2½ Liberties known. It is a five-figure coin in just mint state 60 and a true gem, if it existed in this grade, would be worth well into six-figures.

This mint error is in gem condition. It was fully struck and has pristine fields and a flawless portrait. I would describe this coin as struck. It weighs 2.04 grams since it was accidentally struck on a 3 Cent Nickel blank planchet. It is incredible that this coin was preserved in this condition.

There are other U.S. gold coins struck as patterns and die trials on different alloys and/or with different designs. These are listed in Judd in the regular section along with the patterns. It is possible that one of these listed may actually be a mint error struck by mistake on a wrong planchet. But until one is authenticated and certified by PCGS or NGC as a mint error, only the $20 on a Large Cent blank and this 1866 $2½ on a 3 Cent Nickel planchet have been verified. I’ve handled patterns, die trials, splashers and other numismatic rarities since 1975 and I’ve never come across a U.S. gold coin which I genuinely believe was struck by mistake (mint error) on a wrong planchet other than the two I mention above. (more…)

1980-D&S Lincoln Cent Debunked!

by Ken Potter – NLG

The 1980-D&S Lincoln cent variety has bit the dust! Referred to by some as a Dual Mint Mark and by others as an Over Mint Mark (OMM), it had been one of the most hotly debated varieties amongst specialists for over a decade. James Wiles, 20th Century Variety Coin Attributer for CONECA provided an image of a specimen submitted by collector, Gary Darlington. Wiles distributed the image via email and it took a panel of prominent variety coin examiners that he sent to image to less than 24 hours to reach consensus that it debunked what was previously thought to be a D&S.

The image was of an early-mid-die-state, (EMDS), a stage earlier than previously seen. Specialist, Billy Crawford created overlay images of two different stages demonstrating that they were from the same die. The EMDS specimen shows an irregular pattern of probable die damage as being the source of what looks every bit like the lower two-thirds of an S on mid-die-state (MDS) examples. Later stages are less convincing but the presence of the deceptive MDS seemed to legitimize the LDS.

George Allegado first discovered the variation in late-die-state (LDS) and reported it to Alan Herbert in early February of 1981. Herbert later reported upon it in Numismatic News. CONECA member, John Wexler, published a story on another LDS specimen in the May 1981 Error-Variety News, its image splashed on the front cover. This piece became the plate-coin in Wexler and Tom Miller’s, The RPM Book published in 1983 which kept the coin in the limelight for a number of years.

However, not all observers including this writer were sure the coin displayed a D&S. The coin was LDS and the outline of an S was questionable. It was eventually removed from the RPM Book files (then owned by me and later by CONECA after Wexler sold them in the late 1980s) at which point the variation became hotly debated. (more…)

1999-W 1/10th Eagle $5.00 Gold Matte Finish Error or Variety?

Phot by Ken PotterBy Ken Potter – NLG – CoinLink Content Partner

Some time ago a fellow sent in an error-variety coin with some very interesting questions. He said: “I have a 1999-W $5.00 Gold 1/10th Eagle that was struck by the Mint with an Uncirculated Matte Finish instead of the intended Proof finish for the West Point issue. Is this an error or variety — the grading service states it’s an error? Also, why is it referred to by the grading service as struck with “Unfinished Proof Die” when the die has clearly been “finished” albeit the wrong finish?

He made to very good points and I had to explain that it was both an error and a variety and that the grading service was technically wrong. My answer to him was as follows and aught to be of interest to others.

According to Alan Herbert in his book, The Official Price Guide To Mint Errors:
“Only a small fraction of the mint product is an “error.” The E word was born back in the dark ages when almost nobody knew anything about the minting process. Today we know enough about the complexities of minting coins to be able to pinpoint the exact cause, or causes, in 99 percent of the cases. We desperately need the proper language to fit with that increased knowledge. Teaching novice collectors nicknames and slang is akin to teaching a chimp how to use a baseball bat. It curls my hair to hear professional people, engineers, doctors, lawyers and other college graduates misusing the language like they do.

We know that many actions by mint personnel are expedients-things done to speed up production, salvage worn or damaged dies, use up substandard planchets, or just simply to save money. Obviously, an expedient is not an “error.” It was done deliberately. Other mint products are different because of wear and tear to the dies, coin press, or other equipment. Again this stretches the definition of “error” to have to include a normal result of heavy usage.

The more we know about the minting process, the harder it is to stretch the E word to fit the end result. The simple solution is to have a “real” term which will include any and all variations, and-just as important-will include “errors,” but in their proper perspective. That term is minting varieties. (more…)

From the Grading Room: 1973-S Dollar on a Copper-Nickel Planchet

1973-S Dollar on a Copper-Nickel Planchet Coins struck accidentally on planchets intended for other issues are known for quite a number of United States coin types, but they are rarely more spectacular than when occurring with dollar coins. This superb gem Eisenhower Dollar was struck at the San Francisco Mint for inclusion in the series of “blue pack” silver-clad dollars offered by the U. S. Mint at $3 apiece from 1971 to 1974.

At first glance it could almost pass for one of these silver-clad pieces, but inspection of its edge (made all the more easy through NGC’s unique EdgeView® holder) reveals the bright orange-red glow of a copper-nickel-clad planchet! This coin has the satiny texture typical of most silver-clad dollars and confirms that it was struck accidentally as part of that series.

The Denver Mint was assigned the role of preparing planchets for San Francisco’s production of the “blue” Ikes, but it was simultaneously making planchets of the copper-nickel-clad composition for its own press run of circulating coins. One of these ordinary planchets evidently found its way into a shipment of silver-clad planchets going to San Francisco and was struck and packaged as a silver-clad issue. While this scenario describes how such an error could have occurred, it did not play out very often. This is the first report of a 1973-S Dollar struck on a copper-nickel planchet.

If that weren’t enough to excite collectors, this coin is also a doubled-die obverse variety! It is DDO-2 as listed and illustrated in the book CONECA Attribution Guide to Eisenhower Dollar Die Varieties by James Wiles, Ph.D. This variety, previously known only in the normal silver-clad composition, is now confirmed on a copper-nickel-clad planchet intended for currency strikes. Collectors should check their “blue packs” for more new discoveries.

View The NGC Website for the fill article

World War 2 Penny Errors Star at ANA Convention, Part 2: $374k Record Price for a Lincoln Cent

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

One of only two known 1944-San Francisco Steel Cents was auctioned on July 31 in Heritage’s Platinum Night event at the ANA Convention in Baltimore. The 1944-S realized $373,750, which is, by far, a record price for a Lincoln Cent, and for any kind of small cent. Laura Sperber, of Legend Numismatics, was the successful bidder.

Of all the 1943 copper and 1944 steel cents, this 1944-S is the only gem quality piece known. Although I have never seen the unique 1943-D copper cent, my guess is that this 1944-S Steel Cent is a more attractive coin. This 1944-S is NGC graded MS-66, and there is probably near-unanimous agreement among experts that it grades at least MS-65. Indeed, it is well struck, coolly brilliant, and very attractive overall. Further, the rich texture of the surfaces is enticing. It grabs the viewer’s attention. It was exciting to examine it.

Rich Uhrich remarks that “it is a terrific coin.” He declares that he “did not see any problems at all. It is, by far, the nicest of all the 1943 copper and 1944 steel cents” from any Mint. “Laura Sperber got a good buy.” Uhrich has been a collector since he was four years old and he has been a full-time dealer since Jan. 2006, when he opted for an early-retirement package from his executive position at a “Fortune 500” firm.

This 1944-S is widely believed to be one of just two 1944-S steel cents. I have never seen the other one. In Jan. 1983, it was auctioned by Bowers & Ruddy. It is said to have some technical problems.

The 1944 Philadelphia steel cent in the July 31st Platinum Night event at the ANA Convention has some imperfections that bothered me. I like the NGC graded AU-53 1944 steel cent that realized $29,900 in Heritage’s Platinum Night at the FUN Convention, on January 10, 2008. It has nice, honest wear, and minimal contact marks.

The Jan. 10, 2008 Platinum Night event, in Orlando, also featured a 1944-Denver steel cent. It is NGC graded “MS-62.” I was not thrilled by it. It realized a surprising $92,000. In April 2008, Heritage auctioned another 1944-D for $28,750. I doubt that either the PCGS or the NGC would assign it a numerical grade. The online images suggest that it has more than a dozen substantial rim nicks and that the color changes on the surfaces may be problematic. In the description of this piece, the cataloguer does note that steel cents in general are “susceptible to corrosion.” The propensity of steel cents to deteriorate over time is discussed by Walter Breen in his “Complete Encyclopedia,” which was published in 1988. (more…)

World War 2 Penny Errors Star at ANA Convention, Part 1: 1943-S Copper trades on the bourse floor

by Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

1943-S Bronze CentFrom July 30 to Aug. 3, thousands of coin collectors flocked to Baltimore to attend the annual Summer ANA Convention. Among the most newsworthy of events at the Convention were the sales of two San Francisco Mint pennies. On July 30, a 1943-S copper cent sold on the bourse floor and, on July 31, a 1944-S steel cent sold at auction. The topic here is the copper cents of 1943, with emphasis upon this specific 1943-S copper cent. In part 2, steel cents of 1944 will be discussed, with the focus being upon the 1944-S that set an astounding record, along with additional reasons as to why 1943 coppers and 1944 steel cents are interesting and important.

Why are certain 1943 and 1944 pennies valuable? More than one billion Lincoln Cents were minted in 1943 and more than two billion in 1944!

From 1864 to 1942, and from 1944 to early 1982, U.S. one cent coins were typically 95% copper. Usually, the other 5% was a mixture of tin and zinc. For simplicity, it makes sense to refer to a coin that is 95% or more copper as being ‘copper’! From 1982 to the present, Lincoln Cents have been made of copper-plated zinc. Though the overall percentage of copper is very small, the copper plating of post-1982 cents causes them to appear to most people as if they consisted primarily of copper. So, people are accustomed to thinking of cents as being copper.

In 1943 only, in order to devote more copper for purposes relating to World War II, U.S. cents were made of zinc coated steel. In 1944, copper was employed again, and steel cents were not supposed to be minted.

1944-S Steel CentSteel cents of 1943 have sort of a silvery-white look. It is readily apparent that these are not composed of copper. For unknown reasons, however, a few 1943 cents were minted in copper, and are extremely rare. It is generally believed that a few leftover copper planchets (prepared blanks) were stuck, for a while, in the mechanism that channeled the planchets to the coinage presses. As these copper planchets became unstuck eventually, due to the movements within the mechanisms, and joined the flow, they were struck into coins. Conversely, in 1944, a few steel cents were minted as a consequence of leftover steel planchets joining the flow of copper planchets.

So, 1943 copper cents and 1944 steel cents are off-metal strikings. These are the most famous of all mint errors. Moreover, as there are no extremely rare dates in the Lincoln Cent series, wealthy collectors often collect certain errors ‘as if’ these were regular issues and include them in sets of Lincoln Cents. (more…)

Newly Discovered 1831 Quarter Eagle Struck on a Dime Planchet

1831 $2 1/2 Quarter Eagle Struck on a Dime PlanchetIn the earliest years of the Mint, dime and quarter eagle reverse dies were used on each denomination–apparently a conscious decision. The planchet sizes were close, 19 mm for the dimes and 20 mm for the quarter eagles.

The diameter of each denomination was later reduced when new machinery was introduced. The dime’s diameter was reduced to 18.5 mm beginning in 1809, and the quarter eagle to 18.2 mm in 1829.

It is not a stretch to imagine the Mint striking a batch of dimes with a few unstruck planchets remaining in the hopper, then striking a run of quarter eagles, a couple of which were struck on leftover dime planchets. Only 0.3 mm separated the size of the two planchets, an imperceptible difference to the casual inspector.

What happened next is fairly obvious: nothing. This piece entered the channels of commerce and circulated as a dime for many years. Only recently and after 54 points of wear did someone notice that the design was inconsistent with that of an 1831 dime. This piece was found in a bag of silver in North Texas, in May of this year.

It is always interesting to scan the “Found in Rolls” column in Coin World. Foreign coins, tokens, silver coins are constantly found in rolls. But an 1831 quarter eagle struck on a dime planchet in a bag of silver?

This is the second example of this off-metal striking that is known. The other piece is high-grade and has a distinguished pedigree including Brand, Opezzo, Farouk, Judd, and Sloss. It has been off the market since 1974, when it was traded privately, then it was withdrawn from the 1979 ANA Sale. Over the years that piece has been listed and delisted as a possible pattern. (more…)

Proof ’38 nickel with serif seen

Proof 1938 Nickel and without SerifA new variety of the proof 1938 Jefferson nickel has been announced by Michael S. Fey, Ironia, N.J.

The coin has a serif at the lower end of the “S” in TRUST as compared to no serif on the previously known examples.

Fey made the announcement after researching the coin first shown to him by an unidentified collector Dec. 1, 2007, at the Bay State show in Boston.

“I never forgot the collector, or the two 1938 proof Jefferson nickels that he showed me. When I found the differences he pointed out to me on two coins in my inventory, I decided it was too important a discovery not to pursue further.”

There were several other differences in the look and thickness of the serifs and on the numerals in the date to make me believe that this was significant enough to seek other expert opinions, Fey said.

“After comparing these 1938 proof coins to business strikes of 1938 and 1939 nickels, my first thought was that the coin without the extra serif on the ‘S’ was more closely related to an obverse of 1938, and that the one with the extra serif was more closely related to an obverse of 1939”

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Amazing Braided Hair Large Cent Error Discovered

Braided Hair large cent struck on a half cent planchet An amazing Braided Hair large cent struck on a half cent planchet will be making its first public auction appearance at Heritage’s 2008 Baltimore ANA Signature® Auction. The coin has been consigned by a very private Northwest family whose members were unaware of its rarity or significance. The newly discovered rarity will be sold July 30-August 2, 2008, and the lot listing will be available online at HA.com during early July.

“In more than three decades as a numismatist,” commented Heritage’s Senior Numismatist Mark Borckardt, “and after having examined tens of thousands of large cents, I have Never seen a similar error. As soon as I spotted this amazing error coin, I gathered all of the senior numismatists, and none of them could recall a similar piece. When they heard that the coin had sat on the front porch of a house for fifty years in a Mason jar – along with a bunch of other old coins in cans and jars – they were equally astounded! It quickens all of our hearts to imagine that there are still major rarities out there waiting to be discovered!”

Insert from NCSBob Merrill, the former Director of Heritage’s numismatic auctions, discovered the coin while visiting the consignors. “When I pulled the coin out of the Mason jar, I knew that it was fairly unusual, but my attention was rather distracted by the 1794 dollar that came tumbling out behind it. Amazingly, our staff experts in Dallas were able to find a pedigree for the 1794 dollar from 1914!

The Braided Hair large cent error is sized midway between a large cent and a half cent; without an immediate restraining collar, the half cent flan expanded well beyond its normal diameter during striking. Heritage’s experts in Dallas required extra time to examine the error, so it was not included with the rest of the Northwest Collection in the May 2008 Signature Auction.” (more…)

Wrong-planchet Half Dollar Found

By Ken Potter for Numismaster

A wrong-planchet half dollar dated 1980-P with a four-digit value has been found. A Pennsylvania hobbyist reported it May 30.

“I found this 1980-P Kennedy half in a roll yesterday and I think it might be a wrong planchet error but I’m not sure. There is only a slight trace of reeding on the edge and the condition is probably about uncirculated (AU). It’s also smaller in diameter and a little thinner than a normal Kennedy half. I don’t have the proper equipment to weigh it. Any help in identifying it would be greatly appreciated,” RHM wrote.

Without an actual examination of the coin and without knowing its weight, it is impossible to conclusively attribute the planchet to a United States or other country’s coin (the U.S. Mint struck coins for other countries in 1980).

What we do know from the metal flow that shows on the characters closest to the rim is that it was struck on an undersized planchet. However, the finder was able to add a bit of information that helped immensely; he later confirmed my suspicion that he could see a copper core. This suggests that it is a clad planchet of the type used for dimes through dollars during that year.

In my opinion, the coin is too spread-out and fills too much of the collar for it to have been struck on a quarter planchet. This suggests that it was most probably struck on a Susan B. Anthony dollar planchet. If so, an estimation of its value from a panel of error coin experts is somewhere between $850 and $1,750 for an AU grade.

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Like Father, Like Son; More Adams Errors

By Ken Potter, Numismatic News

Adams Presidential DollarsAn Ohio trio, Richard Stachurski and his grandsons Zak and Joe El khamiri, has found what may be the first Missing Clad Layer error reported on a 2008-P John Quincy Adams Presidential dollar.

According to Stachurski, he and his grandsons routinely search Presidential dollars for errors with each of the boys assigned different tasks based on age. Four-year-old Joe is assigned the task of clearing away the wrappers from which the coins are quickly removed by 8-year-old Zak who passes them on to Stachurski, who does the actual searching.

Stachurski, said that the find was interesting in that the error was located in the third roll searched from a box containing 28 rolls obtained from a Charter One bank in Ohio. He said that the teller told him that somebody had already gone through the first 12 rolls in the box (which originally contained 40 rolls or 1,000 dollar coins) and advised him that there were no errors to be found.

Apparently the original searcher was looking for repetitive types such as plain edge or double edge lettered errors where several to many were generally found in boxes that contained them for the Washington and Adams dollars. The original searcher apparently gave up after searching a dozen rolls feeling there was nothing to be found

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