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Error education fun with good photographs


To ?scope it out? implies many actions. The phrase smacks of two numismatic focal points: literally viewing and studying coins and related items through a scope and; much like the many popular television shows, invokes forensic studies and intensive research. Such is the scope of this column, pun intended.

It is intended not only for education but fun as well. We will scope out (OK, you get the idea) several things with each installment. Striking errors, die varieties, and counterfeits will be the main dish.

The first coin up will surely draw a response from many collectors, especially those who covet errors, Standing Liberty quarters and, especially collectors of error Standing Lib quarters. Shown here is a 1917-S Type 1 on a broken planchet. The error type should be self-explanatory. However, it should be noted that broken planchet errors are rare and, like most Standing Liberty quarter errors, exceptionally rare. I?ve never seen another like it.

Next up I report on a counterfeit 1971 Eisenhower dollar. One of the most glaring diagnostics of this piece is the fairly sizable ?dot? to the southwest of the first star completely below the last ?A? in ?America.?
Also easily recognizable is the unusual edge of the coin. There are no signs of a copper core and the reeds are larger than they are on a genuine Eisenhower dollar.

I?ll wrap up this first installment of my new column with what is easily my favorite recent find. I believe this is a previously unreported misplaced date (MPD) on an 1841 Seated Liberty half dime.

There is clearly a base of the digit ?1? in the folds of the gown just north and east of the pendant on the skirt. There also appears to be minor repunching on the first ?1? in the date. I believe the repunched date is published, so if you have one, be sure to check it out to see if it is this great MPD. The reverse exhibits strong clashed dies.

That?s it for this time. I intend for most of my columns to be like this; short on words and big on high-quality images.

Author Mike Ellis is currently an authenticator, attributor and grader for ANACS, past President of CONECA and life member of the ANA. He can be reached at