Collectors in Florida and Michigan are finding quantities of the new John Adams Presidential dollars with edge inscriptions applied twice to the edges.
In each case the inscription ?2007 P ? E PLURIBUS UNUM ? IN GOD WE TRUST? is impressed into the edge twice.
While most early sellers are being rather close-mouthed on exactly where they are finding them, the geographical locations identified for the ?Item Location? in seller?s eBay auctions, where a number of the coins have appeared, suggests that most are being found in southeastern Michigan. Sellers are also noted from northern Ohio but it is not yet confirmed that these vendors obtained their coins in Ohio. Searchers in Florida also found at least 89 pieces by latest report.
The duplicate lettering, which is called double lettering by some is apparently the result of coins that had previously been edge marked by being run through the Schuler edge-lettering machine a second time in error.
Since the coins are fed into the machine with the orientation of the obverse and reverse at random in respect to the edge inscription die, the coins are being found with the two edge inscriptions either running in the same direction as each other or with the second flipped over and running in the opposite direction from the first.
One seller from Florida revealed much about the quantity that he and his wife, Sarah, found. According to Alfred Figureid of Pensacola, Fla.:
?The most we found was five in one roll. Three rolls had three each, a bunch had two per roll, and the rest had one or none. We found a total of 80 double edge lettering from May 17th to May 25th. We haven?t found another since, but we are still looking.
?My son Eddie Figureid found nine from the same bank on the 25th, out of $500 worth [of the coins].
?The bank we found them in was on NAS (Navel Air Station) Pensacola. The bank received only one batch of Adams dollars. As far as I can tell all of them came from three or four boxes. They still have more of them, but no more double edge lettering has shown up. It seems like all the double edge lettering came out of the top of the heap.
?I don?t know of anyone else, except my son that has found them. At least there are not any others on eBay from this area.
?I know other people have to have some, because other people received rolls out of the same bank. I saw them leaving the bank with them. They may have just bought them to have a few rolls of the Adams dollars.
?There should be some floating around in change in Pensacola. The bank we received them in was giving them out in change at the same time I was finding them in rolls.
?As of today, June 3rd, at 7:15 p.m. I have sold six lots of five coins averaging $262.50 per coin, two single auctions averaging $520 each. We have two more auctions ending tonight.?
A seller from Michigan, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he?d prefer to not reveal his sources at this time as it would be like a fisherman revealing a favorite fishing hole to the world. He would say it appeared that most of the coins on eBay were from sellers located in southeastern Michigan.
Double application of edge lettering is also known on the Washington dollar, but it is regarded as very rare on that issue. Only three pieces are currently known, one selling April 1 on eBay for $1,825.
Just how many of the twice edge lettered Adams coins may be found is anybody?s guess, but if an entire tub of finished coins got put back through the edge-lettering machine, it could be many thousands.
In February collectors were treated to thousands of the George Washington dollars released by the Philadelphia and Denver Mints without the edge lettering. These coins failed to be run through the edge-lettering machine and instead were processed as finished coins and shipped out of the Mints to Federal Reserve banks. Mint officials have not been able to determine exactly how many got out but speculated that as many as a full bin or more may have escaped from each facility without going through the edge-lettering machine.
Their earlier reports suggested that a bin held up to 350,000 coins, but they later issued a correction, indicating that the number of coins contained in the bins at Philadelphia (and presumably also at Denver) that are used to move the coins from the coining presses to the edge lettering station is actually about half that. In a March 22 release, the Mint noted that the tubs used for this purpose hold 150,000 to no more than 170,000 coins.
At this point we do not know what size bins are used to transport finished coins with the edge inscriptions to the bagging operation. If a full tub of finished coins were returned to an edge-lettering machine and run through a second time, then as many as 170,000 from one style of tub to 350,000 from a larger style tub could be involved. However, the number of coins with the edge lettered twice appearing on the market at this time is much smaller than the huge numbers of the ?smooth edge? or ?plain edge? inscriptionless Washington dollars that appeared on eBay and other venues almost overnight when they were discovered. Nonetheless, at least hundreds of the double edge lettered Adams dollars have been found in a short period of time, suggesting that a significant number were run through the edge-lettering machine a second time.
According to Numismatic News advertiser John Wells, who specializes in handling the Presidential dollars and other recent coins, pieces found in southern Michigan and northern Ohio would have been supplied to that area by the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank while those dispersed in Florida would have most probably been from the Atlanta Fed. This suggests that the errors may have seen fairly wide distribution and may show up in other locations.
Ebay records show that he first double-edge-inscription Adams dollar went up for auction on that venue May 17, the same day the Adams dollars were officially released to the public. As of June 5, 2:14 a.m. EST, 127 of the coins had traded at prices ranging from $129.99 for several pieces described as having fingerprints to $660.99 for an ungraded example that sold on May 27.
Ninety-four pieces were up for auction with their results pending at the time this report was written. Many of the lots offered were for quantities of five or more coins, suggesting that the sellers may have many more to sell.
Michael White of the U.S. Mint?s public affairs office indicated that, as of June 4, the Mint was still unaware of the errors being released. White commented that the information was now being assessed and that a statement would be forthcoming.
Collectors should be clear on the fact that these errors are not in any way related to doubled dies. A doubled-die variety is created when a die that strikes coins has been doubled during its production and that doubling in the die is then transferred from that die to all coins struck with it. In the case of these double-edge-inscriptions, the doubling occurs on the coins not from a die that has been doubled but from a coin that has been run through the edge-lettering process twice.
Additionally, unlike doubled dies, which will all be virtually identical to each other, the double-edge-inscription dollars will all be different from one another with no two exactly alike. Since the coins are fed into the edge-lettering machine at a random placement, one run through twice may have the word GOD impressed over the date while the next may have the word GOD impressed over the word IN, and still another with the GOD just partially impressed over the word IN but with the words inverted from each other, etc.
Collectors are asked to report to me any new finds of these or other error types on the new dollars at the e-mail address below.
Ken Potter is the official attributer of world double dies for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America and for the National Collectors Association of Die Doubling. He also privately lists other collectible variety types on both U.S. and world coins in the Variety Coin Register.
More information on either of the clubs or how to get a coin listed in the Variety Coin Register may be obtained by sending a long, self-addressed envelope with 63 cents postage to P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076 or by contacting him via e-mail at KPotter256@aol.com.
An educational image gallery may be viewed on his Web site at www.koinpro.com.