Reports of missing edge lettering on 2007 George Washington Presidential Dollars found in Denver Mint rolls are now coming in. That means Philadelphia is no longer the lone culprit.
According to error dealer Fred Weinberg of Encino, Calif.:
"Last Friday (March 9) I bought 70 (out of 72) plain edges from a local coin shop.
"A lady had gone into her local bank branch on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks (next door to Encino, about two miles east of me), asked for a $1,000 worth of dollars.
"The teller laughed at her and said, 'You won't find any of those errors that are on the news -- they're all being found in Florida.'
"She bought a $1,000 box of paper rolled coins, and found 72 plain edges! These coins are all from the downtown Los Angeles Federal Reserve, where my bank downstairs got theirs. Yesterday at the same shop, a merchant two doors down came up with six of them!
"Tom DeLorey examined the first Denver plain edge last week in Chicago, and my coins match his as far as 'edge comparison.' There is a difference that can be seen between the D's and P's, but I'm not sure if it's significant enough for the grading services to be able to put Philadelphia or Denver on a holder."
The differences between the Denver and Philadelphia issues centered on the amount of the copper core that could be seen on each. The Philadelphia issues tended to show more copper than the Denver.
Both Weinberg and I agree that this may be a factor that could change and is perhaps not the best indicator of the Mint of origin.
It is important to try to examine normal coins from the same rolls that the plain-edge coins are found in. The key is to find normal coins that carry the same die characteristics as the plain-edge coins. If a specific die crack, die chip or die break can be found that is shared by coins with plain edge and fully inscribed edge, pairing them together as a set will prove forever where the plain-edge coin was made.
This might prove valuable later, as grading services might require such die diagnostic proof before citing a manufacturing Mint on a holder. Without proof, the coins may continue to be attributed without mintmark.
Thanks to Mike Benson of Phoenix, Ariz., the first Numismatic News reader to report finding a plain-edge dollar in a roll of Denver-minted coins. He e-mailed word of his find March 9.