Just about every collector knows what a million-dollar coin is.
How about a million-comment coin?
Every so often, I receive an email to which I would like to reply that its topic is worth a lot of money.
This morning, I received an email about a 2018-S silver proof set that is a packaging error.
My eyes were immediately attracted to the extra half dollar.
The set makes a dramatic image.
Unfortunately, such sets do not command dramatic prices.
Packaging errors are easily manufactured by the unscrupulous.
A set like this silver proof set will always just be something to talk about.
Everybody wonders how the Mint can mess up the packaging process.
Actually, it does not happen all that often.
Also, most packaging errors in recent years have involved the America the Beautiful quarter panel.
In these sets, there will be two of one quarter and none of another.
The choice to keep an error set or return it to the Mint depends on whether the buyer wants a conversation piece to share with fellow collectors.
In this case, the extra coin is made of silver.
That adds $2.14 to melt value.
That is 4.3 percent of the $49.95 issue price.
At a coin club auction, you might make a profit on this set.
It might even earn a premium on eBay.
Unfortunately, if it does earn a premium in an online sale, and it is large enough, there will soon be all sorts of extra half dollar sets that will suddenly appear.
If I got such a set, I would keep it.
I do like a good story.
I have never received something like this in my many orders from the Mint.
Interestingly, the collector notes that he ordered 10 silver proof sets.
“One set had duplicate quarters and the set pictured has an extra Kennedy in the set. The case was not completely closed, as you can imagine, but I have an interesting set. What other types of errors have been noticed by readers?”
That makes a 20 percent error rate for this particular collector’s order.
One of the sets was the garden variety quarter swap.
If the Mint suddenly has had a major failing in quality control, we will soon find out.
I will get many more emails of this kind.
I don’t expect them, though.
That “scarcity” is what makes this set with an extra half dollar so much fun to talk about.
My thanks and congratulations go to the Ohio collector who shared this information with me.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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