With only a single plain edge Jefferson dollar error being confirmed so far, it is interesting to note that a surprisingly strong market seems to have developed for pieces with weak inscriptions ? those that at first glance appear to be smooth edge errors.
Weak edge lettering on Jefferson dollars seem to be filling a market ?need? because there is only one plain edge. Above regular lettering is below the weak letter version.
On eBay, sellers are describing them as ?semi smooth edge? errors so that they come up in searches by those seeking smooth edge errors. Numismatic Guaranty Corp. (the only service we?ve seen certify them so far) refers to them simply as ?weak lettering.?
Most of the coins I?ve seen imaged on eBay exhibit lettering that, while weak, is still fairly easy to see. Nonetheless, Ken Weaver of Colorado Springs, Colo., found one that was so weak that in my initial inspection I thought for sure he had a 100 percent plain edge error. It was not until I put it under a magnifying glass that I could see very faint traces of the bottoms of some letters. Many of the characters were fully missing. If I had to pick the strongest and most recognizable area of weak inscription, it was the date where one could see a weak bases to numerals ?200? and a trace of the vertical bar of the ?7.?
Though this is not true ?smooth edge? error, even the stronger examples I?ve seen on eBay seem to be finding homes to bidders. In the past two weeks five have sold at prices ranging from $172.50 for an ?ungraded? brilliant uncirculated to $400 for an NGC-certified MS-66. At the time of this writing six are offered for sale on eBay. Most of the coins offered currently and in recent weeks come from one seller, who gives the item location as Woodinville, Wash. This seems to suggest that this one vendor found most of the pieces being offered.
So, if you were like some of the searchers for the Washington and Adams ?plain edge? dollars, throwing these weak inscription errors back into rolls as being too minor, you better think twice when it comes to Jefferson dollars!
Photo shows Weaver?s weak inscription error dollar compared with a normal edge dollar.
Ken Potter is the official attributer and lister of world doubled dies for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America and for the National Collector?s Association of Die Doubling. He privately lists U.S. doubled dies and other collectable variety types on both U.S. and world coins in the Variety Coin Register.
For more information on either of these clubs, or to learn how to get a variety listed in the Variety Coin Register, send a self?addressed, stamped business?size envelope and $0.63 to Ken Potter, P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076?0232.