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‘Shish-Kebab’ error discovered

By Rick DeSanctis

My name is Rick DeSanctis with Numismatic Classics in Fort Myers, Fla. I am a collector and dealer who enjoys properly attributing his coins.

I am just contacting you to send you some pictures of something new that I discovered recently that will be of interest to many collectors. In fact, it may have been noticed by others in the past but simply never reported on.

The Type I 1917-S shows a bare-breasted Miss Liberty on the obverse and a flying eagle without stars below it on the reverse. (Photos courtesy of Rick DeSanctis)

I am attaching pictures of a 1917-S Type I Standing Liberty Quarter with two prominent die gouges on the obverse, with the larger one strategically piercing the stars on the left; hence, I have dubbed it the “Shish-Kebab” variety, which I think fits it perfectly.

The bottom three stars on this 1917-S Type I quarter appear to be skewered (top left). The second photo (top right) shows where the die gouges are located. This is a raised area of metal on the coin itself. The gouge is recessed on the die. The lesser die gouge appears to the left. The third image (bottom) shows the “19” portion of the date. (Photos courtesy of Rick DeSanctis)


It is a true die variety, not random damage, as the die gouges are raised as they should be, and I already have several confirming examples.

I did a quick review of all the 1917-S Type 1 quarters running on eBay and found the anomaly to be visible on maybe about five percent of them, even showing up well on very low grades once you know where to look. So, I am certainly not claiming this to be a mega-rarity but simply sufficiently scarce yet still findable. And it should appeal to collectors because of the location, nature, and naked eye visibility of the error.

Also, a catchy nickname certainly won’t hurt!

When I first found it, I looked around to see if something on this had been reported before, but to no avail. I did a Google search; checked the Cherrypicker’s, Breen, and Cline books, etc.; and found nothing anywhere mentioned regarding die scratches, gouges, etc.

I had remembered seeing a book called Standing Liberty Quarter Varieties & Errors by Robert H. Knauss but did not have a copy in my library, so I purchased one from the author. Upon receiving it and checking there (it is a very comprehensive catalog!), I became convinced that this really was something new and unreported.

I then contacted Mr. Knauss, and he confirmed as well that it was something that he had never seen or heard mentioned before. If you have or can locate a copy of his book, you will see that Mr. Knauss is a true specialist, having cataloged every major and minor die variety or mint error on the Standing Liberty quarter series, and he has given each one his “K” catalog number.

Subsequently, he has already assigned a listing for this coin (K-0385), and I am attaching a copy of that also. I do thank him for that, and I also did tell him that I planned to report this variety to the broader numismatic community.

In any event, I thought it was something you may want to publish for your readers, because I think they will find it very interesting and fun to look for, with a cute name that literally directs them where to look!


This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.


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