From the Aug. 22 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Do you search change for error coins?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
Yes, I do search for error coins, and have found quite a few of them. I recently found a 2000 rotated die wide AM, as well as a 1955 D/S, a 1999 “Liiberty” cent (much like the BIEs of the 1950s), a 1984 doubled ear, a few cuds and a couple of dime clashes.
Finding errors gives me as much of a thrill as finding wheaties, silver coins, Buffalo nickels and Indian heads.
Rocky River, Ohio
I always search both my coin and currency change for error coins, rare coins, error bills or unique serial numbers. It’s free easy and fun. Mom used to do the same thing in the 1940s and found some great finds.
I once found a 1995-D Washington quarter with full doubling on the obverse, but it was “machine doubling damage” and technically had only face value so I spent it hoping someone else would find it and get that momentary feel of elation too.
But then I do hope to find that rare one too.
Yes I do. I have searched pocket change for only a year now. I haven’t discovered anything big yet, but I still enjoy doing it.
Some years ago, I read a story in Numismatic News regarding a gentleman who found a 1992 or 1992-D Close “AM” coin. He received multi-thousands of dollars on its sale. I said to myself right then, “Why not me?”
Since that time I’ve been an active roll searcher (as well as paper money) and have found so many errors and varieties that would make this short e-mail unwieldy.
A couple of highlights are: 1983 Lincoln cent DDR graded MS-65Red (sold), but since that one I have found two others which remain ungraded; 1966 Kennedy half DDO; 1967 Kennedy half DDR; and the most recent spectacular find: 1999 Lincoln cent Wide “AM” (I have found over 20 2000 Wide “AMs” and about t10 1998 Wide “AMs.”
My personal feelings about searching rolls of coins is summed up best by the great philosopher and American, Forrest Gump, who once said (and I paraphrase): “Searching rolls is a like a box of chocolates... You never know what you’re going to find!”
My advice to anyone who hasn’t started searching, if you’re not looking, you’re not going to find anything. Happy Hunting!
New York City
In pocket change I found a Washington quarter with a die crack on the obverse and reverse. I showed my young children and they were excited and this piqued their interest to go to the local coin show the next weekend. The die crack on the obverse caused the coin to have no date.
We brought the coin to the NGC grading service at the coin show. We were informed the coin was valuable enough to grade, estimated over $500. No need to tell fellow collectors this coin is priceless to me since it is what started a hobby with my children and hopefully decades of adventures in our sights.
I don’t actually search my pocket change for error coins, but if I got one I would definitely notice it unless it was a very small error like the 1995 doubled die Lincoln. I found out about it one day while visiting a coin shop. People were discussing it and when I looked in my pocket I had one. I still have it too.
I’ve found a few error coins in my pockets such as one state quarter with the lamination peeling away and one clipped nickel. I also have an old wheatie with no rim. I have a state quarter with no obverse picture of Washington, just a place where the picture should be. I don’t think I have anything valuable.
Yes, I still go through pocket change and have my secondary collection or pocket change collection. I collect both better grade coins, which is my first love, and then the used coins in my secondary set. I must admit the pocket change set has been much cheaper and still fun to collect.
My pocket change set starts with Indian Head cents and goes through Kennedy half dollars with a lot of holes. Unfortunately my better grade set has many more holes than I like.
Terrill M. Williams
It’s been two years since moving to the Netherlands. I’ve never stopped looking for errors. Only once did I find something out of the ordinary, a coin that resembled a 2 euro coin. It was from Turkey. Just last month I used it in a birthday card to my great-nephew.
Many years ago, I did find an off-centered Canadian dime. Ten years ago, it was appraised at $7 to $8 retail. Now, I’m sure it’s higher. With this in mind, keep on looking. We never know what we might find.
Berkel en Rodenrijs, Netherlands
I search all the time for errors. I have a good mentor, Bill Fivaz. He is a member of the coin club I belong to.
I found a 2009-D Jefferson nickel with a weak “D.” I got it certified by ANACS. They say it was Struck Through Grease. I had hoped they would call it a weak D. I can see their logic. It was not an error in the die.
Some of my fellow members of the Chicago Coin Club had already identified the cause as struck through grease. Oh well, that dashed my hopes of finding something akin to the 1922 No-D Lincoln cent.
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