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U.S. Coin Grading

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Error Coins

Mint-made errors is an error coin made by the mint during the minting process. They are almost always accidental and usually very rare, making them valuable to numismatists. The odds of producing billions of coins each year with no errors is simply too great.

Real error coins must not be confused with coins that have incurred damage after being minted.

Error coins are usually caught through the usual quality control procedures but, occasionally, some of the mistakes get by the inspectors and enter the normal channels of circulation.

Double Struck Errors

Double Struck Error Coin 1985 Lincoln Penny Double-Strike

Double Strike errors occur when the blank planchet is struck properly but the coin was not ejected. If the struck coin isn't ejected, it may receive a second or third strike by the dies.

Off Center Errors

Off Center Error Coin 1990 Lincoln Cent 30% Off Center

Off Center errors is one of the most common types of error found when searching bags of coins from the U.S. Mint. The error occurs when a blank is fed into the coin press and lands in the collar improperly or off center. When the coin is struck only part of the planchet is between the lower and upper die. Producing a coin as showned to the left.

Broadstruck Errors

Broadstruck Error Coin Texas Statehood Quarter Broadstruck - Large & uncentered.

A broadstruck or broadstrike error occurs on a coin when a coin is struck without the collar to form the rim or edge that is part of the shape of the coin. When a coin is broadstruck the blank being fed into the collar will spread and distort outward as it is being struck because the collar isn't in the correct position to retain it.

Other Errors

Brockages    Blank Planchet    Capped Dies    Die Cracks    Double Die    Counterbrockage

Indents    Mated Pairs    Mules    Rotated Die    Wrong Planchet Errors

Wisconsin State Quarter Errors

Broadstruck Error Coin 1955 Lincoln Cent Double Die

The 1955 doubled die is one of the most famous error coins. It is well-known and prices for genuine doubled die coins are priceed in the hundreds of dollars, depending on condition.

A error to the 1955 doubled die is die deterioration doubling, or "poor man's double die." It is caused when the design on a worn die becomes eroded and distorted. It is much more common than the actual doubled die, and sells for only a few dollars.

Broadstruck Error Coin 1937-D 3 Leg Buffalo Nickel

The 1937-D 3-leg Buffalo or Indian Head nickel is a well-known Mint error that has the right front leg missing. The 1937-D three leg has fascinated collectors and the public alike. Caused by the results of an improper attempt to repair a damaged die, many escaped into circulation before inspectors at the Denver Mint caught the error.

Since most of the coins reached circulation, only a few survive in new condition today. Circulated examples are generally worth about $200. Perfect uncirculated coins, which are quite rare, can bring as much as $12,000 or more.


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