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Online Error Coin Reference



Welcome to the world of U.S. Mint error coin collecting. As a hobby, error coin collecting has been steadily increasing in popularity for many years. Even though the U.S. Mint has put in place new procedures that have greatly reduced the production of errors, the hobby is still attracting new collectors.

To start off lets look at what exactly an error coin is.


In the simplest terms, an error coin is a mistake made during the minting process. These mistakes come in many forms, from off center strikes to unstruck blanks. Because of the many processes used to mint coins, error coins have been produced in a wide variety.Each thread deals with a different type of error. Besides many high quality photographs, every thread will have detailed descriptions of the error and a simplified rarity scale. One thing that is most often asked is “Where do I find error coins?”. To which there is no one answer, as many options are open to collectors.


First is the bank. Many collectors simply buy coins by the roll from their local bank branch and search them, returning anything they don’t want to buy more coins. Then, of course, there is your local coin dealer. Many coin dealers deal in errors and standard coins and can be very helpful in picking out the right coin.

Coin shows are also popular. There is never any shortage of dealers in error coins at most coin shows. The possibility even exists to find an error that was overlooked by the dealer. If you do not see and errors in the dealers cases don’t be afraid to ask. Dealers will often have many more coins not displayed for sale with them. The worst thing that can happen is they will say no and you move on to the next dealer. Sometimes they will pull a whole box of errors out from under the table or out of a bag.


Internet auctions and web sites also offer a full selection of error coins in almost every price range. Be careful here. A coin is only as good as its description. A description is only as good as the person who is selling it. Look closely at the pictures and if there is a poor picture with an error do not buy that coin. Pocket change and jars of coins also make great places to find an error coin, as many people do not bother to look at their change before spending it or tossing it into a jar or coffee can.


Located in the back of this book, you will find a section dedicated to spotting intentionally altered or fake coins. Because some error coins can carry extreme value, there are individuals who seek to make a profit from uninformed collectors by offering them “rare” errors at bargain prices. If someone offers to sell you a coin that you know is very rare and valuable for a price well below fair market value you should use extreme caution. Not only will you likely lose money on a worthless coin, you could inadvertently become subject to a criminal investigation. Counterfeit coinage is illegal to possess, sell, or buy. Protect yourself by being properly informed.

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