March 2015

Unique 1943-S Steel Cent Detached Zinc Reverse Platting
Post date: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 11:47

One of the more curious error coins we recently purchased at the Portland ANA National Money Show is a PCGS 1943-S steel cent with it’s reverse zinc coating having detached from the steel cent’s reverse. The zinc detached coating is a solid piece of metal, and weighs an incredible 0.0005 grains. It is struck normally on one side, and the other is an incuse mirror brockage of the reverse design. I discussed this coin with others, and it is apparently the only example of it’s type know, with not even a similar example existing. Is another out there? Probably somewhere, but there can’t be more than a few since we’ve never even heard a rumor of one existing until this coin came on the market. 


Zinc planchets are made of steel and have a platting of zinc added to protect them from rusting (which obviously only helped a little since rusty steel cents are common.) What caused that zinc platting to not bond properly is impossible to determine, but guessing, it could’ve been a thin layer of grease or some similar product. A lot of time, when I come across a coin like this I just have to wait until something else appears on the market which will help explain this coin’s story. Perhaps a steel cent planchet with a missing zinc layer on one side (that would be neat!), or a coin struck on a partially unplanted zinc planchet. This coin is intriguing, and I am looking forward to seeing if anymore similar pieces exist. Do you have something similar? E-mail me at


ANA National Money Show Report
Post date: Friday, March 13, 2015 - 11:31



Coin Show Report

Portland ANA National Money Show

March 5-7, 2015


“The coin market is slow.”  That was the frequent comment given by non-error dealers at the show. There isn’t as much dealer-to-dealer activity (wholesale business) going on, and the retail market is generally slow were what most dealers we talked to were saying. Apparently the economy, an abundance of major auctions draining dealer’s cash, and bullion prices dropping all are contributing to a general slow down in the coin market. However, despite the slow down, most non-error dealers seemed to be having a half-way decent show, with enough transactions to make it “worthwhile” for them. 


From our own observations, the show was fairly well attended, especially on saturday when lots of people came in (there was no admission fee on saturday.) There was also a noticeable increase in coin collectors saturday, with far more people walking the bourse floor than had been there thursday or friday (which had been populated mostly by dealers and a small number of serious collectors.) All spring ANA’s are slow, but at the same time we’ve always done well at them. There are just enough dealers and serious collectors to make it worthwhile. 


The error coin market seems to be slower, but still quite active. We sold a respectable number of coins, and also purchased enough coins to make it well-worth the trip. A few coins came in which where on our clients’ want lists, and also we picked up the typical common errors along with some really nice error coins, including:








Other error people we talked to seemed to be having a fairly good show, with a good amount of selling going on. This is always good news since we all want to see the error hobby continue to grow. After all, it would be a pretty lonely hobby if only a few of us were collecting (although we’d be able to have incredible and inexpensive collections, so maybe it would be a good thing!)  Markets go up, and markets go down, and as long as you’re enjoying the hobby and buying quality error coins, you will end up with a great collection and have a lot of fun doing it, and that’s what the hobby is all about after all—having a collection you enjoy and having fun building it. Of course the eventual sale of the collection is something to keep in mind, but the best collections are the ones built by true collectors who bought quality coins and held them for decades. They seem to always make a tidy profit when they sell.


Buying error coins online is great (we have a website, so of course we think so!), but don’t neglect attending coin shows as well. There is a lot of fun in seeing coins in-hand, and being able to “talk errors” with other collectors and dealers at shows. Many of the most knowledgable individuals never write any articles or books, and unless you talk to them in person, you will never learn what they know. The best error coin shows in our opinion are the ones listed in our “coin shows” list (we’re attending them since we think they’re the best for errors), but also the Long Beach show isn’t bad either (we don’t attend because it’s on the other side of the country.)


The next big show is the Baltimore show March 26-29th. We will be set up all week at table #346. If you’re able to attend (and you should if you live nearby—it’s a really good show!) stop by and say hi, and to look at one of the best selections of errors to be found anywhere.