October 2015

Building an Error Collection Part#5: Collecting Errors by Type
Post date: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 14:36

Collecting by Error Type

There are some collectors who like to collect error coins by “error type.” Most of the time, they are looking for examples of that error type on any and all series of coins, but sometimes they also want to collect an error type for a particular series of coin. This is an exciting and pleasurable way to collect errors since pretty much every coin is visually different, and the collector has the flexibility to add coins to make his collection larger, or stick with the basics and keep it smaller. Also, the cost of the collection can be much higher or lower depending on the grade and the eye-appeal of the error, with higher grade, superb examples of an error type obviously costing much more than lower grade and less eye-appealing examples.

1943 nickel on steel cent
Above: 1943 Jefferson Nickel Off-Metal Struck on Steel Cent Planchet

A good example of this collecting method of collecting would be a collection of off-metals. The collector would collect a particular series or country of coins, and then try to get all known off-metal types within that series or country. As an example, a collector who wanted to collect all known off-metal types by date and mint for the Lincoln Memorial cent series (1959-2008), would try to get the following list of coins:


1.Cent on clad dime planchet

2.Cent on silver dime planchet

3.Pre-1982 P & D Mint cent on zinc planchet (reverse transitional off-metal.) 

4.Post 1982 P& D Mint cent on copper planchet (transitional off-metal.)

5.1965 cent on silver dime planchet (reverse transitional off-metal.)

6.1964 cent on clad dime planchet (transitional off-metal.)


Those are just the “basics” of the different off-metals for the Lincoln Memorial cent series, and most collectors who were building a collection this expensive would also opt  for any exotic “unique” off-metals which are known for various dates/metals (such as a 1989 cent on copper planchet, or a 1966 cent on silver dime planchet, etc.) But that is not necessary, and to keep the collection smaller and more basic, the above coins would be all that are needed for a “complete” Lincoln Memorial off-metal collection by off-metal type.

double-struck Kennedy half dollar
Above: Double-struck Off-Center 1979 Kennedy half dollar.

This method of collecting can be applied to any error type/series of coin. Other collections could be double-strikes, and the collector would try to get a double-strike for all known U.S. Coins. Another example would be missing clad layer coins, and the collector could try to get a missing clad layer obverse and reverse for Roosevelt dimes, Washington quarters, a state quarter (getting all known missing clad layer state quarters would be virtually impossible), Kennedy half, Ike Dollar, Susan B. Anthony dollar, Sacagawea dollar, and a Presidential dollar. Here is a list of some other set ideas:


1.U.S. Modern coin off-metals—This would be expensive and in the many thousands of dollars, unless you didn’t get the transitional off-metals.

2.Missing clad layer collection (obverse and reverse.) — Less than $10,000 for a complete set.

3.U.S. Coins with struck-in and retained wire bristles (aka staples.) — A very rare error type, and the hardest part would be finding the coins. Perhaps a $10,000+ set depending on how nice the examples were, and if the collector wanted “all U.S. Coins” or just a select series.

4.Struck on feeder fingers. A 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c, and $1 would be a complete set since they’re the only series known on feeder fingers. — A complete set like this would probably cost $30,000 for a nice set, and half that for lesser examples.

Above: 1944 Mercury Dime Struck Off-Center


5.Off-center modern coins. This would include a 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, $1. — Depending on what design were included, this set could be had for less than $500, or for far more depending on the grade, coin design, and how far off-center it was.

6.Double-strikes for modern coins. This would include a 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, and $1. Depending on the designs of coins in the set, the set could be had for less than $500 if it was made up of low quality examples. A decent set might run $2000, with the 50c and $1 costing most of that, and the others being inexpensive by comparison. 


So, pick an error type you like, figure out what your budget is, then decide how big you want your collection to be in terms of getting examples of an error type for one series of coin, a few series, or perhaps all U.S. Coins. Create some guidelines for the collection (grade, any attributes you want for that error coin type such as “50% off-center coins only), and then start collecting.



Sullivan Numismatics Facebook Page
Post date: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 07:07

For those of you on Facebook, we have a Facebook page. We post links to articles on error coins, new updates, and other information. It's anonymous to "like" the page, and you will get error coin information and news from us in your Facebook feed. We post the following information on Facebook:

1.Coin Show information

2.Error coin news

3.Error coin articles

4.Sullivan Numismatics news

5.New Listing alerts when we post new coins on this website

6.Anything error related that we find interesting.

"Like" us at this link: https://www.facebook.com/sullivannumismatics


Updated Coin Show Schedule for 2016
Post date: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 06:49


We've just updated our coin shows schedule for next year, and will be having a table at 6 shows next year. Here is a link to view all the shows we are planning to set-up at. Coin Show Schedule Link: https://sullivannumismatics.com/coin-show-schedule

Coin shows are a fantastic way to see lots and lots of coins in-hand both on the coin show floor as well as in the auctions being held. They are both educational as well as a good place to buy coins for your collection. If you have errors you not longer want, you can always shop them around at shows and get offers from dealers to get the highest price (we'd love to make an offer on your coins!) 
Sullivan Numismatics coin show picture

Unique 1998 ASE on Silver Commemorative Planchet
Post date: Monday, October 26, 2015 - 06:11


1998 ASE on Silver COmmemorative.jpg1998 ASE on Silver Commemorative reverse

We recently sold this unique 1998 American Silver Eagle struck on a silver commemorative planchet. Coin World published our short article about the coin, on their website. Maybe you can cherrypick an example in a roll of 1998 ASE's, since where there is one, there could be more! http://www.coinworld.com/news/precious-metals/2015/10/check-your-1998-american-eagles-they-might-be-on-wrong-planchet.html


ANA Error Coin & Minting Process Correspondence Course
Post date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 07:44

One of the best places to get a good foundational education in mint errors and varieties is the American Numismatic Association's error coin and minting process correspondence course.The course was put together by Dr.James Wiles, and offers a broad overview of the minting process and errors and varieties.

The course is easy, but it packed with high quality content at the same time, making for an excellent educational opportunity for the aspiring error collector. I highly recommend you take it, since it is absolutely necessary to understand the minting process if you want to understand errors and varieties, and also you will get a good basic understanding of all the major error coin and variety types. Even if you feel fairly knowledgeable about error coins and the minting process, this course will give you a broad and fairly deep understanding of the whole subject.

You do need to be an ANA member, but that isn't a problem since all coin collectors should belong to the ANA. It's the biggest coin club in the world, and is the best resource out there in terms of offering educational opportunities and camaraderie with fellow collectors. here is where you can take the correspondence course: https://www.money.org/diploma-program

The error coin course is listed as: The Modern Minting Process and Errors & Varieties correspondence courses: $39.95

There are also a number of other high quality courses offered by the ANA, and we highly recommend you take whichever seem applicable to you!