October 2021

The Error Coin Market is Hot - Error Coin Market Report
Post date: Monday, October 11, 2021 - 13:32

We’ve said it a number of times in the latest blog posts, but the error coin market is hot as a whole. Recent auction results among some of the large auction firms showed strong prices on most of the mint errors sold. Yes, some fell through the cracks, but we were impressed with the results as a whole. Everything from common off-center cents to major proof errors all, as a whole, fetched strong prices. Off-metal cents on dimes, double-strikes, off-metals, cuds, clips--it's all hot right now!

Latest Happenings in the Error Money Market

So what is happening in the error coin market right now? We’ve noticed a large increase in activity in the error money market, and also observed it in the regular U.S. coin market of late. This is probably due to a number of factors, the largest being the reopening of the economy, with coin shows (larger ones) finally being open once again. The reopening of the economy in general is giving collectors and dealer the confidence to step back into the coin market in a big way, and the strong bullion prices have also buoyed the coin market, putting money into both collectors and dealers’ pockets. We think this trend will not abate anytime soon.


As soon as the FUN show occurred this last July, coin activity reached another level of growth. Every month since, it seems to have gotten hotter and hotter, and auctions seem to be getting higher and stronger prices. This is due we believe for the reasons already stated, but also because dealers are having trouble restocking since they entered this year with thin, low inventory levels, and yet demand is high, and so they also are buying material often at top dollar, bidding up auctions, which further feeds the cycle of increasing prices. Collectors are also hungry for coins, and so they are competing against other collectors but also dealers. 


In the frenzy of the market, do not get caught up overpaying for material. If a coin looks way too high, it is. Yes, paying for “good coins” is always something that has to be done, but even cheap errors have been selling for “moon money” in auctions. Some dealers have dramatically raised prices after seeing the prices realized in some of these sales. The problem (or reality check) is that those same error coins, which the dealer might be pricing at $500 because an auction result was $500, can be had from another coin dealer for “normal” pricing any day of the week for $250. Again, do not get caught up in the hype (and there is a lot of hype in the prices right now.) Recent auction prices realized are not indicative for pricing a coin except for a snapshot in time (this year.) We do not think it is part of a  broad, multi-year price gain, but a single, fast surge in prices that will abate once the economy has been fully "reopened" for a few months or a year. Until then, look for prices to remain elevated. That's our best guess. 


We are always working on getting fresh material in, and will be offering it as it comes in—it’s a challenge however, and it takes many, many hours every week of scouring the marketplace to find good material at reasonable prices. Let us know if you need help finding any errors, and will do our best to find them for you. Our next show is the Baltimore coin show in mid-November. It promises to be an excellent show, and if it's like the last few coin shows, will be very busy and heavily attended!


New 2021-W Gold $10 Eagle Struck with "Unfinished Dies"
Post date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 07:40

There is a newly discovered mint error 2021-W quarter ounce gold American Eagle, struck with unfinished dies! PCGS just certified a number of examples. The 2021-W date/mintmark combination is only used for striking proof gold 1/4 eagles, but these discovery pieces have business strike surfaces. Some 60+ pieces were discovered by the discoverer, Gerald Medel, upon searching thousands of 1/4 gold coins (see article link below for more details.) 

An error of this type would have occurred do to a skipped step in the die production process. When the blank piece of die still was put into a hubbing press and impressed with the quarter ounce American Eagle gold design, it would at that point only have had business strike surfaces.

However, in order to give it surfaces for striking proof coins, it would then receive a treatment process (polishing, laser etching, etc) that would give the die's business strike die fields, the frosted devices and mirrored fields so that it could then be used for striking proofs.

Instead, this die pair missed that step entirely, resulting in a die with the 2021-W date and mintmark, but with business strike fields instead of proof fields.

Doubtless, because the die pair then had "business strike surfaces", a press worker accidentally used the die pair for striking regular, business strike bullion coins, unaware that the obverse die had the "2021-W" date and mintmark combination that is reserved for the proof only issues. 

This error type also happened in 1999 for some of the 1/10 and 1/4 ounce gold 1999-W American Eagle issues. Some 6,000 or so of each coin were struck with unfinished proof dies, resulting in a coin with the dies of a proof coin, but the "finish" of a business strike. 

A fascinating new mint error, and one to watch out for as collectors and dealers process their new 2021 1/4 T-2 gold American eagle coins. Doubtless more are waiting to be found. 

Below is the link to PCGS's article about the coins, which provides more information. https://www.pcgs.com/news/regular-strike-quarter-ounce-2021-american-eagles-with-w-mint-marks?fbclid=IwAR3PRGqWpmed4LavObtHGj93_IFD8eG5voyVk_qDHmsnH-PHnx0Le3g7sVg

(Image Courtesy Todd Pollock)