Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 06:34
2022 Central States and the Error Coin Market Sullivan Numismatics

A few weeks ago the Central States coin show was held in Schaumburg, IL. It was the first time the show had been held since the 2019 show was held, due to the events over the last few years. It was great to be back at the show, and especially since it was so well attended both with dealers and collectors. Admittedly, it has historically been a slower show for mint errors (although a great show for dealers in U.S. coins generally.) However, this year we had possibly the best Central States show we’ve ever had, with a decent amount of both buying and selling.


Attending shows in different parts of the United States brings a somewhat different group of dealers and collectors. Many dealers travel to all the major shows regardless of the location, but there are always some dealers who never make it to shows other than relatively local ones. Such is the case with Central States, and it was nice to see some of our local customers as well as dealers we do not see as often at other shows. Traveling to shows across the U.S. allows us a more broad opportunity to acquire mint errors, as well as to sell to customers, and so we try to attend shows from the West Coast to the East Coast. 


Recent major auctions have been overall quite strong. Prices for lower value pieces (under $500) has moderated somewhat (they were to the moon high prices over the last year or two) and are now much more in line with what historical pricing has been. Middle priced items in the $500-$5000 range are generally strong, with only certain error types or series not participating in the strong price trend. Scarce off-metals and the like have been going for solid prices most of the time. High end coins, in the $5,000+ category are also strong. Some of the prices we’ve seen of late have been moon money, while others are just selling for “full price.”


Overall, the market is strong for most mint errors, and although there are certain errors or types which are selling at more traditional, lower prices, probably 70% of coins are selling for strong prices in our opinion.


We do our best to keep prices at fair, moderate retail levels, and generally “ignore” prices that are aberrations from the average price trend for a particular error type of category. We price based upon a number of factors including:

1.Historical value

2.Auction prices realized

3.The cost to buy coins from any of our many sources

4.The particular coin’s attributes are all taken into consideration—is it the finest known, unique, or otherwise special—or on the flip side is it none of those things and might even have a problem or two, and so deserve a lower price than one would typically expect.


Accurate and fair pricing is something we continually strive for, and our goal is to always give our customers a good value. 


Our next coin show will be the Baltimore this June. If you are planning to attend the show, we looking forward to seeing you there! In the meantime, keep an eye out for new items being listed on our website over the coming weeks, and also if you have not yet signed up for our email list for mint errors, consider signing up so that you will get an email when we list fresh coins. 

Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 08:29

Below is the link to our latest article for PCGS on mule errors.

Friday, March 11, 2022 - 15:33

ANA National Money Show 2022

As the ANA National Money 2022 coin show in Colorado Springs, CO draws to an end, we can say that is has been a success for us. There was a good amount of activity, with both buying and selling (especially selling) on the show floor. Other dealers who deal in non mint error material seemed to have a decent show as well. The show is not historically as active as some of the largest shows, but it’s always a “good show.” The weather had not cooperated for the beginning few days of the show, with snow and ice causing some issues with travel, but most dealers and collectors seemed to make it without a problem.


We picked up a nice little pile of mint errors, which will be offered in the coming weeks, and of course some going off for grading and will be offered whenever they get back to us.

A number of our regular customers from the Colorado area came to the show and we enjoyed saying high, and also and helping them fill some holes in their error collections.


Nice error coins are generally in low supply and higher demand right now, and that will probably be the case for much of this year. We expect things to be relatively normal in terms of the coin show circuit being back to its regular pre-covid pace soon, and that will be a help in alleviating the lack of fresh coins that dealers’ inventories are generally experiencing. When fresh, nice mint errors come in, they tend to sell quickly!


Saturday, February 26, 2022 - 12:23



Read on PCGS' website our most recent article on off-metals.

(Image Courtesy PCGS.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2022 - 11:46
Rare error coins market report

Over the last few years, the coin market as a whole has been very active, buoyed by increased demand from collectors, high precious metals prices, and perhaps even Covid-19's effect of giving people in general more "home time" and therefore more time to focus on singular pursuits such as coin collecting.

Whatever the reasons, the coin market has been hot across the board, from regular U.S. coins, to mint errors, to extreme numismatic rarities. All have seen increased prices in many segments, with rare error coins hitting millions of dollars at auction of late, and less valuable coins still selling for much more than they did 3 years ago. It's been amazing to watch the coin market over the last few years. Buyers are acquiring coins and generally holding on to them (making it difficult for sellers to buy anything.) Sellers are generally short on coins, and eagerly searching for quality material, and buyers are eagerly searching for coins and bidding against each other in auctions, driving prices even higher.

So is this a "bubble" in the market? Coin prices are driven by demand, and not by rarity, grade or anything else. Sure, those effect value when there is demand, but at the end of the day, coin's are only worth more than their face value because collectors compete with each other to acquire them, which pushes prices up. The coin market today has a lot of collectors chasing coins, and although some coins will doubtless drop in value in the near future, many will probably not because collectors are actually buying coins to put into their collections--they are buying coins because they want them, and that's unlikely to change in the long term. In other words, it is not (from what I can see) investors or speculators driving prices up, but simply collectors wanting coins for their collections. Prices are always going up and down, and right when prices seem to be "high", several years later we look back and say "boy, that coin was cheap back then!" or "I wish I wouldn't have waited for prices to drop, because it never happened." 

If collectors buy quality coins, pay fair prices based on whatever market they are buying in, and then "hold" their coins, they have a good chance at being happy with their purchases down the road both in terms of their enjoyment of their collection but also when they dispose of their collection one day. However, if a collectors is speculating, and is trying to sell a coin next year that they purchased this year, that would likely be a losing proposition. But if they are buying to hold, and are not selling their purchases for 10 or 20 years from now, in my estimation they have a good chance at making money or at the very least being happy with what their coins sell for. 

Areas of Error Coin Market

The hottest areas of the error coin market seem to be coins such as off-center strikes, double-denominations, truly rare mint errors (mules and the like), certain of the proof errors that have come on the market lately (although this is mixed--some are less due to the number of known examples changing with the recent accumulation(s) that have been dispersed onto the market, and it really is a coin by coin situation), off-metals, major double-strikes, mirror brockages, and really anything visually dramatic.

Weaker areas of the error coin market include series such as seated dimes, Liberty nickels, three cent nickels, and series such as these which, in fairness, have long lacked "strong demand" compared to more popular series such as Morgan dollars, Memorial cents, Washington quarters, and the like, but which generally have not kept up with increases in pricing that are seen in the more popular coin series. 

Some of these less popular series, as well as errors on coins such as pre-1965 silver coin errors, Susan B. Anthony dollars, 3 cent nickels or silvers, seated errors, bust errors, buffalo nickel errors, Roosevelt dimes are areas of opportunity where the series have seen little if any price appreciation as a whole, and so prices are perhaps "behind the times" in terms of increases in prices. Consider starting a mint error collection of these and you will have little competition, and more opportunities to acquire some great mint errors at relatively low prices. 

If you have any questions or need help tracking down mint errors for your collection, feel free to email: [email protected] 

NGC 1974-D Washington Quarter Deep Obverse Die Cap
NGC 1974-D Washington quarter deep obverse die cap. Dramatic errors such as this are in fairly high demand. 
1974-D Washington Quarter Obverse Die Cap (Reverse Photo)
Reverse Side of 1974-D Die Cap Quarter



NGC H10c 1858-O Seated Half Dime Broadstruck VG8
NGC H10c 1858-O Seated Half Dime Broadstruck VG8. Seated half dime errors are generally weaker demand, although a rare series for errors. A bargain in terms of their rarity to price.