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!
It was a great FUN show 2022. From the beginning of the show on dealer day on Wednesday through the end of the show Saturday, sales were brisk and purchases were good as well. Although we have not done a final tally, it was probably our best FUN show for sales ever, with both wholesale and retail activity strong. Collectors came into the show looking to buy coins, and the had the money to do it. Dealers need to restock (including us) and so purchases from the public and amongst dealers were strong as well.
Although some dealers did not make it to the show due to various concerns ranging from Covid to flight delays, it really didn’t feel like almost anyone was missing from the show, since probably 95% of dealer did show up and collectors came in strong as well. There was the “buzz” about the show floor all week. Every dealer we talked to was having a “average’ to “incredible” show, and no one had a bad show that we are aware of.
There were a number of mint errors on auction, including an incredible 1886 Morgan dollar obverse die cap, which is the finest known of the 2 known Morgan dollar die caps (and more importantly, is arguably the most dramatic Morgan dollar error in existence), and was auctioned off for $160,312.50. We had estimated it would sell for $125,000 to $150,000, so a bit stronger than the “high end” of our estimate, and a solid number which shows that demand for high end, dramatic mint errors is high.
Other errors on auction leading up to the show included a mix of major errors, proof errors, as well as a lot of cheaper more common errors. Overall, results were average to strong for the majority, with notable strength in some of the more “special” errors selling for average to strong prices (a high grade 2c die cap sold for an incredible $45,000, for example, which is a lot more than we would’ve estimated.) A unique 1866 2c on cent sold or some $18,000, which is about what we would have estimated it to sell for (our estimate was more around $20,000.)
Some of the proof errors were strong, selling for double what we would’ve estimated on some of the more unusual pieces, while the more “common” examples (proof Kennedy half off-centers, proof wrong planchets of the more common types, etc) were in some cases weaker, reflecting the surge of proof errors on the market in the last several years diluting the values of the more common pieces. Still, prices for all the proof error coins were generally average to strong.
An excellent start to the year for numismatics, and we are excited for what the year will bring to the hobby. If you want to start the year off right, we would suggest joining some of the coin clubs such as the ANA, CONECA, as well as the specialty clubs focused on various individual series such as the Fly In Club or the CWTS. Here is a handy link to some of the clubs mentioned: https://www.sullivannumismatics.com/website-links
(Shown above: NGC 50c 1964 kennedy half transitional on clad quarter planchet MS64)
Transitional off-metals are not something you would necessarily expected to find in circulation, but this lucky collector did, as detailed in the Coin World article shown below. A transitional off-metal is an error type involving a change in coin metals for a coin design, and occurs when a planchet made up of the old planchet metal is struck by dies intended for the new planchet material. An example would be a 1965 quarter (which should strike clad planchets) striking a 90% silver planchet (a planchet which stopped being used in 1964.)
Here are a few examples in our inventory of transitional off-metals:
We have heard of a number of collectors over the years finding rare transitional off-metals. This happens because of a few reasons, including that the planchets they are struck on are typically very close to normal weight, are the correct diameter, and so are able to escape the Mint's riddler's and quality controls. Additionally, they are often more or less the same visual appearance as a normal coin (for example, this 1977-D 40% silver Kennedy half is almost the same exact "color" as a normal 1977-D clad Kennedy--and so it is less likely to be noticed and pulled from circulation quickly.)
Additionally, it is an error that is likely to occur at some level whenever a new metal is used for a coin type, because there is a shift from the old to the new, and leftover planchets have to be all completely removed from the press and planchet bins, otherwise they will be fed into the press that is set up for striking the new metal type and a transitional off-metal will occur, and for the aforementioned reasons, will likely make it out of the Mint without getting caught.
The same is true of the 1983 transitional off-metal cents, which are 1983 cents struck on the bronze 3.1 gram planchet instead of the correct planchet, which is a copper coated zinc planchet weighing 2.5 grams.
Keep an eye out for transitional off-metals, because they are found from time to time.
Below is the article by Coin World's Paul Gilkes on the discovery of the 1977-D transitional.