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Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 06:00

(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:

1. https://www.sullivannumismatics.com/coin/ngc-50c-1964-kennedy-half-transitional-clad-quarter-planchet-ms64?v=7246

2.https://www.sullivannumismatics.com/coin/ngc-10c-1965-roosevelt-dime-transitional-metal-silver-dime-planchet-au55?v=7290

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. 

https://www.coinworld.com/news/us-coins/collectors-discover-1977-d-half-dollar-on-silver-planchet

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)

Monday, August 23, 2021 - 07:50

The ANA Worlds Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL ended a few weeks ago. It was a blow-out of a coin show, with lots of activity both in buying and selling—particularly in selling. We were surprised at how active the buyers were, and we sold a number of coins in 4 figures as well as coins in the under $1,000 price range. Although our total sales were still a relatively small number, at least compared to dealers’ in non-error U.S. coins, who sell often hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of coins at a coin show, we were surprised at how many error sales we had. Most of the time, not a lot of error collectors make it to coin shows, being spread out across the U.S. as they are, and so naturally sales are low. But at this show, sales were hotter than we expected.

Sullivan Numismatics Booth

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Above) Sullivan Numismatics Booth

Additionally, buying was pretty good, although we had more trouble than usual acquiring inventory relative to past years. Collectors and dealers are more in the “acquiring” frame of mind than they are in the selling. Both often hold out for the top dollar, and if they can’t get it, coins often keep them or they go to auction where many will sell for many multiples of what they are worth, with only some coins falling through the cracks (which we try to purchase!)

Some collectors opt to buy out of major auctions with mixed results. It’s always difficult when a customer shows us an error coin they paid twice (or more) what it was worth in an auction, and are asking “did I get a good deal?” We answer honestly of course, but in a market where many coins have gone the auction route during Covid lockdowns, etc, the competitive nature of auctions often makes the coins sale for far more than they are worth, unfortunately. If you do seek a coin in an auction, we do offer mint error coin consultations for reasonable fees around 5% of the hammer price. Getting good advice on rarity, value, and condition of a coin makes this a bargain in our opinion. Contact us for more information on our auction consultation service.

Auction Lot Viewing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the coin show, dealers in U.S. coins had phenomenal levels of activity with every dealer we talked to saying they had a good show, and many saying they had record or near record good shows. There is lots of enthusiasm and activity in the coin market based on this and the prior coin shows.

Some of the hottest areas of the error market include older type errors, such as Morgan dollars, the Barber and seated coin series, buffalo nickels and Mercury dimes, Indian cent errors, and other popular designs. Also, modern major errors that are business strikes (non proof) are generally hot with some exceptions. Major striking errors, off-metals, and visual errors are popular. State quarter errors have had a surge of interest for truly rare as well as visually exciting errors. Areas of weakness including proof errors in the 1960’s-1970’s era for the most part, as well as double-denominations of the more expensive types (over $2,500.) Part of this weakness in proof errors is due to the larger numbers of proof errors that have come on the market in the last number of years. Prices on them will likely be all over the place for years to come, but once it settles down the rarer pieces will move back up in price and the more common pieces will not in our estimation. Be careful overpaying for them, but at the same time, when a lot of a particular coin type comes on the market historically, there will be both winners and losers at the end of the day, so opportunity also presents itself.

We look forward to our next coin how in Baltimore, Maryland in a few months. In the meantime, we look forward to helping out our customers through our website and email. Look for a lot of fresh mint error material coming to our website in the coming weeks.

 

Friday, July 16, 2021 - 06:41

Error Coin Market Report - July 16th, 2021

Wow, what a July it has been for the error coin hobby, as well as for coin collecting as a whole! We can officially say that the coin market is “hot” and not feel like we are in any way exaggerating. Coin shows and auctions are hot, with coins realizing high prices or selling quickly. Anything fresh tends to go fast, and coins that are not “fresh” are still selling well.

 

The first major coin show of the year happened this month at the July FUN coin show in Orlando Florida. We had a table there, and all we can say is it was a great show for both dealers and attendees. Every dealer we talked to had a good show, and at least one (a well known dealer in U.S. coins) said it was their best show the have ever had. Many dealers said it was one of the best shows they had ever had as well, with dealers selling large volumes wholesale, and also there was a good retail presence. We sold quite a few coins, and had more trouble buying than normal due to a lack of fresh material—but we still managed to pick up some fresh coins that will be offered in the coming weeks and months.

 

Collectors have money, and want to spend. Major auctions have been doing very well, with many of the coins fetching jaw-dropping prices. One of the last big error sales brought what could easily be referred to as “crazy prices” for many, many of the coins. Coins that sold for $400 in 2019, often brought $1,000 or more. Some coins sold at normal “retail” (what is the new normal—perhaps we have to adjust our view on what “normal” retail prices are?), while few coins slipped through the cracks. Some (but not all) of the higher dollar coins over $5,000 or thereabouts sold cheap, and were actually weak, while some of them did sell for normal retail or actually strong money. Coins under $5,000 or so were strong, many selling for multiples of what they would have sold for about a year ago.

 

So, between the strong prices at auction, and the strong action at coin shows, and also coins dealers simply selling a lot of coins at their websites, we feel comfortable terming the coin market, including the error coin market, “hot”, with of course some weakness on some (not all) of the higher priced items and a few types (but not many) of the cheaper error types, and overall very strong prices on most of the mint errors in the under $5,000 price level.

 

Coins with great eye-appeal, or which (for whatever reasons) are popular right now, such as 11c cent on dimes, nickels on cents, cents on dime planchets, most double or multi-struck coins, etc, all are selling exceptionally well at auction and in dealers’ inventories.

 

We look forward to the rest of this year with excitement, as we have the next big show, the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL in August, and it promises to be a blowout show of memorable activity. It will be the first of the truly giant coin shows since January of 2020, and will likely be one for the books.

 

We will continue to search for errors at the best value and offer them on our website. If you need assistance with either buying or selling, we are here to help!

 

 

 

Friday, June 4, 2021 - 08:43

Mint error coins have been hot in auctions. You can pretty much pick any auction from most of the various venues, and see some very high prices realized! And although there are certain areas that are not as popular right now (certain proof errors do to the quantities that have come out of late, certain state quarter errors, and actually some of the scarcer older off-metal types), other areas are very popular. Errors under say $500 are generally very popular right now, 11c double denominations, and always the dramatic, eye-catching errors generally are difficult to keep in stock. Some of the rare proof major errors have gone for incredible prices at auction, fetching many tens of thousands of dollars.

 

Ups and downs in the market are always the case, but as a whole, the error coin market is doing well. Perhaps as the economy is opening back up from the recent Covid shutdowns, collectors are starting to attend smaller coin shows, and larger coin shows such as the summer FUN show in July in Orlando FL, and the ANA Worlds Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL, are all on track to be 100% a “go”. We will be attending both shows, and look forward to seeing dealers and collectors once again! The July FUN show will be our first coin show since February of 2020, so it is long past due that we set up at a show.

NGC 5c 1977-S Proof Nickel on Dime Double-Denomination
NGC 5c 1977-S Proof Nickel on Dime Double-Denomination 

It has been exciting for the hobby that there have been a large number of previously unknown proof errors on the market of late. It’s been something which we have both watched, and been able to participate in, having been acquiring some and offering them over the last few years or so. Major proof errors are historically rare, and in reviewing error coin catalogs dating back to the 1960’s or 1970’s you can find broadstruck proof errors, clips, off-metals, and really the same errors existing that we are now seeing come fresh to the market. Back 10 years ago, a proof nickel on a cent planchet was nearly unheard of, and a proof Kennedy on a quarter planchet was very rare. Now, they are still very scarce, but not as rare as they once were due to the recent coins that have come on the market.

 

We cannot say with certainty where all the proof errors have come from that have been coming to market of late, or how they left the Mint, since we have only 2nd hand knowledge of them and their whereabouts, or even how many are known, but the higher quantities of proof errors that have come on the market of late seem to be old hoard(s) that were put together perhaps some 50 odd years ago (based on the dates of material that has come out), and have never been on the market until now. The coins are comprised of both proof and business strike errors. They are unquestionably 100% authentic, and from what has appeared in major auctions, other dealer’s inventories (and our own) range from the incredibly dramatic (mated pair off-metals, etc) to the fairly mundane (minor clashed dies, planchets, etc.)

 

It is an exciting time in the hobby that there are a quantity of proof errors on the market, since before now there really were not all that many. Although some proof errors will drop in value due to the quantity of "fresh material" on the market (perhaps temporarily, perhaps not), others will doubtless turn out to be great rarities. Only time will tell, but as with all hoards of coins, it is an exciting event that has taken place over the last few years, and all error collectors will watch with interest as will we! There’s the likelihood that they will also bring in more collectors, since historically, when fresh hoards of coins are discovered and come to market, they often enliven that market and result in brand new collectors forming collections.

 

We look forward to seeing any and all of you at upcoming coin shows, or just through emails, phone calls as we see the coin market quickly returning to pre-2020 conditions, and if we can be of service in building your collection just let us know.