Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 09:14
Washington Dollar on Manganese Dollar Planchet Obverse

We recently acquired a very interested 2007-D Washington quarter struck on a manganese dollar planchet, and struck in a dollar sized collar. Here is how we believe it happed, and also why we believe it is highly likely (although impossible to know for certain) that the coin was struck on a 2007-D Washington dollar planchet.

Although the NGC holder says “Sacagawea dollar planchet”, it actually isn’t possible to know either way. The 2007 Sacagawea dollars have no edge lettering, and neither does this coin. The presidential dollars do have edge lettering, and this coin does not—that would seem on the surface to prove that it is a Sacagawea planchet. However, because edge lettering is added to the presidential dollars after they are struck, that is not proof.

Instead, what I think may very well have happened is that this error was made when a 2007 Washington quarter obverse and reverse die were installed in a press for Washington presidential dollars. You could conjecture that it might have been the Washington dollar since the same name “Washington” for the dollar and the quarter might have confused the press worker if the dies were somehow marked “Washington”. Both would also be “2007”, and perhaps the dies were marked something like “2007-D Washington” on the quarter dies, and might not have stated denomination (or the press worker might not have noticed the denomination designation.) The press then struck some or an entire bin of coins with quarter die obverse and reverse, and a Washington dollar coin planchet and collar, then the press worker went to move the coins to have the edge lettering applied but noticed the mistake. Instead of them going through the edge lettering machine, the coins were simply all sent to be waffled and thereby destroyed, resulting in this coin.

We’ll likely never know, but the scenario seems entirely plausible to me, and in fact most probable, that it was actually a 2007 Washington dollar press that these 2007-D Washington quarter dies were installed on.

Additionally, I checked and of interest the Washington dollars were released in February 15th, 2007. Washington quarters were released April 2nd, 2007. The coins almost certainly were being struck at the same time, further proving the likelihood that a mixup of this kind occurred since both designs' striking was concurrent. Also, the newness of the presidential dollar series doubtless created some confusion and adjustments at the Mint, furthering the likelihood of a mix up of the quarter/dollar dies as they refined their manufacturing processes.

The same error occurred as well in 2000, when a Maryland quarter set of dies were installed in a press striking Sacagawea dollars, creating a "quarter on Sacagawea planchet and with a Sacagawea collar die." Since one of the 3 dies (hammer, anvil, and collar) is incorrect, the collar die in this case, it is a mule, as is the 2007-D Washington quarter on manganese planchet, although not the type of mule you'd typically expect for a "mule" error. It is a "collar mule."

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 06:34
Nonsense Design Martha Washington Quarter Discovery Coin

We recently acquired (and sold) a unique experimental nickel on copper coated zinc planchet, that was part of testing being done at the Mint in 2011-2012 era, which was reported in Coin World a month or so ago. From the same source, we acquired another unique experimental coin, which is a quarter "nonsense" design, which has also been waffle cancelled. One side depicts a rhino on the side of a rocky mountain, and the word "nonsense" as well as other words and numbers. Also, it is struck on a normal "clad" quarter planchet. There were 9 different metal tested, and one of them was a normal clad planchet, which is what this coin is. It is listed as J2225 on U.S. Patterns

Here is a Coin World article from 2013 which discusses the experimenting the Mint did in trying different metals out as alternatives for the current metals used in circulation, as well as some descriptions of the nonsense dies used:

Here is a link to a recent Coin World article about the newly discovered quarter:

The quarter is currently be certified by NGC, and will be offered for sale. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018 - 08:00

Here is an interesting article from Coin World, which states that the current Mint policy as of 2017 is that Federal Reserve Banks must return mint errors they find. Of course this doesn't apply to individual banks or collectors, etc.

Friday, August 17, 2018 - 08:41
Martha Washington Copper Nickel

We recently acquired a remarkable Martha Washington test coin, which although it was known to exist, none were privately owned until now. The example we purchased has been waffle cancelled at the Mint. Here is the article as written in Coin World by Paul Gilkes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 08:41

NGC just wrote an article about the discovery 1943 copper wheat cent, which was first discovered over 70 years ago. The coin was certified by NGC as AU53, and is one of the "strong strike" specimens. Here is a link to the article about this historic "first" coin:

(1943 copper cent photo courtesy NGC.)