Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 12:20

We recently attended the Long Beach Expo, which is a coin show helps three times a year in Long Beach, California, at the Long Beach Convention Center. This show was January 31st-Feb-2nd. The show is a show we attend fairly often in the past, and have made it a permanent fixture in our show schedule every year due to the oftentimes good business we are able to do at the show.


Although error coin collecting has largely moved online, and in-person local coin clubs, coin shows, and the like have become less popular in the last couple decades, coin shows at least will never go away. They are too important to the hobby, as they allow “online” dealers to interact with customers, fellow dealers, and also are useful venues for buying and selling coins (albeit more wholesale than resale most of the time.) We love coin shows, and look forward to them every few months. 


This Long Beach show was a good show for us. We bought and sold a lot of mint errors, and it was one of our best Long Beach shows on record, returning to our office with lots of coins to send off for certification and otherwise sell to our customers. 


It was a surprise to us how many retail customers we ran into at the show. Usually the Long Beach show is light on retail, but there were a number of our “regular” customers at the show, and also other “occasional buyers” who shows up and created a number of “empty slots” in our display cases. We also made a new customer, who was excited to begin his error collection—it’s always fun to start a new coin collection!


Although there were a small number of auction lots in the two auctions being held, most of the coins went for relatively high prices, and we were amazed to see some of the coins bring far in excess of what we would value them at. Perhaps because there were so few lots, collectors went a bit “overboard” in their bidding! This was also our observation at the last FUN show in January—the tiny number of lots on auction brought strong money. 


We will be offering some VERY nice mint errors in the coming month or so, including some major proof errors, off-metals, and a nice selection of state quarter missing clad layers. There are other coins as well—all are currently out being certified. 


In a few weeks we will be attending the Baltimore show, and then a month or so later the ANA in Pittsburgh. If you are attending either show, please be sure and stop by our table to chat about errors, or if you are looking to buy or sell. 


We hope everyone is having a great year, and if you have any error collecting needs, please let us know: [email protected]

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 06:58

Have you spent any time lately reading books or articles on errors or varieties? If not, you should consider spending some money on books for your library so you can be an informed collector. This investment in reading will give you a much better appreciation for your coin, as well as arm you with the knowledge you need to make informed buying decisions for your error collection. 


Below is a list of books we recommend for the error or variety collector. We’ll separate them into two lists for your convenience since most people either collect errors or varieties, and not both (but some do!)  Note that some of the books in either category have information which would be useful to a collectors of errors or varieties, since information on die production, for example, while especially relevant to variety collectors is also of great use to error collectors, etc. 


We are not in any way compensated by these sellers listed, and are putting links to their books as a convenience to our customers. However, the sellers are good sources for books and we’d recommend them.



The ANA’s Correspondence Courses on Mint Errors and the Minting Process. (This would be the no.1 book we’d recommend to error or variety collectors to take. You must be an ANA member to do the course, but it is well worth the relatively small cost.)


100 Greatest Error Coins


The Cud Book






Strike it Rich with Pocket Change



Cherrypicker’s Guide Volumes 1 & 2


Cherrypicker’s Top 150





Redbook (not an error book, but everyone needs a copy for basic information on coins.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 06:15

2019 is here, and we have reasonably good expectations for the coin market this year. Although there is talk about softness in the coin market (and we agree there is), it is still a good market. Collectors are collecting, and dealers are dealing, and as long as prices are in line with the current market coins are selling well and buyers are not hard to find. Some prices are actually higher than they used to be, while others are lower. Good error coins are always in demand, and our customer's want lists take a lot of work to fill because there frankly is not a lot of error material on the market. Yes, there are some good coins coming on from time to time, but there haven't been any major influxes in errors, just pockets of coins here and there for the most part. The reality is, the error coin market is full of affordable although often rare coins. Many error coins that are deemed "common" may only have 100-200 examples known. Rare examples of error coins, which can be had for say $500 may only have less than a dozen examples known. That is an extraordinary level of rarity for the price. Supply and demand in the error hobby generally results in the supply quickly and easily absorbed by demand. Of course, this can also mean that if only a few collectors leave the hobby, a certain segment of the hobby and drop in price quickly. However, this is always remedied fairly quickly as new collectors enter the hobby (and we do see new collectors coming into the hobby, and/or current collectors changing focus and collecting a new series.) As an example, a year or so ago we sold a huge collection of state quarters (one of the largest ever assembled), which although most were easily absorbed by the market, there was a "over supply" for a time in the market, and prices dropped. Now that is completely reversed, and all supply is gone, and prices have returned to "normal levels." We can't find replacement coins because state quarter major errors are generally rare. Take advantage of opportunities in the error market of "oversupply", because they tend to be short-lived! We are very much looking forward to 2019, as the error market is generally good, and there are still fresh errors coming onto the market, albeit at a slower pace than we would like as dealers in errors (good errors are hard to find!) However, we look forward to finding errors for all our customers as we attend coins shows, auctions, and work with our clients. If you have any coins you're looking for or if we can be of service, send an email to us at: [email protected]

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.