We all know the saying, "Buy the book before the coin". But here's one better: "Buy the book and FIND the coin in circulation." I didn't manage to get this into last week's issue, but wanted to note this article from Numismatic News by Ken Potter about a reader who used what she learned in the book to find a rare 1983 copper-alloy cent. Here's an excerpt.
A 1983 copper-alloy cent has been found by a Pennsylvania collector who had purchased a copy of Strike it Rich with Pocket Change that was co-authored by Dr. Brian Allen and me.
It is the second one known to exist. All cents made in 1983 should be of copper-coated zinc.
The collector, who wishes to remain anonymous, made her discovery several weeks after acquiring the book.
She reports that she found the copper cent after reading our account of how Billy Crawford of South Carolina found one by setting all the 1983 cents to the side, while looking for doubled dies and other varieties in circulated rolls, so that he could weigh them all later.
The cents struck from 1963 through about mid 1982 are of a solid brass composition made up of 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc. They weigh 3.11 grams. The cents struck from about mid 1982 to date are struck on planchets made up of a solid zinc core (with a trace of copper) that are barrel plated with pure copper and weigh 2.5 grams.
Crawford hoped that his efforts would result in him finding a transitional error of a 1983 cent struck on a planchet left over from the early part of 1982 before the copper plated zinc cents were introduced later in that same year. Eventually he found one and we detailed his story on the find on Page 64 of the second edition and on Page 75 in the third edition of our book.
In our book we placed a possible value of $15,000 on an AU/Unc. example but it was just a guess. The owner now has this coin slated for sale in an upcoming Heritage auction, so we'll see how this one goes and report on the result.
To read the complete article, see:
Book spurs rare cent find
Wayne Homren, Editor
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