The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 53, December 31, 2023, Article 19


The December 2023 issue of ErrorScope from the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America (CONECA) included a article by Greg Bennick about a man's chance discovery of a rare error. With permission, we're republishing it here. Thanks to Greg and ErrorScope editor Allan Anderson. -Editor

  1965 silver Roosevelt dime obverse 1965 silver Roosevelt dime reverse

NUMISMINUTIA: Errors are Out There: An Incredible Find!
By Greg Bennick

I recently had an amazing experience at a local coin show near Seattle where I learned of another collector's incredible find, and I wanted to share it with readers as inspiration to keep up the search!

There are still coins out there to find! I live in Seattle, and around this part of the country there are a handful of coin shows across the Pacific Northwest, though most are smaller than the major shows I often attend around the rest of the country. I tend to make a huge mistake and long for the big shows, when every single time I attend a smaller local show or a mid-sized regional show in this area, I have an incredible time and find something cool, or have a conversation with someone, which makes it entirely worth it to have gone. The moral, right off the bat: always support smaller coin shows! Sure, it is exhilarating to walk into a room with a thousand tables, but there's magic to be found at local shows too and you can build a great network of new friends by attending them.

I had an experience at a very small local show a month or so ago and wanted to share about it. I was at the Kent WA coin show. It is a very small show, with maybe fifteen dealers. I went through the show looking for errors and was done in about twenty minutes…but then I decided to sit and look for weird things that I just happen to like beyond error coins. It is good to diversify, so I collect counterstamps and also local Seattle area historical tokens with errors on them (of course!).

I was sitting at the table of a prominent local token dealer looking through his massive number of token books. Just tables full of them. I had looked through a thousand or more tokens, when suddenly next to me sat down a man who looked like he was directly out of Sons of Anarchy. He had a jean jacket with patches on along with a bandana and had a look like a biker. I was immediately interested. I love when people of all different backgrounds and varieties are at coin shows. I kept looking through the tokens. And I heard this man strike up a conversation with the dealer. He said, I found something recently and I have a question about it. I figured it was a token, and admittedly I don't know a ton about tokens in general so I just kept searching through the books.

The token dealer asked what the coin was, and the man said, Well, it's something that I don't know much about, but I had it slabbed by ANACS. The dealer asked to see it and the man handed her the coin. I kept looking through the tokens, but overheard the dealer say, I think it's on a wrong planchet.

Well now, of course, my attention was immediately piqued! I turned and looked while the man said, Yeah. That's what someone told me. The two contemplated what the coin was, if it was real, and if the find was significant. I asked if I could see the coin, explaining that I had overheard that it was on the wrong planchet and that I'm addicted to errors. The man handed me the coin and I couldn't believe what I was looking at.

  1965 silver Roosevelt dime obverse slab 1965 silver Roosevelt dime reverse slab

He had an 1965 Roosevelt dime, clearly struck on a 90% silver planchet and slabbed as such from ANACS. It was a transitional wrong planchet error. The coin had been cleaned, with hairlines from someone likely wiping it a bit to see why it wasn't quite right. One could tell quite easily though from looking with the naked eye that the tone was right for silver around the periphery. ANACS had definitely slabbed it correctly. I asked the man if he collected errors and he said that he didn't really. I asked him where he bought this coin and he said, he hadn't bought it.

He said, I found it in a Coinstar machine.

I couldn't believe it. I asked him if that was really true, and he said it was. He said he always goes through Coinstar machines looking for odds and ends and seeing if anyone left any change behind. This time someone had. He found the coin interesting as it looked unusual and he brought it home. Being a somewhat novice but experienced enough collector, he decided to send it off to have it authenticated because he wanted to know more about it and had decided on ANACS because they were among the least expensive third-party grading services.

As far as we could tell, we think somebody passed that coin through the Coinstar machine. For whatever reason, likely because it was silver, it was rejected by the machine. Maybe they passed it through again, and it was rejected again so they decided to just leave it thinking it was fake.

The man said that he had gotten a few offers on the coin from the few people he had shown it to, and said that he had been offered several hundred dollars. I said he should add a zero to that number and up the game considerably to the next person who makes him an offer. And I congratulated him on what was an amazing find. I immediately let him know that I was with the press so to speak and that I write for Errorscope and asked to take photos.

The moral of the story is that there are still coins out there to find whether from the bank, roll hunting, or even in change. It is impossible to think that all the coins yet to be found have already been found. We just have to keep up the search. This coin was a perfect example.

At the CONECA table this summer in Pittsburgh, we had a man and his daughter come up to the table with an entire book of coins they had pulled from roll hunting. They said they went through many thousands of dollars of coins each month. The book contained mostly damaged coins, but there were many errors too, some substantial! Like a split die piece, some major off centers, cuds, and other coins.

If you happen to find any fantastic coins like the dime my new friend found, while you're going through your change, in a roll, or organically in the world, please let me know! This wrong planchet find was hugely inspiring and whatever you find might be an inspiration for other collectors as well!

Interested in error and variety coins? Join CONECA!

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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