Proof 197X-S Ike Dollar
Double Struck on 2 Gram Aluminum Shell Gas Token
PCGS PR 64
1 of 3 Known
This is an amazing and spectacular major mint error Proof coin. It is a Proof Eisenhower dollar from the San Francisco Mint that is double struck on an aluminum Shell Gas token. In 1968, the Franklin Mint struck aluminum tokens for the Shell Oil Company. Shell Oil issued a Mr. President coin game booklet as part of a promotion for their gas stations. People collected these aluminum tokens of the first 31 presidents of the United States and got prizes.
The United States Mint did not strike aluminum coins for circulation. Somehow, three of these aluminum Shell tokens were mixed in a bin of blank planchets or deliberately taken into the Mint. It is also unclear whether these were intentionally made or struck during the normal minting process. Furthermore, they were either taken out of the Mint or surfaced in sealed proof sets where a lucky collector discovered them.
These three aluminum Shell tokens were overstruck by the Proof Eisenhower dollar dies. This example, on a Ulysses S. Grant token, was double struck. The immense pressure from the dies expanded the size of the struck token to nearly the size of an Eisenhower dollar. On both the obverse and reverse, the design from the token understrike is visible.
Proof coins are struck by technicians who hand feed the blanks into special presses. They are produced, examined, and packaged using extreme quality control. It is very unusual to find major Proof errors. A few broadstrikes, off-centers, double strikes (in collar), and off-metals have been known to be found in sealed proof sets. Proof errors are aggressively sought after by many error collectors.
A very small group of Proof errors recently came from a collection that was auctioned by the State of California. The United States Secret Service inspected and released this collection to the State of California determining that it was legal to own. The State of California then auctioned the collection and it has been dispersed since the sale.
For comparison purposes, I sold a 1983-P Washington quarter in Mint State, struck over a token. This mint error was certified by NGC and realized $15,862 USD as lot number 6291 in the 2014 FUN Heritage Auction. This Eisenhower dollar on a Shell Gas Token offered here is larger, aluminum, double struck, and in Proof.
Also for comparison purposes, here is a similar Proof Ike dollar that was struck at the San Francisco Mint in the 1970s on an aluminum planchet weighing only two grams. It is also double struck and rotated a few degrees between the strikes. It is very well centered and shows the deep cameo portrait of President Eisenhower. It is the ultimate modern off-metal since it is on the highest denomination, Proof, and in aluminum.
There are only a few known U.S. coins struck on aluminum planchets. This Proof Aluminum Ike dollar would be the centerpiece of any U.S. mint error collection.