HomeUS CoinsExotic and Intentional U.S. Error Coins in the Marketplace

Exotic and Intentional U.S. Error Coins in the Marketplace

By Mike Byers for Mint Error News ……
One of the most controversial categories of U.S. coins is Mint Errors. Many dealers and collectors, as well as coin auction houses, buy, sell, and trade many rare, exotic, and unique major mint errors. Obviously, some of these defy logic and were intentionally created and taken out of the Mint.

Exotic and Intentional U.S. Error Coins in the Marketplace

In the early 2000s, a group of several hundred U.S. error coins was found in a safe-deposit box. Dealer Fred Weinberg purchased this group, which included coins struck for Proof Sets and also coins struck for circulation. This group was auctioned by the California State Controller’s Office of Unclaimed Property. 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 the rest is history.

Another example of U.S. error coins escaping the United States Mint occurred in the 1970s. A hoard of Proof error coins were smuggled out of the San Francisco Mint inside the oil pans of forklifts that were being serviced outside of the Mint. This topic was discussed in the June 6, 2022 issue of Coin World, which covered Fred Weinberg’s account of this story.

Coin World’s Managing Editor concluded:

Obviously, the marketplace accepts these coins, and some collectors are happy paying thousands of dollars for coins that show every indication of having been created through illegal means.

In Episode 11 of the PCGS video series Slab Lab, Seth Chandler interviews Fred Weinberg. In part 2 of the interview, Fred explains in detail why mint errors that are decades old are not recovered by the U.S. Mint. Fred’s recollection of conversations in his office with the Chief of the U.S. Mint Police are extremely insightful and explain why the Mint doesn’t attempt to recover error coins from decades ago.


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Mike Byers Mint Error News

Mike Byers
Mike Byershttps://minterrornews.com/
Mike Byers is the Owner, Publisher and Editor of Mint Error News Magazine and the Mint Error News website that was founded in 2003. In 2009, Mike Byers published his first book, World's Greatest Mint Errors, which received the NLG Award for Best World Coin Book.

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  1. Please let me know if I have a rare Washington 2022D quarter with Maya Angelou and it is Bronze in color and not Silver. I have asked this question 12 times to no avail, so now I ask 13 times, all it takes is a yes or no . Thanks

    • Yes, if it’s really copper and not silver colored, it may be an error. I would take it to a reputable coin dealer and see what they say about it.

    • A quick search for “double-sided coins” will show that the great majority are novelty items called “magician’s coins”. They’re made by slicing apart two genuine coins, then swapping and joining the halves. Modern magician’s coins are usually made using precision equipment so it can be very difficult to detect where the swapped pieces were joined. You can find them in novelty shops and online for a few dollars.

      Your Washington coin is a 2007 Presidential dollar minted in 2007. Unless it’s uncirculated or proof, it’s only worth face value.

    • A quick search for “double-sided coins” will show that the great majority are novelty items called “magician’s coins”. Please see my answer to Amado Rodriguez for more details.

  2. I have a1987 P quarter dollar with an eagle a smiling look like appearance I’d like to show you the actual picture but i dont know how i have a strong feeling its an error to be discover, tnx


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