Why collectors love the mistakes of others

A simple mistake can make an ordinary coin extraordinary. Tiny errors can result in big rewards for eagle-eyed collectors.

If you consider for a moment how many coins are minted each year it’s unsurprising that an error sneaks through every now and again. The truth is that they are very, very rare, which means supply can never keep up with demand.

As soon as collectors get wind of a coinage error, they will be doing all they can to secure one because they know supply will be so limited.

What to look for

Unsurprisingly, error coins have become a popular collecting area, ever since people discovered that certain coins they could find in their change were worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds each.

But what do you need to look for? I have included a list below which is by no means exhaustive but are the more popular errors that collectors look for.

Doubled Dies – Considered one of the most popular types of error.  Doubled die refers to the doubling of all or part of the image on a coin.  The doubling is usually confined to either the obverse or the reverse of the coin.  The doubling can be spotted most prominently in lettering but it can be that part of the design can show the signs of doubling.  A great example of this is the 1888 Hot Lips Morgan Dollar error.  This coin was double struck on the obverse at New Orleans Mint resulting in Liberty’s lips nose and chin appearing a lot more pronounced than on a usual Morgan Dollar.  

Blank Planchets – This type of error occurs when the coin blank which has been prepared for striking ends up being missed the striking process.  These type of errors are not usually worth much and the value of the blank error generally depends on the metal content.

Broad Strikes – Considered fairly valuable, a broad strike occurs when coins have not been placed in a collar during the minting process. This collar helps to create the properly formed rim of the coin and in not using the collar the result is a coin with an odd looking rim or no rim at all.  The design may appear off-centre and the coin often ends up wider than it should be.  Depending on the type of coin and how much wider and dispositioned the coin design is will determine the coin’s value.

Wrong metal or wrong design – These type of errors are always sought after. Some examples of when the wrong design has been used include the Bank of England Gold £2 in which the die for the double sovereign was used instead of the die for the £2 coin.  Another example from US Mint occurred when the US Mint decided to change the font type on their silver bullion eagle coin in 2008 however a number of these coins were struck with the 2007 reverse. 

Off-centre coins – With some of these errors the design can be found more than 50% off centre resulting in only half the design being struck on the coin with the other half of the coin appearing blank.  Values of these errors do vary depending on how much of the coin design is missing.

Clipped Blanks – These occurs when the machine that cuts out the blanks cuts them more than once resulting in part of the final blank being cut away.  The worth of these depends on the type of coin grade and amount of missing metal.


Own the 130 Year Old Morgan Dollar error coin

I have limited stock of a Morgan Dollar that shouldn’t exist…

 510w ad image 2 - Why collectors love the mistakes of othersThe famous “Hot Lips” error coin, features Lady Liberty’s portrait double-struck, resulting in a noticeable doubling up of her nose, lips and chin.

Struck in 1888, the error wasn’t discovered until the 1960s and has gone on to become one of the most famous coin errors.

You can add one to your collection today for just £395 (+p&p). Click here to find out more about the “Hot Lips” Morgan Dollar


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