Error-Variety Newsletter

May 23, 2000
Entire contents Copyrighted by Ken Potter 2000

Hello All,
Again, it's been awhile since the last newsletter which (like the one before it) has been delayed mostly due to heavy sales from my ads, a lot of hard work on my regular job (as an Inspector at DaimlerChrysler) and work on a new book to be published sometime this summer (more on that later). I simply have not had the time to produce a newsletter very often. While nobody is obligated to look at the updated lists of error-variety coins, I'd like to advise you that there are quite a few new coins and new books on this list.

Visit my updated list by clicking here:
May 23 Updated ErrorVarietyList.

1) As usual, I've been getting in a lot of questions from readers of my columns dedicated to errors and varieties.  A few of the questions and answers are copied below.

Mr. Potter,
I sent a 1922 Peace Dollar in to PCGS to be graded under their new error service. It has a strong die flake/lamination on the obverse thru the rays on the head and thru the letter I. They sent it back (and kept my money) and said it was a planchet flaw! I couldn't believe it! They said it could fall off, although it hasn't for 78 years. Also, there are no holes in the coin where the die flake is. Do you have any opinions about die flakes/laminations/planchet flaws you can tell me about.

Dear Mike,
Without seeing the coin it's hard for me to comment on their decision. However, there is a point at which a lamination is too minor to be considered very desirable to error collectors, (especially on a series like Peace dollars where laminations are common), but is considered as a "minor planchet flaw," effectively detracting from the value of the coin, by non-error collectors. I've been under the distinct impression that PCGS is only interested in slabbing what they consider "major errors," i.e., error types with hefty premiums attached and a recognized collector base. Their concern may have been that slabbing a "minor planchet flaw" as a "major error" would wrongly imply extra value to something for which there is generally no extra value attached in the error marketplace. Of course, I have not seen the coin so I do not know if this applies or if the above is their logic -- it's just a guess. I'd suggest not sending laminations in the form of "peels," "cracks," etc., to PCGS. I have never been under the impression that they would slab them as such and I'm not so sure their position is wrong as they are generally regarded as fairly minor unless affecting a large portion of the coin.
Sincerely yours,

Dear Ken,
I have a bicentennial quarter with the 1 of 1976 missing. Why does this happen?
I haven't found any references except for an article of yours which mentions gumming up of the die by grease, etc. Appreciate any info you can give us.

Dear JB,
Clogged dies (also know as: filled dies, strike thrus, etc) are the most common reason for a missing character on a coin. So you hit the nail on the head. Value is minimal (maybe 50c to $1) due to the nature of the error and lack of interest in the error type when this small of an area is affected.
Hope I helped.
Sincerely yours,

Saw your column in a recent issue of Coin World and thought I would drop you a note. Don't know if you reply to specific requests for info but here goes.
While going through several rolls of quarters recently, I came across a 1991 Washington Quarter without a mint mark. Could this be the result of a plugged die during the minting process? How common are these types of errors?

Hi Terry,
Yes, pieces (from several dates) have been reported missing the Mint mark on 1980 through current date Washington quarters due to a clogged die. In general, "Filled" or "Clogged" dies, are pretty common on all dates and denominations. One date of Washington quarter (date now forgotten to me) that was missing a Mint mark due to this cause was promoted at one point and said to be worth significant premiums upwards of about $100 (that many of us disagreed with). Today the coin is virtually forgotten and the value evaporated. No matter, I'd say they are still worth maybe $10 each just because of the promotion, since a few people still want and collect them.
I hope I helped.

I have a Mexican coin from 1980 $.20 piece that is half stamped on the back it has Estados Unidos Mexicanos at least I can read that off a good coin. this coin is totally mistamped so if you can give me a clue on what it could be worth I would appreciate it. I will have it scanned and send you a copy of it.

Hello Ed,
It sounds like an off center strike. I'm not to up on the prices anymore but I do have many of them from that era in my own personal collection. It has been reported that Mint officials sold many errors at shows in California in the 1970s and 1980s.  As such, many turn up bearing dates of that era.  They are still interesting and very collectable.

I have a 2000 penney that is missing the last zero. It shows as 200 instead of 2000. Have you seen any or know of any that has this error? Also would this have any value. Thank you for any help you can give me.

This is probably a filled die (with grease) that causes the last digit to not strike up. Considered minor with a value up to about $1.
Hope I helped.

2)  Without a doubt, the most common question asked is in regard to two-headed quarters (or a variation of that theme).  If you have not read my article on this subject (and just have to know where they come from), then click here: Double Headed Coins Unlucky For Some.

3) The Collectors Universe column on Errors & Varieties has finally come to an end. Unfortunately, the folks at CU decided to discontinue all columns by freelance writers and just use their own in-house staff for feature articles. However, the good news is that they will continue to make available the complete archive of past articles by all authors. Check out my entire Author's Index here: Ken Potter's CU Articles.

4) I've got a new batch of items for sale on eBay including some nice Jefferson errors and a few varieties. The highlight this week is a 1976 Bicentennial Quarter that boasts Triple Clips (one is a very large clip)!   Check out all my listings by clicking here: Ken Potter's eBay Auctions.

5) I'm sorry this newsletter is so short -- it was the best I could do under my current time restraints.

Sincerely yours,
Ken Potter

To view lists of Bars-Medal-Rounds, etc., Rare-Coin-Reproductions, an Educational Image Gallery (and other features), visit my main site here:

Ken Potter

P.O. Box 760232

Lathrup Village, MI 48076-0232

(313)255-8907 FAX (313)255-0144 E-mail:

Numismatist Since 1959 Serving the Collector Since 1973


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