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Major Presidential Dollar Error - No Edge Lettering!

By February 23, 2007

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Washington Dollar with no edge letteringUpdate: See my list of known Presidential Dollar Edge Lettering Errors!

A major Presidential Dollar error has emerged! Coins with no edge lettering are showing up in two key locations; so far the majority of the "no edge lettering" error coins seem to be out of the Jacksonville Fed, (thousands of error dollar coins reported,) but I have reports of hundreds of error coins from the Chicago area, too. The Florida coins are from the Philadelphia Mint, while the Chicago coins are from the Denver Mint. There are sporadic (but unconfirmed) reports of this error showing up in other cities, too. (Please note that this is a correction from an earlier edition of this post that stated ALL missing edge lettering errors were from Philadelphia. This was a misunderstanding on my part engendered by the fact that a company in Pennsylvania wrapped all of the coins for the Fed.)

I want to reiterate that coins with the edge inscriptions written upside-down are not errors! The edge inscriptions are being applied randomly on circulation strike coins (but should always be right-side up on Proofs.)

The frenzy over this hugely significant error is already on the upswing: the first specimen, a Denver Mint specimen found in Chicago, closed for $612 on eBay last night, and at least one additional coin has sold for a $200 Buy-It-Now price. There are dozens of listings still open with bids topping out around $80 at this moment. I would caution my readers to hold off on paying very much for this error, because I think we are seeing the tip of the iceberg. Keep in mind that most Americans are not avid coin collectors, so the average person may not even be aware that missing edge lettering is an error, since we haven't had a circulation coin with edge lettering in decades! Therefore, there could literally be tens of thousands (or more) of these George Washington "no edge lettering" errors out there that people don't even realize are wrong!

One interesting speculation on my part is that I would expect we'll see Sacagawea Dollars that DO get edge lettering, and those will probably be rare and cool enough to be worth $80. I also expect that we'll have the usual assortment of cuds, double struck, off-centers, and other more "commonly" encountered mint errors on the Presidential Dollars. This reminds of the important point that only a tiny fraction of the 300 million coin mintage of GWs has even gotten out yet, and we've already seen thousands of missing edge lettering errors reported, so this error is not likely to be rare, although it will certainly be at least scarce.

Check out my list of all confirmed Presidential Dollar Edge Lettering Errors, which also includes a listing of all other reported errors (die cracks, etc.) This list also has important information about diagnosing edge letter errors. I believe that this serious "missing edge lettering" error, which omits the especially important date and mint mark, compares in legendary status to the 1955 doubled-die cent in importance. When the mainstream media pick up this story, the frenzy will perhaps be greater than anything we have seen in decades.

If you have some coins with no edge lettering that haven't been reported to me yet, (or other significant Presidential Dollar errors,) please post in the comments below, or email me at coins.guide@about.com about your find. Please tell me what city you got the coins in, whether they're from Philadelphia or Denver rolls (or bags) and how many you have (or have seen.) I'll post the reports in cumulative (but anonymous) form for everyone's benefit.

Photo of dollar missing the edge lettering courtesy of Athel Patterson

Comments

February 24, 2007 at 6:56 pm
(1) Dave says:

Picked up two of the misprinted coins at the Capital City Bank in Monticello, Florida.

February 25, 2007 at 8:00 pm
(2) Gregory Hall says:

I read through your article about the $1 Presidential coins. Very interesting, however, I spoke with a customer service agent who confirmed with two other agents at the US Mint and that agent informed me that the writing is supposed to be right side up on all coins, not just the proofs. I just wanted to share that information with you.

February 25, 2007 at 11:07 pm
(3) Susan Headley says:

Dave, thank you for the report, and congratulations on your finds!

Gregory, this is not the first time that customer service agents at the Mint have been wrong. It seems the Mint contracts with a telemarketing company for at least part of their ordering service, and as we all know, telemarketing people are the bees knees for truth and factual information. ;) Although there is a press release somewhere on the U.S. Mint Web site that explains this (their search engine is awful) this U.S. Mint page here clearly states that due to the process used to create the edge inscription on circulating coins, the edge inscription positions will vary.

Susan

February 26, 2007 at 6:40 am
(4) Tim says:

I’m in Jacksonville and have several of these coins – missing the edge lettering. (Here in Jax I would say they are common.) Is it true the mint is going to recall them? Also, e-bay is world unto it self, any idea what the coins might be worth in the coin world (and not crazy e-bay world?)

February 26, 2007 at 1:16 pm
(5) Kelly Jones says:

Can the mint really recall the coins with the no edge lettering?

February 26, 2007 at 1:26 pm
(6) Susan Headley says:

Tim, thank you for your report about your finds. Nearly 100% of these plain edge coins are out of the Jax Fed and it appears, based on hundreds of reports I have now, that they comprise approximately 25% of the Jax issue. Why practically nobody else got them, while Jax got so many, is a Mint Mystery.

Regarding recall, I have personally spoken to the Director of Public Affairs for the United States Mint (Michael White) and asked this very question, and he assured me there will be no recall based on this error of plain edges. These are false rumors, if they are spreading. If this fact changes (I plan to talk to the Mint officials again today) I will post a major headline notice on my home page because it would be nearly unprecedented. ;)

Susan

February 26, 2007 at 6:51 pm
(7) Bob says:

Hello, I am in Tallahassee and the no edge error is extremely common. I have several of these coins. I have spoken to some local banks and I know that at least 8 boxes were delivered to this area and about a third of the coins have the error.

February 27, 2007 at 9:07 pm
(8) Jeff says:

? about the comment “clearly states that due to the process used to create the edge inscription on circulating coins, the edge inscription positions will vary” as you can see this statement refers to postion and that to me means that when you line them all up they don’t all start and stop at the same place around the coin where the 2007 might be right to the left of the head and then the postion changes around the coin but this does not explain the up or down printing so its the comment of postion the postion of the inscription itself along the coin or the postion of the inscription as to up or down ???
Also these coins without edge printing are really ‘illegal” coins because by law all us coinage must have in god we trust the date, mint mark and e pluribus unum to be a leagal tender coin so what is the mint going to do about all these “illegal” coins circulating around ???

March 2, 2007 at 2:42 pm
(9) Bob says:

Well I have heard that people are buffing the edges of these to make them smooth and you should weigh any of them to be safe. As far as the upside down ones it seems strange that appx 50 % of each roll in both P and D are upside down. So who’s right I have seen aritices saying they are being made that way and I have also read people saying they talked to the mint and the mint says all right side up. Bottom line is as many of the updide down ones they are worth a dollar which is face value and the missing edge letting the bottom line on those is if people are goofie enough to pay the amount they are paying for them then have at it.. As far as I’m concerned they are worth 1.00 and no more.

March 2, 2007 at 2:53 pm
(10) edward watson says:

I HAVE OPENED 6 ROLLS OF PRESIDENTIAL DOLLARS,APPROXIMATELY HALF WERE RIGHT SIDE UP AND HALF WERE UPSIDE DOWN,IF THESE UPSIDE DOWN LETTERED COINS ARE ERRORS THEY SEEM TO BE VERY EASY TO FIND, GUESS I’LL HANG ON TO THEM UNTIL SOMEONE IN AUTHORITY DECIDES WHAT’S UP? ED.

March 2, 2007 at 3:06 pm
(11) Alex says:

In response to the post from Bob. I now own a no letting edge Washington Dollar and it only cost me 1.00 This just goes to show you better be careful who you buy from and what you buy because there are people out there that have nothing better to do than scam everyone. By the way the coin will be locked up in my safe and nothing will ever be done with it. Have a great day..

March 8, 2007 at 1:28 pm
(12) Tom Flowers says:

Gold Washingtons with upside down inscriptions are not errors, but they are collectible coin varieties; as such, they have a certain numismatic value.

March 8, 2007 at 4:43 pm
(13) Susan Headley says:

Tom,

Thank you for leaving your comment. Although the coins with upside down edge lettering do have a certain numismatic value, it is exactly the same numismatic value as right-side up edge letttering, since there is a 50/50 chance that it will be oriented up or down in relation to the “heads” side of the coin. (Assuming it gets the edge lettering at all, of course!) =)

March 8, 2007 at 8:39 pm
(14) ernie smith says:

You guys are a trip. The errors are made on purpose and the Government leaks the info to fuel the want for the coins so wake up and realize they haven’t had a popular dollar campaign yet.

March 9, 2007 at 12:20 am
(15) Loren Whitney says:

These comments should be taken down. Almost all of the information given here is without proof or credibility. Leave the statements upto the US Mint!

March 9, 2007 at 3:56 pm
(16) Alex says:

Gee Loren Whitney must be selling these upside down ones somewhere. All you have to do is call the mint and they will tell you flat out they are not error coins. They will also tell you that almost half of all the dollars will end up with upside down lettering because of the way they do them. So everyone needs to wake up and smell the dollars. If people wanna throw their money down the tiolet then do it if you wanna be smart go buy a roll and you should end up with anywhere from 6 on up. I opened a roll and got 9 with upside down writing.. Any interest at 500.00 each maybe on ebay..

March 9, 2007 at 9:35 pm
(17) John says:

I also believe that the “error” is a brillant mint marketing strategy. It will pull millions of these worthlesss coins into circulation…

March 10, 2007 at 11:17 pm
(18) Barbara says:

I bought two rolls of the new gold dollars. Half were upside down wording. Do you think they are really worth holding. I also think they are a disgrace with all the gashes and marks.

March 13, 2007 at 7:42 pm
(19) devil says:

i bought one roll in texas and ,18 were upside down lettering in all honest y i think it was no mistake i think the mint company is just not being carefull enuff cant wait til i see a double headed eagle or three headed george washington coin.

March 15, 2007 at 11:03 am
(20) Steve says:

What I do not know about coins could fill libraries.
But I *do* know something of the workings of our government, and it seems plausible to me that the coins issued with “errors” as obvious as no edge -incused date, mint mark, etc., could have been issued purposely to create interest and publicity. Just my $.02 ;-)

March 20, 2007 at 11:14 am
(21) Kirk says:

Coin World’s latest issue confirms that the die clash with rays dollars are an actual error.

January 10, 2008 at 12:35 am
(22) chantelle says:

hello
i got a roll of presidential dollars today and i noticed something. i found an email to contact someone about a possible new error but i cannot find that page. if the person that belonged to could please contact me with that email. is it susan headley im to contact? thanks!

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