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Adams Presidential Dollar - Double Edge Lettering Error Photos

By May 23, 2007

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Adams Presidential Dollar with Double Edge Lettering going in opposite directions!I don't know why this particular Presidential Dollar error makes my heart skip a beat, but I find it utterly fascinating. Perhaps it's the irony; while everyone else was so focused on finding coins that had missing edge lettering, these coins got that lettering twice. Maybe it's the awesome rarity...most experts agree now that the number of Washington MELs (Missing Edge Lettering dollars) easily exceeds 100,000 specimens, but fewer than ten Presidential dollars are known with double edge lettering. Whatever the allure, when I saw this coin for sale on eBay, I was transfixed.

My first instinct was that maybe I would actually have a chance to own one of these amazing coins with double edge lettering. The bidding was at about $280, and the seller didn't seem to be one of the regulars. Perhaps I could slip in a snipe, and snag this treasure for 3 or 4 hundred. Reality hit me soon enough, though. After all, I wasn't likely to be the only person trawling eBay for the latest and greatest in John Adams Dollar errors! Then my radically ethical bent kicked me, and before I knew it, I was typing a message to the seller, advising him that his coin was very rare, and perhaps worth thousands of dollars.

It turns out that the seller, Alfred Figureid of Pensacola, Florida, already knew that he had a nice rarity. He and his wife, Sarah, are coin-roll searching hobbyists who have found many errors in the past that netted them some good money. They were even known to other error dealers as fine, ethical folks who got very, very lucky when they searched their first 5 rolls of Adams Presidential Dollars. Among the coins in these rolls was not one, but two coins with double edge lettering!

The first specimen they put up for sale has the edge lettering going around the edge of the coin twice in the same direction. The coin shown here is their second specimen, where the lettering goes in opposite directions each time. The obvious cause of these errors is that the coin passed through the Schuler edge lettering machine at the Philadelphia Mint more than once, but how? Minting error expert Mike Diamond suspects that the Mint is using the same large tote bins to transport the coins to and from the edge lettering station (which is situated off the main "assembly line" at the Mint) and that a coin or two now and then is being left in the bin by mistake, causing it to make another trip to the edge lettering process. However this error is happening, it's number one on my own personal "neat Presidential Dollars" error list!

So far, nobody has reported that elusive first Adams Dollar with missing edge lettering! While we're waiting for someone to find it, have a look at these fascinating photos of the double edge lettering coins that Alfred and Sarah Figureid sent in! I have also compiled a list of most known Adams Dollar errors. If you don't know much about who John Adams was, (the man who thought that "Your High Mightiness" made a good Presidential title,) check out the fascinating story behind the John Adams Presidential Dollar.

Photo courtesy of Alfred and Sarah Figureid of Pensacola, Florida.


May 24, 2007 at 12:17 pm
(1) Bobby says:

Susan, the one I find interesting is the double edge with one in each direction. Now that’s interesting, it had to go through twice with a flip in between. Some Mint employee fun perhaps?

May 25, 2007 at 9:18 am
(2) Frank says:

There seem to be a lot of these coins cropping up on ebay lately. Does anyone have an estimate of how common this error is (eg I looked through 100 coins and found 1 = roughly 1%).

Also, what is the mint’s explaination?
There seem more of these than the Washington dollar!


May 25, 2007 at 6:59 pm
(3) Susan Headley says:


Thank you for your report! When I got to my desk this afternoon, I had nearly two dozen reports, totaling more than 460 Adams Dollars with double edge inscriptions on them. I’ve written up a report on it, which you’ll find here:
Hundreds of Adams Dollars With Double Edge Lettering Found in Michigan and Elsewhere.

It is way too early to tell how common this will end up being, but the ratio is surely more than 1 in 100 or we would have heard about thousands of these already. However, if you’ve found a “lucky batch” at your local bank or in the surrounding area, the precentage could be quite high! Do you mind telling us what city and state you live in? Is your coin from the Philly Mint or Denver Mint?

As far as how the error happened, it seems that the coins got put through the edge lettering machine twice, which is why they have two edge inscriptions. As to WHY this happened, well… all guesses are welcome! =)


August 17, 2007 at 10:22 pm
(4) Brian says:

This may be more common than most think. I found 5 this week through a vending machine. A friend of mine found 4 in the same machine (that’s 9 total with double edge lettering) as well as 1 with no lettering at all. I’ll keep the location my secret. By the way, I have both varieties – same direction and opposite directions. One piece in particular needs further review under magnification. By the naked eye, it appears to have maybe been stamped 3 times. Nonetheless, I’m not looking to sell them (yet). Will be looking in the same location for more. Stats: Searched 25 coins / found 5 errors.

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