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.