Mint Error Coins - A Miniscule Number!
The U.S. Mint produced more than 15 billion coins last year, and is expected to produce at least as many coins again this year. Considering these vast numbers of coins that they make, the numbers of error coins that escape are incredibly trivial, approximately 0.000003 of their total production (assuming 50,000 error coins a year. The actual number of noteworthy error coins that leave the Mint may be larger or smaller, and will vary from year to year, but you get the general point: it is a very miniscule number!)
Error Coins on Purpose - Not Very LikelyWhat most people don't realize is that the U.S. Mint, like any other business that makes a product, takes great pride in the work it does! When error coins escape the Mint, it is very embarrassing to them. The people who work at the Mint, who actually make the coins, take pride in their work, just like anybody else that makes a product, and there is a certain amount of humiliation that is felt when large numbers of embarrassing errors get out, like the Presidential Dollar coins with no edge lettering (the so-called "Godless Dollars."
Unfortunately, the collecting community and the U.S. Mint have historically been at odds with each other over these errors, because while the coin collectors gleefully shout about their error coin finds from the figurative rooftops of the internet, the U.S. Mint wishes the problem hadn't happened and that people wouldn't make so much noise about what the Mint perceives of as an embarrassing mistake.
The result is that the Mint (understandably) becomes a little defensive, and closes ranks against the collectors who want more information about how the error coins happened. The Mint feels it's being critcized when collectors and newspaper headlines blare "How Could This Happen?!" However, what the Mint doesn't understand is that the error coin collectors aren't intentionally criticizing the Mint, the collectors just honestly want to know what went wrong so they can understand the coins better.