MINDENMINES, Mo. — Checking your spare pocket change, or going through a jar filled with coins you’ve collected over the years, could pay off in a big way, if you come across the right, or in this case, the wrong coin.
Last year, a quarter minted in 2000 with the wrong image struck on the coin, sold on eBay for just over $200. That particular coin, which is part of the Washington 50 States Quarter Series that featured the state of New Hampshire, was stamped on a U.S nickel.
Another example of a double denomination or “planchet” error coin that fetched a pretty penny, was in fact, a 1953 Lincoln penny that was struck on a silver dime. In early 2022, that error coin sold on eBay $350 after just five bids.
In minting terms, a planchet is a round metal disk that is ready to be struck as a coin. Occasionally, mistakes are made during the minting process and errors can happen when the wrong planchet is fed into the minting press.
“Punching out blanks to make the coins is sort of like the baking process. For example, you’re pushing biscuits out from dough and you have all these circles. Raw material from those circles is how you make the individual biscuits. Well, same thing with coins, is that product is delivered in sheets according to specifications by the mint. Then there’s a production process that basically punches out those planchets or blanks,” said Dave Sorrick, coin expert and collector at “In God We Trust, LLC.”
Because of their rarity and potential value, finding one of these planchet error coins could be worth the time it takes to sort through your change to see if you have one in your collection. The error coins that are often more valuable than others, Sorrick says, are clipped planchet error coins.
“A clipped planchet is a partial structure that’s sort of like the phases of the moon. If you could imagine that, that’s kind of the way some error coins look. It’s those particular ones with the clipped planchets, especially if they have a date in the mint mark, like the year they were made, they will have more value than the ones that we can’t identify,” said Sorrick.
According to a website called “Coin Auctions Help,” the value of a clipped planchet coin can range from $50 to $350. The key to finding out just how much you might be able to get for a minted error coin, is to have it looked at by a professional coin dealer or collector.
“If you’ve got someone who’s got 25 plus years looking at these coins, day in and day out, they’re going to have the knowledge that you’re not going to get from an app on your phone that has coin information,” said Sorrick.
Even if you don’t find a minted error coin among your stash of spare change, Sorrick says just looking though a collection of coins could spark an interest in collecting; one that could easily turn into a new hobby.
“It’s good for a hobby, that people can find things in their pockets, like spare change. It’s interesting to look at your coins or to look at your paper money, and look at serial numbers and those kinds of things. I think that’s when the seeds are planted for people to become collectors and collectors become dealers, are little grassroots efforts like that.”