Some 2016 American Eagle 1-ounce gold bullion $50 coins submitted to
Corp. have received final grades three to five points lower than
expected because of damage caused by coins with higher obverse relief
than normal being stacked together in the usual packaging tubes.
The value of a coin can drop significantly with each point reduction
officials confirm the production of up to 63,000 of the coins having
the higher than normal relief on the obverse, but have not yet
disclosed a cause. Mint officials learned of what they are now calling
the "variant" (not an error) not long after one of its authorized purchasers, Coins 'N Things in Bridgewater, Mass., had a
500-coin box of the bullion coins rejected by Professional Coin Grading
Service because of an extraordinary number of damaged coins.
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NGC has seen its share of 2016 American Eagle 1-ounce gold coins
with more marks than expected, especially noticable since the coins
often receive high Mint State grades of MS-69 and MS-70. Submissions
began arriving to the grading service in the latter part of January.
The coins went on sale to authorized purchasers Jan. 11.
"NGC graders first observed that some of the 2016 $50 gold
eagles wobbled when placed obverse side down on a flat surface,"
according to from David Camire, NGC Finalizer [for grading] and Mint
error specialist. "It was initially thought that the coins were
bent, but upon closer examination it was determined that the obverse
design had a slightly higher relief than normal.
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"The highest point of these coins is the center of the figure
of Liberty instead of the rim. Because the highest point was the
design, these coins often showed excessive rub from being stacked in
Mint tubes. In many cases, the contact marks resulted in grades that
were three to five points lower than one would expect to see for newly
issued gold eagles received in Mint-sealed boxes.
"When compared side-by-side with a normal relief gold $50
eagle, it is nearly impossible to see that the relief is slightly
higher, and NGC therefore decided not to assign a different
attribution to these higher relief gold eagles."