Going through old issues of Coin World I found an article about an
auction of coins that were distributed with Cheerios in 2000 (Dec. 31,
2007, issue) — a 2000-P Sacagawea dollar and 2000-P Lincoln cent.
I had three of the dollars but I think one of my kids spent them.
I still have three cents in the Cheerios wrappers — would they be
Rarely does someone expect to go to the grocery store and come
home thousands of dollars richer, but that is what happened to a lucky
group of collectors and other members of the public in 2000.
Sort of, anyway.
The U.S. Mint and General Mills, the producer of the cereal staple
Cheerios, cooperated to promote the launch of the Sacagawea dollar in
2000 by placing 10 million Lincoln cents in specially marked packages
of Cheerios, one per box, with 5,500 random boxes containing a dollar
coin packaged with the cent.
The dollar is the rarer and more valuable item from that
promotion, and not for the reason most members of the noncollecting
public would know.
All of the dollar coins used in the promotion were struck with
reverse dies produced from a model that differs slightly in design
from the reverse used on the Sacagawea dollars struck for circulation
and annual collector sets.
Collectors and dealers often refer to the coins used in the cereal
promotion as “Cheerios dollars.”
Of the 5,500 Sacagawea dollars placed into the cereal boxes,
comparatively few have appeared in the collector marketplace, and when
they have, they have sold for many thousands of dollars.
For example, in an Aug. 9 auction a 2000-P “Cheerios” dollar
graded Mint State 67 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. brought $4,112.50.
The differences between the two types of the 2000-P Sacagawea
dollar are subtle, affecting only the tail feathers of the eagle, and
could be easily overlooked. In fact, that the “Cheerios dollars”
represented a distinct variant was not widely known until 2005.
The central line of the tail-feather shaft is raised on the
Sacagawea dollars found in the Cheerios packages, but recessed on
coins struck for circulation.
The tail feathers on the Cheerios dollars also have more detail
than the tail feathers on the coins struck for circulation.
In recent eBay transactions, unopened examples of the packaging
with the cent only have sold for between $5 and $10, when factoring in
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