The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve
Roach’s Market Analysis column in the July 28 issue.
Classic-era commemorative half dollars from 1892 to 1954
generally weren’t meant to circulate. A large percentage of nearly all
issues survive in Mint State grades and collectors are passionate in
their devotion to the series.
Each issue has its own
unique look, but because the designs are less familiar than, say, a
Barber half dollar, they often invite close inspection.
Here is one of three from a GreatCollections.com auction that closed July 6,
2014, with great lessons to share:
The coin: 1922
Grant Memorial, No Star, half dollar, Mint State 67, Planchet
The price: Unsold
story: Minor Mint errors on commemorative half dollars pose an
interesting valuation problem.
Sometimes, they are
categorized as Mint errors such as in the case of a 1922 Grant
Memorial, No Star half dollar, in a PCGS Mint State 67 holder labeled
“Mint Error” with the error described as a “Minor Plan Flaw @
Other times minor Mint errors (often laminations,
which are the result of metal separation on the surface of the
planchet) are incorporated in the market grade of the coin. In market
grading, the numerical grade is reduced according to the visual
severity of the error.
The problem with an error on an
otherwise exceptional coin is that it can sometimes scare off buyers.
Commemorative coin buyers are often hesitant to buy a coin that has a
qualifying label like “Mint Error” and most error coin collectors
would be content to have a minor planchet flaw be represented by an
As a result an expensive coin like
this can be a tough sell. It went unsold with a starting bid of
$2,750. For reference, comparably graded nonerror representatives of
the issue sell at the $3,000 to $4,000 level typically.
Check out the rest of Steve Roach's Market Analysis column:
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