Bringing $188,000, an 1879 Flowing Hair gold $4 Stella pattern piece
in its original box, a coin that had been off the market since the
1950s and was subsequently graded Proof 65+ by Professional Coin
Grading Service, was a top lot at the auctions held before and
immediately after the Nov. 5 to 8 Whitman Coin and Collectibles
Baltimore Expo by Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
As in all large auctions, while six-figure rarities may dominate
headlines, sales like the one just concluded offer many fascinating
pieces that sell at much lower price points.
Here is one of three that caught my eye.
1936 Indian Head 5-cent coin, wrong planchet
error, MS-62 brown
During its long history the U.S. Mint sometimes struck coins for
other countries, and under those circumstances, a particular form of
wrong planchet error (when a coin is struck on a planchet intended for
another coin) can result.
Such is the case with a 1936 Indian Head 5-cent piece struck on a
Nicaraguan bronze 1-centavo planchet. The bronze planchet was just a
bit smaller than the standard copper-nickel 5-cent planchet used for
Indian Head 5-cent pieces, so nearly the full design is shown.
In 1936 the Philadelphia Mint struck 500,000 1-centavo coins for
Nicaragua, so such errors are understandable, but this specific wrong
planchet error is rarely seen, with Stack’s Bowers noting that it is
the first that the firm has handled. Graded MS-62 brown by PCGS with a
lustrous, light copper color, the unusual piece sold for $7,637.50.