Gerald Tebben, a Coin World columnist for more than 30 years, also contributes to Coin World’s Coin Values and edits the Central States Numismatic Society’s journal, The Centinel. He collects coins that tell stories.
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The amusement park dime
Strong-strike 1982 No P dime, obverse. Note the smooth surface, lacking any hint of a Mint mark, between the date and Franklin D. Roosevelt's neck.
The Philadelphia Mint had neglected to place a Mint mark on one or two dies. Coins with a noticeably strong strike surfaced in Sandusky, Ohio. Many were unknowingly given out in change at the city’s Cedar Point Amusement Park.
In an article in the Central State Numismatic Society’s journal, The Centinel, Steven Bieda wrote, “In March or April of 1982 the amusement park requested its seasonal allotment of coins through Citizens Bank. The bank ordered the coinage from the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland. As it turned out, the vast majority of the 1982 No-Mint Mark dimes were contained in this order.”
Less desirable coins with a weak strike were released in Pittsburgh.
Bieda noted that some think that all the No P dimes were struck from the same set of dies, but that the pressure used to strike the coins was raised during the production cycle, resulting in a sharper strike.
Strong-strike 1982 No P dimes catalog for $300 in Mint State 65 in Coin World’s Coin Values. Weak-strike coins are not cataloged there, but tend to sell for less than half the value of strong-strike coins.
Less, once again, is more when it comes to numismatics.
Next: Worthless cents and a partial country