Coin World Editorial: Extraordinary luck just as important as cash in finding rarities

Editorial Opinion column from the June 23, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Coin World Staff
Published : 06/06/14
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Sometimes it doesn’t take a fortune to own a rare coin. Rather, it takes something rarer: a bit of extraordinary luck.

Recently a Colorado collector found a 1969-S Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent while searching through rolls. 

It’s an exciting find that would make even our trusty “Found in Rolls” columnist Bill O’Rourke go a bit crazy.

The discovery has been authenticated and graded by ANACS Extremely Fine 45 and with comparable examples selling around the $20,000 level, the collector has a game-changing coin that will certainly transform his collection. 

Another discovery found while going through rolls and featured in this week’s issue is a circulation-quality 2014 Calvin Coolidge Presidential dollar missing its edge devices. 

A Texas dealer found it while selecting coins from a 25-coin roll purchased from the U.S. Mint to sell to a collector. Since the Mint has stopped producing Presidential dollar coins for circulation, all Presidential dollars have to be purchased through the Mint’s collector coin program. 

To place the discovery in context, consider that the last known discovery of a new circulation-quality Presidential dollar missing its edge lettering was a 2012 Grover Cleveland, First Term dollar. 

Edge inscriptions are applied after the coins are struck, in a separate production step. Presidential dollars missing edge devices — including the date and Mint mark, which are included on the edge — have become rarer in recent years. 

As our news editor Bill Gibbs explained to me, edge inscription equipment was not fully integrated into the production line at the Mint facilities until 2009. The separation of the edge inscription equipment in 2007 and 2008 helps account for the larger numbers of coins with plain edges from those two years. As the missing edge device errors are more common on some of the 2007 and 2008 Presidential dollars, the prices for many of the earlier issues are more modest than the rarer, recent issues. 

Like the 1969-S Lincoln, Double Die Obverse cent, the discovery of a new Presidential dollar missing edge lettering makes one fantasize on what else it out there, awaiting sharp collector’s eyes. 

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