US Coins

Error in packaging image discovered on 2023 products

Packaging for thousands of 2023-S clad Proof sets had to be replaced because the original packaging, at top, illustrated an unintended portrait of African-American aviator Bessie Coleman, depicted on the reverse of the first American Women quarter dollar issued in calendar year 2023. A corrected image of Coleman, in aviator garb, is depicted on the replacement packaging.

Images courtesy of Michelle Davis, Smith's Coins.

The United States Mint acknowledges that original packaging for five numismatic products offered in calendar year 2023 contained printing mistakes.

The back of the original boxes for the 2023-S copper-nickel clad Proof set, 2023-S Silver Proof set, 2023-S American Women Quarters clad Proof set and 2023-S American Women Quarters Silver Proof set illustrates an unintended portrait of African-American aviator Bessie Coleman.

Coleman was the first woman recognized in the five American Women quarter dollars of 2023 released into general circulation and included in various numismatic products.

Corrected packaging illustrates a portrait of Coleman in aviator’s gear, which replaces an image showing less distinctive garb.

The Mint notified collectors and dealers who ordered the various 2023-S sets that there was a packaging mistake and that the bureau had contracted for new packaging bearing the portrait that was supposed to have been used.

U.S. Mint officials had not yet disclosed, as of Jan. 22, after nearly three weeks of prodding by Coin World, the total cost to the bureau to produce and ship to customers the corrected packaging for the sets.

The Mint’s Office of Public Affairs posed questions to bureau officials multiple times on the publication’s behalf, but the information requested was not disclosed.

As of the Mint’s Jan. 14, 2024, sales report, 364,573 clad Proof sets were recorded sold since sales opened June 20, 2023. Sets were still being shipped as of Jan. 22 from orders waiting in backorder status so that the sets could be shipped in corrected packaging.

Sales of the 2023-S Silver Proof set opened Aug. 22, 2023, and total 187,229 units to date.

Sales of the American Women Quarters Proof set began March 21, 2023, with 54,608 units reported sold. Sales of the 2023-S American Women Quarters Silver Proof set began April 4, 2023, and total 44,310 units.

Certificates of authenticity

Printing errors were also associated with the certificates of authenticity that accompanied an undisclosed number of 2023-P American Liberty silver medals.

The wording error on the original certificate of authenticity refers to the medal as a “coin” in several areas, but the Mint made arrangements for customers who received sets with incorrect certificates to receive corrected replacements.

The Mint authorized a maximum mintage of 75,000 of the medals, but only 30,616 are recorded sold. How many of the purchases contained a misprinted COA is not yet disclosed.

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