US Coins

Market Analysis: Holed coins that are now plugged

This 1801 Capped Bust gold $10 eagle shows evidence of a plugged hole by the L in LIBERTY on the obverse. The coin, graded Very Fine Details by NGC, which notes the repair, sold for $4,320 earlier this year.

All images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Among the varied problems on coins, those with holes and plugs are among the most discounted in the marketplace.

Numismatic Guaranty Corp. uses the term “Plugged” to describe a coin that was holed and then subsequently repaired writing, “Plugged coins are ones that were previously holed, typically for suspension as jewelry, and have had their holes filled in to conceal the damage. As the affected area usually includes design features, these will show evidence of re-engraving.”

Some plugged coins are very nicely repaired, with little visual evidence remaining of the damage. Others, like this 1801 Capped Bust gold $10 eagle with a hearty lump by L in LIBERTY on the obverse, have cruder repairs. Graded Very Fine Details, Plugged by NGC, Heritage observes, “some details of the fletchings are re-engraved, and two bright thin marks are on obverse star 7 and the top of Liberty’s cap,” adding, “The almond-gold surfaces are otherwise attractive.”

It sold for $4,320, making it one of the least-expensive examples of the type offered at auction in recent memory and providing an entry-level point for a buyer.

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