US Coins

Seated Liberty half dollar struck on quarter dollar planchet in auction

A wrong planchet error coin  struck at the San Francisco Mint from circa 1871 to 1875 Seated Liberty half dollar dies on a planchet intended for a Seated Liberty quarter dollar is being offered at auction online by GreatCollections.

The item was posted Aug. 23 and the auction closes Sept. 29.

The coin was authenticated, graded About Uncirculated 50 and encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

GreatCollections President Ian Russell indicates the coin will be offered with an opening minimum bid of $5,000.

“It one of the coolest error coins to surface over the past five years,” Russell said.

Russell said Aug. 22 that additional research is being conducted, but it is believed, despite the error bearing no date, that the error was produced in 1874 at the San Francisco Mint. Because of the smaller diameter of the quarter dollar planchet, several design elements from the half dollar dies, including the date, do not appear on the struck coin.

The diameter of a Seated Liberty half dollar is 30.61 millimeters, while that for a normal quarter dollar is 24.26 millimeters. 

The error weighs 6.2 grams, within tolerance for either the quarter dollars of 1838 to 1873 at 6.22 grams, or the 6.25 grams standard for 1873 through 1891.

The coin was consigned for auction by Doryce Wheeler, who said the coin was found Feb. 16 among other coins in one of two suitcases discovered from the estate of her mother-in-law who passed away eight years ago.

Wheeler said she sold the remaining coins from the suitcase find to a local dealer in New Jersey who advised her to check further into the error coin and possibly offer it at auction to maximize its potential, since the dealer did not deal in error coins, but knew it was something special.

Wheeler said no one in her family collects coins or knows much about them. She said she first showed the coins to a friend who is a collector before proceeding to dispose of them.

Wheeler said it is not known where the coins came from and specifically how long they had been in her mother-in-law’s possession, but assumes it was decades. “I wish this coin could talk,” Wheeler said of the Seated Liberty error. “We have no idea where it came from, who collected it or why. It was quite a pleasant surprise.” 

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