US Coins

Wrong planchet errors in FUN auction have appeal

All eyes in the coin hobby will be watching Heritage’s auctions in Fort Lauderdale between Jan. 4 and 9, held in conjunction with the Florida United Numismatists 2017 convention Jan. 5 to 8. 

The firm will offer 18 featured collections included this year in the U.S. coin auctions, along with hundreds of other consignments from collectors and dealers. Two additional Heritage auctions featuring U.S. and world paper money are also scheduled for the convention.

Wrong planchet errors

There are wrong planchet errors that are obvious at first sight — 1943 Lincoln cents struck on bronze planchets rather than zinc-plated steel planchets come to mind — and there are others that are less clear at casual inspection. Heritage is offering a 2014 Amer­ican Eagle 1-ounce gold $50 bullion coin struck on a .9999 fine 1-ounce gold planchet intended for the American Buffalo 1-ounce gold $50 bullion coin. 

Heritage has affectionately nicknamed it “Eagalo,” adding, “As uncommon as it is stunning, the type is the only wrong planchet error known in the entirety of United States gold coinage history.”

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In the Oct. 10, 2016, issue of Coin World, Paul Gilkes wrote that PCGS graded the error Mint State 69 after Oklahoma precious metal dealer APMEX submitted it to the grading service, having identified the coin’s gold fineness as suspect. A typical American Eagle gold planchet is 91.67 percent gold, 5.33 percent copper and 3 percent silver. In the story Gilkes wrote, “What the error is worth will be determined, according to some error coin experts, by what someone is willing to pay for it, either privately or at auction.” So, we’ll find out on Jan. 5 how the marketplace values this unusual error that visually looks very similar to a “normal” coin. 

Another interesting wrong-planchet error is a 1977-D Eisenhower dollar struck on a copper-silver clad planchet intended for San Francisco Bicentennial Eisenhower dollars carrying the dual dates of 1776-1976. It weighs slightly more than a copper-nickel clad Eisenhower dollar and has light straw-gold toning. Graded MS-63 by NGC, the transitional alloy error was previously offered at Heritage’s February 2014 New York auction where it realized $12,925.

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