Major mint errors surface

Four rare off-metal Lincoln cent errors from World War II have recently been certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. The coins came from the estate of a deceased Philadelphia Mint employee and several are heading to auction.

Read the full transcript below: 

Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief. I’m Jeff Starck of Coin World.

How would you like to discover extremely rare coins worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in a box that was otherwise bound for the trash?

That’s what happened recently, when Florida collector Michael Pratt discovered two previously unreported copper alloy 1943 Lincoln cents and two other major rarities.

These coins have been authenticated, graded and encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.

The two coins are among four wrong-planchet Lincoln cent errors — three dated 1943 and one 1942 — that Pratt inherited upon the 1992 death of his father, Albert Michael Pratt, a former die setter at the Philadelphia Mint.

Michael Pratt says he has no evidence of how the wartime cents came to be in his father’s possession, since he doesn’t recall his father discussing the coins while he was alive.

The intended alloy for Lincoln cents struck in 1943 was zinc-coated steel, since copper was needed for military applications during World War II.

Copper-alloy 1943 Lincoln cents were struck at the Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver Mints.

The four Lincoln cents certified by NGC are:

A copper alloy 1943 Lincoln cent, graded NGC Mint State 62 brown.

A copper-alloy 1943 Lincoln cent with major die break, graded NGC MS-61 brown.

The major die break, referred to in the error specialty field of the hobby as a “cud,” occurred when a portion of a coin die broke and separated from the die.

A 1943 Lincoln cent struck on a planchet intended for a silver Netherlands 25-cent coin, graded NGC MS-61.

A 1942 Lincoln cent struck on a planchet intended for a brass 20-centavo coin of Ecuador, graded NGC MS-63.

All four NGC grading labels bear an Albert Michael Pratt pedigree.

Dealer John Zieman and Pratt plan to consign the copper-alloy 1943 Lincoln cent with major obverse die break and the 1943 cent struck on a Netherlands coin planchet to Heritage Auctions’ upcoming August sale.

That auction will be held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Denver.

The NGC MS-62 brown 1943 Lincoln cent is being reserved for inclusion in Heritage’s January 2018 sale in conjunction with the Florida United Numismatists Convention in Tampa.

The full story is out now in Coin World, and you can be sure we will continue reporting on these coins through the coming months.

For all the news about coins and paper money, follow us on Twitter, find us at Facebook, online at coinworld dot com and of course in print in your mailbox.

For Coin World, I’m Jeff Starck. Happy collecting! 

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