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Coin errors always fascinate coin collectors and non-collectors alike.
Error coins are relatively uncommon. And while many error coins aren’t very valuable, some are.
All error coins are popular.
Let’s look at a few particularly odd and interesting coins…
#1 – Godless Dollars
When the United States Mint began striking Presidential dollars in 2007, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was, for the first time, placed on the edge of a coin.
Many people protested the absence of IN GOD WE TRUST from the face of the dollar coin; this resulted in the return of IN GOD WE TRUST on the obverse of the Presidential dollar coin in 2009.
There was one error, however, that managed to raise the ire (and interests) of many: Godless dollars. An error occurred that prevented the striking of IN GOD WE TRUST on some Presidential dollars. These have since become valuable collectors pieces worth $50 and up.
#2 – Off-Center Coins
Most coins are struck perfectly. Centering strikes on coins is something the United States Mint has been doing pretty well for over a century. However, every now and then a coin rolls off the presses that isn’t quite centered. Some are even off-center by 50% or more.
The value of off-center coins usually increases with the severity of the off-centeredness. If you can find an off-center coin that still has its date, that’s even better!
#3 – Doubled Die Error Coins
Some of the rarest error coins are doubled die coins. Doubled die coins, which show ghost-like images of the date, lettering, or certain parts of the design, are always in demand and often rake in big bucks.
Check out the 1969-S Doubled Die Lincoln cent — a $50,000 coin that always draws plenty of attention.
#4 – Planchet & Strike Errors
Every now and then, coins get severely mis-struck. In some cases, a penny design gets struck on a blank piece of metal intended for a dime. There have been instances of the dollar coin design and Washington quarter design being struck on the same coin. Check out this video, which shows a Lincoln cent design on a Roosevelt dime!
#5 – 1943 Bronze Penny
In 1943, the United States Mint made steel pennies to save copper for the war effort. However, between 20 and 40 bronze copper cents were accidentally made in 1943.
While 1943 steel cents (many people call this the 1943 silver penny, but — again — they aren’t silver) are very common and worth only 25 cents to $1 each in most cases, the 1943 bronze penny is among the rare U.S. coins that have been auctioned off for prices between $80,000 to over $200,000!
I’m the Coin Editor here at TheFunTimesGuide. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I’m also the editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I’ve contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I’ve authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins (many of them with over 50K shares), and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!