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Error Coins 101: The U.S. Mint’s Mistakes Make Coin Collectors Happy

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By Joshua

U.S. error coins grab the attention of the collector and non-collector alike. Why? Because they are so unusual! Some error coins are downright weird looking.

Error coin example - Clipped Planchet

Error coins are mint-made defects. And many not only look strange… some are absolutely rare!

That, alone, intrigues everybody to keep an eye on their change for the oddities that somehow have made their way out of the Mint.

U.S. error coins have so many different defects that you can put together an impressive collection.

U.S. Error Coins Make News

Error coins have been popular collectibles for decades.

Many have made the news upon discovery.

They always keep collectors (and their magnifying glasses) busy — especially at times when a newly recognized error coin makes headlines on television, in newspapers, or on the Internet.

Error Coins Show Great Diversity

error coins 2

Some common examples of U.S. error coins include:

  • Blank error coins
  • Off-center error coins
  • Missing, tilting, or doubled-mintmark error coins
  • Double-struck error coins
  • Wrong design/wrong metal error coins
  • Bubbled, crumpled, rippled, and peeled error coins
  • Mixed-denomination error coins

Some error coins can be described in words. Others are just too out of the ordinary that they must be seen in order to be believed.

Check out this YouTube video featuring some of the most exotic looking error coins I have witnessed anywhere in quite awhile:

Pretty incredible, right?

Yes, U.S. error coins have a following all their own. In fact, many coin collectors devote all of their time and money to collecting, studying, and looking exclusively for error coins.

The Value Of U.S. Error Coins

Are you curious how much error coins are worth?

While values range broadly, check out this price guide for a diverse array of U.S. error coins and their values.

Clubs For Error Coin Enthusiasts

Are you interested in joining a widely recognized coin club for those who are enthusiastic about error coins?

Look no further than CONECA.

CONECA, which stands for The Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America, was established in 1983 and serves collectors who specialize in error coins.

Buying Error Coins From Dealers

While U.S. error coins can be found everyday in pocket change, coin dealers may be the best way to quickly acquire error coins for your collection.

Most coin dealers have at least the most common types of error coins in their holdings.

There are also coin dealers who specialize in error coins — and those are the types of dealers where you may have a better chance of purchasing some of the more radical, expensive, or less-common U.S. error coins.

Dig Deeper

Ready to learn more about U.S. error coins? These are our best articles about coin mistakes: