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Off-metal coins and wrong planchet error coins are among the most valuable of rare and unusual collectible coinage.
A wrong planchet error coin (or off-metal coin) is one that was struck on the incorrect coin blank — also known as a planchet.
These off-metal or wrong planchet error coins are highly sought after by coin collectors who crave rare U.S. mint mistakes!
Examples Of Off-Metal Coins
One example of an off-metal or wrong planchet coin is a Lincoln cent design mistakenly struck on a piece of metal intended for a dime.
Another example is a Washington quarter produced on a nickel planchet.
Following are some photo examples of wrong planchet error coins…
A penny struck on a dime planchet:
A nickel struck on a cent planchet:
A half dollar struck on a quarter planchet:
How Are Off-Metal Coins Made?
Some wrong planchet error coins are highly unusual and may make you wonder if a US Mint employee intentionally planted the wrong planchet on the presses. Perhaps this has happened in the past… Who knows for sure?
But, in many cases, wrong metal error coins are unintentionally created when the wrong planchets are accidentally fed into the hoppers at the front of the production line.
And, given how quickly the United States Mint moves at making some of the world’s finest coins, it’s expected that a mistake may happen every now and then.
Whenever these rare coins are mistakenly made… coin collectors will always want an example for their collections!
How Much Are Wrong Planchet Error Coins Worth?
Values for off-metal and wrong planchet error coins vary widely from around $300 to more than $20,000.
- The most valuable coin planchet errors include a scarce error involving a Walking Liberty half dollar struck on a Washington quarter planchet. These are worth as much as $20,000 — possibly even more!
- Another super-valuable off-metal error coin is an Eisenhower dollar struck on a bronze Lincoln cent planchet. It’s worth more than $10,000.
- Sacagawea dollars struck on a zinc Lincoln cent, Jefferson nickel, or Roosevelt dime planchet can fetch more than $8,000.
Of course, this is just a glimpse at what some of the rarest and most valuable wrong planchet error coins are worth.
Values for other off-metal error coins
- Indian Head cent on silver dime planchet — $7,000+
- Lincoln cent on silver dime — $800+
- Lincoln cent on copper-nickel clad dime — $300+
- Buffalo nickel on copper penny — $3,500+
- Buffalo nickel on silver dime — $4,500+
- Jefferson nickel on zinc penny — $250+
- Jefferson nickel on copper penny — $250+
- Jefferson nickel on steel penny — $2,500+
- Jefferson nickel on silver dime — $400+
- Jefferson nickel on clad dime — $350+
- War nickel on copper penny — $2,250+
- War nickel on steel penny — $3,250+
- War nickel on silver dime — $1,750+
- Washington quarter on copper penny — $900+
- Washington quarter on steel penny — $6,500+
- Washington quarter on nickel — $400+
- Silver Washington quarter on silver dime — $1,600+
- Clad Washington quarter on copper penny — $700+
- Clad Washington quarter on nickel — $200+
- Clad Washington quarter on clad dime — $300+
- Bicentennial quarter on copper penny — $2,750+
- Bicentennial quarter on nickel — $650+
- Bicentennial quarter on clad dime — $3,000+
- 50 State Quarter on zinc penny — $4,000+
- 50 State Quarter on nickel — $700+
- 50 State Quarter on dime — $3,000+
- Franklin half dollar on copper penny — $4,500+
- Franklin half dollar on nickel — $4,500+
- Franklin half dollar on silver dime — $6,000+
- Franklin half dollar on silver quarter — $1,000+
- Kennedy half dollar on zinc penny — $2,500+
- Kennedy half dollar on nickel — $1,000+
- Kennedy half dollar on clad dime — $1,700+
- Kennedy half dollar on clad quarter — $550+
- Bicentennial half dollar on copper penny — $3,500+
- Bicentennial half dollar on nickel — $2,300+
- Bicentennial half dollar on clad quarter — $1,000+
- Eisenhower dollar on nickel — $8,750+
- Eisenhower dollar on dime — $9,000+
- Eisenhower dollar on clad quarter — $5,000+
- Eisenhower dollar on clad half dollar — $2,350+
- Susan B. Anthony dollar on copper penny — $3,000+
- Susan B. Anthony dollar on nickel — $4,500+
- Susan B. Anthony dollar on clad quarter — $800+
- Sacagawea dollar on clad quarter — $2,500+
*The values listed above are for typical examples of coin planchet errors involving common dates.
Types Of Wrong Planchet Metal Errors
While the list of wrong planchet error coins above is fairly extensive, it certainly isn’t exhaustive.
Based on size
The fact of the matter is it’s possible to find off-metal error coins of any design on any planchet smaller than than the diameter of the coin for which the design was intended. (In other words, it’s possible for any coin planchet smaller than that used for a Kennedy half dollar to be struck on a half dollar planchet. But it is mechanically impossible for a Lincoln cent design to be struck on, say, a Jefferson nickel planchet.)
Off-metal coins always involve a planchet that was intended for a denomination physically the same size as or smaller than the denomination of the design with which that coin was struck.
- It’s possible to find virtually any other denomination struck by a large-size dollar coin design, such as the Eisenhower dollar.
- But it’s impossible to find a Roosevelt dime design on any other planchet — because the dime is the smallest U.S. coin made during the production of Roosevelt dimes, which were first struck in 1946.
Based on year
Off-metal error coins can refer to essentially any coin whose design is found on a planchet of a metal not intended to be struck by that design. However, some error coin collectors make a clear distinction between “regular” off-metal coins and transitional error coins.
Transitional error coins are those that were struck on coin planchets that were undergoing compositional changes during or between different (usually consecutive) years.
One of the most popular types of transitional error coins is the 1965 silver Washington quarter. Struck the first year of the copper-nickel clad era, a few 1965 Washington quarters were made on silver planchets left over from 1964 — the last year during which 90% silver planchets were used for striking business-strike coins for circulation. These 1965 silver Washington quarters are worth about $7,000 and up.
Other Types Of Valuable Error Coins
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some of our other popular articles about error coins:
- What Are Error Coins? How Much Are Coin Mistakes Worth?
- Post Mint Damage & Post Strike Damage: What You Need To Know About PMD & PSD vs. Error Coins + Damaged Coins Value
- 5 Of The Biggest Coin Mistakes The U.S. Mint Has Made
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 CDN Publishing (a trusted source for the price of U.S. rare coins), 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 also authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins — and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!