The Error Coin Market and Proof Errors

The Error Coin Market and Proof Errors

Posted by JonSullivan on Jun 4th 2021

Mint error coins have been hot in auctions. You can pretty much pick any auction from most of the various venues, and see some very high prices realized! And although there are certain areas that are not as popular right now (certain proof errors do to the quantities that have come out of late, certain state quarter errors, and actually some of the scarcer older off-metal types), other areas are very popular. Errors under say $500 are generally very popular right now, 11c double denominations, and always the dramatic, eye-catching errors generally are difficult to keep in stock. Some of the rare proof major errors have gone for incredible prices at auction, fetching many tens of thousands of dollars.

Ups and downs in the market are always the case, but as a whole, the error coin market is doing well. Perhaps as the economy is opening back up from the recent Covid shutdowns, collectors are starting to attend smaller coin shows, and larger coin shows such as the summer FUN show in July in Orlando FL, and the ANA Worlds Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL, are all on track to be 100% a “go”. We will be attending both shows, and look forward to seeing dealers and collectors once again! The July FUN show will be our first coin show since February of 2020, so it is long past due that we set up at a show.

It has been exciting for the hobby that there have been a large number of previously unknown proof errors on the market of late. It’s been something which we have both watched, and been able to participate in, having been acquiring some and offering them over the last few years or so. Major proof errors are historically rare, and in reviewing error coin catalogs dating back to the 1960’s or 1970’s you can find broadstruck proof errors, clips, off-metals, and really the same errors existing that we are now seeing come fresh to the market. Back 10 years ago, a proof nickel on a cent planchet was nearly unheard of, and a proof Kennedy on a quarter planchet was very rare. Now, they are still very scarce, but not as rare as they once were due to the recent coins that have come on the market.

We cannot say with certainty where all the proof errors have come from that have been coming to market of late, or how they left the Mint, since we have only 2nd hand knowledge of them and their whereabouts, or even how many are known, but the higher quantities of proof errors that have come on the market of late seem to be old hoard(s) that were put together perhaps some 50 odd years ago (based on the dates of material that has come out), and have never been on the market until now. The coins are comprised of both proof and business strike errors. They are unquestionably 100% authentic, and from what has appeared in major auctions, other dealer’s inventories (and our own) range from the incredibly dramatic (mated pair off-metals, etc) to the fairly mundane (minor clashed dies, planchets, etc.)

It is an exciting time in the hobby that there are a quantity of proof errors on the market, since before now there really were not all that many. Although some proof errors will drop in value due to the quantity of "fresh material" on the market (perhaps temporarily, perhaps not), others will doubtless turn out to be great rarities. Only time will tell, but as with all hoards of coins, it is an exciting event that has taken place over the last few years, and all error collectors will watch with interest as will we! There’s the likelihood that they will also bring in more collectors, since historically, when fresh hoards of coins are discovered and come to market, they often enliven that market and result in brand new collectors forming collections.

We look forward to seeing any and all of you at upcoming coin shows, or just through emails, phone calls as we see the coin market quickly returning to pre-2020 conditions, and if we can be of service in building your collection just let us know.