2023 Comes to a Close
As we wind down 2023, the error coin hobby is alive and thriving. Coin clubs such as CONECA have high numbers of members. Online error coin clubs have active, and eager collectors. Error coins regularly make the headlines in auctions, news, and are discussed in articles in various publications. 2024 promises to be another good year for error coin collectors, and based the activity we’ve seen in the market over the last few months (and this year), it looks to be another healthy year for the hobby.
One interesting story which has developed over the last 2 years or so, has been that there have been a number of mules come out, which were previously unknown. Of particular interest, there have been a small quantity of 2001-D Lincoln cent/Roosevelt dime mules…3 in fact have come to auction, with another out there as well. Over the last 2 years these have brought $66,000-$114,000 each at auction, which is strong considering that even the 3rd one fetching the $66,000, with the buyer doubtless aware that two others had just sold before it. A 4th one will be at auction soon, which will be interesting to watch.
Additionally, a 2000-D Sacagawea/Statehood quarter mule (unique) sold at auction in December 2022 (about a year ago from this writing) for $66,000. High end, major mint errors are selling for big money, and we have observed private sales that sold for strong prices as well over the last year. Many major proof errors have come out as well this year and over the last several years—they used to be rare, but are perhaps better described as “fairly scarce” in many cases. Some of them are indeed still quite rare, but it is far fewer than it used to be. This is good for collectors, as prices on them over time should be more affordable for some, while others will no doubt go up when their true rarity is ascertained over the passage of time.
The error market is strong. In a recent sale in which we participated, almost everything sold to buyers willing to pay (more than we were)—many of the coins sold for 3-5X what we would’ve asked for the coin on our website. This begs the question, why wouldn’t a buyer just buy from a dealer instead of paying more for the particular coin at an auction? This often comes down to three things. 1. The collector went into the auction thinking he would get a “good deal.” 2.He got caught up in the bidding and overpaid. 3.He didn’t know the values well enough to realize he was overpaying. Of course, sometimes a coin does sale “too cheap”, but lately, this hasn’t been the case in our estimation—quite the opposite in fact.
This is where knowing values, understanding rarity, and being able to properly assess a coin is of so much value. A coin may appear to be a “good deal”, but as the saying goes: “if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Hidden “problems” on a coin may be why it sold in an auction cheap, or damage which was not identified by the auction house or grading service in the respective descriptions. Mint errors often only have so much “room” on the holder due to their long descriptions, and often there is useful information about the coin which will not be noted on the holder, but which should be noted by the seller. While we do not profess to be “the source of all knowledge” in this regard, we do our best to try to properly note “problems” on coins, even if they are not noted on the holder (damage, cleaning, etc), and price the coins accordingly. A coin with a “problem” is not worth as much as a coin without the problem, etc.
We’ve bought a large clip collection recently, so there will be a number of nice clips coming to the website in the coming months. Additionally, we’re always looking for fresh inventory, and there’s a smattering of all error types which will be listed in the coming weeks and months as we process, grade, and list them.
Our coin show schedule is posted on our website under the “NEWS” menu on the homepage, but our next show will be the FUN coin show in Orlando, Florida in January of this coming year. We will have a corner booth, and a lot of inventory for sale. If you are attending the show, feel free to bring anything you wish to sale, and we would be happy to make an offer on it. Otherwise, stop by to look at our inventory or to discuss any errors you have questions about in your collection.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and look forward to serving your error collecting needs in 2024!