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Help with 1938 wheat penny error?

2 posts in this topic

This is not an error.  This is a "counterstamped" coin.  Counterstamps originated with merchants who would "stamp" their logo/address/information on a coin as a form of advertising.  Some of the old counterstamps are highly collectible, especially if they have ties to the businesses of famous historical figures or events.  

Your 1938 cent was minted in Philly, and has a more modern counterstamp of a "P".  This was done after the coin left the mint.  This coin would not carry a premium as mentioned above, but is more of a novelty as this was likely done my a single person and is not tied to any advertising.  However, it may still be collected as a novelty piece.

In fact, people are still stamping coins today with punches to make designs.

(Related:  Trade Dollars were created to compete with silver Spanish 8 Reales of the day in trade with China.  When the coins reached China, the merchant would test the purity of the silver, and stamp their approval into the coin.  These are called "chop marks."  While they are not "counter stamps" per se, it is an interesting tidbit if you are into these coins)

Fun find.  Not valuable, but a good start to a collection! 

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