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New at this collecting.
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9 posts in this topic

I plan to market error coins and bills. Since I started a month ago I have already started to keep some coins and bills. So I gues I am collecting after all. My question: Telling the difference between errors and damage. If it's a new discovered error how do you tell the difference? Thanks for any assistance.



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Welcome to the CCF

First of all, most errors are one of a kind so every one would be newly discovered.   

As noted above, it is best to assume anomolies are damage first (over 90% of them are) and then see if it can be an error.  You have to remember that an error  can only happen during the striking of the coin while in the coining chamber, anything that happens after that is damage. It is best to learn how coins are minted, there are numerous sites on line, and then study what an actual error looks like. A good site for this is error-ref.com  to see what an actual error looks like. The more studying you do, the more you will be able to eliminate damage from an an actual error. Do not be afraid to post questions though, if you have another coin you think is an error, post a clear photo of both sides and tell us what you think the error is, this way we will be able to tell you if you are right or wrong.



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Welcome to the forum, and good luck with your venture.   However, if the state quarter in your opening post is an example of a coin you think has errors you are off to a rocky start as I see no errors, just some staining from a can of soda or the like.   You may have seen one of the many get rich quick from pocket change videos on you tube, coins like that posted for sale on sites like FB, etsy, ebay, and so on, unfortunately many (most) of those coins are also not errors.   Some of those coins are being sold by individuals that are clueless and looking for another clueless buyer, some are posted by scammers looking to prey on the uninformed buyers that think they are getting a deal.

And many of those you tube videos are posted so that the person posting the video can get rich from all the ads you have to watch.   Some do have some real information, but many are just click bait to entice you in with little to no factual information in the video.

Greenstang gave you a link to a great site, I highly recommend that you spend the time to read that site thoroughly.

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On 5/25/2023 at 10:11 AM, Red Man said:

I plan to market error coins and bills.

   If so, you will need to buy them from collectors and dealers. Significant mint errors--those visible to the naked eye or at low magnification--are hardly ever found in circulation! To the extent that they leave the mint by legitimate means, I am informed that they are usually intercepted by personnel at distributors and banks and sold to coin dealers.  I've been collecting coins and checking change for 52 years and in all that time the most significant errors I've found are a blank cent planchet and a couple of broadstruck quarters, none of which would be worth more than a few dollars each.  A collector I know who is now about 80 years old and collecting longer than I have been received a nickel struck on a cent planchet at a supermarket a few years ago, the only time in his life he has ever found a significant mint error. It has been NGC certified and may be worth a few hundred dollars. I have never found a piece of currency with a significant error, nor do I know anyone who has.

   We regularly see on this forum damaged coins and coins with minor anomalies that are classified as poor quality control rather than as mint errors that the poster insists are rare and valuable mint errors. These posters have never bothered to learn about coins or what is regarded as an error in the numismatic marketplace.

   As a new collector, you must learn about U.S. coins generally and how to grade and otherwise evaluate them, as well as learning about what constitutes a significant mint error or die variety. The following topics and other links should help you:

 Variety vs. Mint Error | NGC (ngccoin.com)

Learn Grading: What Is a Mint Error? — Part 1 | NGC (ngccoin.com)

Learn Grading: What Is a Mint Error? — Part 2 | NGC (ngccoin.com)

Learn Grading: What Is a Mint Error? — Part 3 | NGC (ngccoin.com)

As stated by @Greenstang, for a comprehensive overview of mint errors, see the website error-ref.com.

You would also benefit from attending coin shows and coin club meetings, where you can see a variety of coins and currency and speak with knowledgeable dealers and collectors.  

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On 5/25/2023 at 10:11 AM, Red Man said:

I plan to market error coins and bills. Since I started a month ago I have already started to keep some coins and bills. So I gues I am collecting after all.

Sounds like you are putting the cart before the horse, as well as really limiting yourself with just error coins.  Perhaps you meant errors and varieties, with the later being much more plentiful (https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/1655/Variety-versus-Mint-Error/).

Before you can market these coins (I assume you mean "sell") you need to have them, which you likely don't have from what was posted.  As noted, significant errors or varieties worth a decent amount are rarely just found in pocket change or bank rolls, so that means you need to purchase those coins.  That is difficult to do and not lose money with buyer/seller fees and overhead, and you should know a good amount about coins before you start buying them or are able to readily identify them from searching rolls.

You should start at the beginning, with first learning about coins.  I would follow the sage advice of Sandon and others and start with the links provided.  Maybe start with a pop quiz of going to eBay and looking up "wrong planchet coin" or "doubled die coin".  Can you tell which ones could truly be on the wrong planchet or struck from a doubled die, and if they are offered for a good price?  You should soon realize there is a lot to learn before being ready to start buying error and variety coins.

On 5/25/2023 at 10:22 AM, JKK said:

Then require the preponderance of evidence -- considering pareidolia as your worst enemy -- to prove that your assumption was wrong.

"Pareidolia" ... my word of the day I just learned about.  Thanks!

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

I would think you would want to get the basics of coin collecting down first before venturing off into the world of errors. As stated by @Greenstang, only true errors happen during the striking process. Another thing I will relay to you as you are new to this, DDO, DDR, RPM, RPD, cuds, die chips, die cracks, and VAM's are NOT errors!

Also, since you mentioned paper money, star notes are NOT errors. Star notes are the replacement bill for the actual error that the Treasury caught in the first place, but still needs to print the replacement note to keep the serial number sequence intact and be accountable for that serial number. Bill errors are even harder to find than coin errors. In my lifetime of collecting (45+ years), I have found three coin errors in change but no bill errors. This is most likely because coins are individually struck whereas bills are printed on sheets with other bills and the sheets are inspected before being cut. With the high speed coin presses, unless there is an actual striking problem, Mint employees only spot check the occasional coin as the presses are simply too fast to check every single coin.

If you are going to continue in you endeavor, I suggest getting the book ANA Grading Standards (they are on the 7th edition but you can get the 6th edition very cheaply on eBay) and become familiar with the basics of inspecting and self grading coins. 

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