Error, Error, Error

error coins penny nickel off center

I picked up my first 3 error coins! Mistakes from the mint that accidentally went into circulation (until an intrigued person/collector came across it and happily scooped it right out).

I’ve never owned any error coins to this degree before, only some barely off-centered coins/ dollar bills, so it’s neat to add a few hardcore ones to my collection. And they didn’t cost me that much either:

  • The 1971 penny (left) cost me $4.00
  • The 1981 penny (right) cost me $5.00 (way more off-center)
  • And the 1985 (3?) nickle cost me $6.00

Well, at least they would have had I not traded for ’em :) I still had some credit left over from that $50 trade I did last month with my friend. Whom I think gave me a killer deal with these as I could have sworn they go for more than just a few bucks each?

[Update: I scanned in a page from my Red Book, 2014 edition, to show values for these guys and others listed down below… I did get a deal!]

misstrikes errors worth - red book

At any rate, these types of error coins are called “off-center” struck coins. And the more off they are, the more valuable they usually are too – especially bigger denomination coins, and those in great condition (other than the error part, of course).

Here’s more about these off-center coins via

Off-center coins are one of the most common and best known types of errors. This happens when a blank which is supposed to be fed into the press, lands in the collar improperly. When this occurs only part of the blank is between the upper and lower dies. When the dies strike the blank, only that part will be struck with a design.

There’s a slew of other types of error coins too – with some even CRAZIER looking. In fact, check out this snapshot of some others featured at (Click the image to learn more)

error coins typesPretty neat, right? You have to wonder how they slipped through quality control while being born :) Though I reckon some were slipped out by Mint employees over time, who knows…

All I know is that I’m the proud new daddy of three of these rejects, and I’ll be joyously looking at ’em over the weeks… You know, until the next shiny thing captures my attention ;)

How are your collections going?

Here are the reverses of these coins:

error coins penny nickel reverse


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