Last week we brought you the five steps to value a coin. This week we will get deeper in on e of the steps of that valuation process. Precisely we bring you some examples on how the existence of a variation or and error can make a regular coin into a extremely desired object by some collectors.
We have to pay more attention to the coins that go through our hands, we might be wasting a great opportunity and the coin we are using to pay for our coffee should end up in a coin sale for a prices 50 times its facial value.
We already told you this week that variants are small changes on the original design of a coin or on the material with which they are made of. This changes are, sometimes, almost imperceptible, so most of the people don’t even notice them. But for the eye of an expert collector they mean the difference between junk and a really good investment.
In the post dedicated to the Standard World Coin Catalog we talked about the assignment of a KM (unique id) for each type of coin. In that catalog variants are also classified, although instead of having a new KM, the variants are identified by adding a new letter or number to the original KM. I.e. in the case of the 2.5 Euro Portuguese coins, the letter is used to distinguish between the silver or gold minted version instead of the regular mint in copper-nickel.
There are collectors that do not value error coins at all and they actually try to get rid of them as soon as possible, truth is that the interest in coins with errors is increasing. It’s a very interesting type of collecting specially for those collecting current coins, since some of the coins for his collection can suddenly be found among the circulating coins. Making the art of coins collection a continuous activity.
There are a lot of errors that can be produced during the process of minting a coin, although, as we already said the ones that are more valued are those that do not affect the integrity of the coin. In these cases, the mintage of the coin has being properly completed. It is not a mint process fault (broken die, dirty, lack of material, etc.) but it is a design that contains unique details. Mostly this is due to human errors.
Here you have some of the most common errors during the minting process of the two coin Euro commemorative coins.
It is a coin dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of the Economic Monetary Union by the Spanish mint FNMT during last 2009. There are no official data regarding the minting error as well as in the number of minted coins, estimated between 75.000 and 100.000
The minting error is in the coin with the big stars and it originated through the Pantograph, precisely when changing the scale from the epoxy model to the die. Basically the error consists in an expansion of the little star surrounding the coin, minting the coin in a scale of 1:1.27 approximately.
According to the operator in charge of the minting, the coin with big stars was created the firs day. The error was fixed lately and the mintage continued until the 8.000.000 final coins. The coins containing errors were mixed among the correct rolls. This is the reason why we don’t know the exact number of erroneous coins, which contributed to an increase on the market price.
From 2007 and due to the incorporations of different countries to the Euro, the map on the obverse of the coins was changed, and the map with the countries of the European union before its expansion, with 15 countries changes to 25, representing all the European union members up to 2004. This way the new countries in the common coin will also be represented in the map.
But in the commemorative two Euro coins for the rotating presidency of the bundesrat: Free and hanseatic city of Hamburg, minted in 2008, the old map was used (smaller than the new design and containing frontiers) even though they should have used the new one already (pointed and without frontiers).
This error only appears on the coins minted in the mint of Sttutgard (identified by the letter F). It is estimated that after they took some of them of the market, from a total of 50.000 coins there might be around 25.000 coins circulating.
The 1 Cent Face Value Coin That Costs 6.600 Euro
As a very flashy case we bring you the case of this Italian coin of 1 Euro cent sold for more than 6.600 Euro. A revaluation that not even the noble metal minted coin get.
On the 9th of January of 2002, when the euro just had got to Europe, in the press this new showed up:
The Rome District’s attorney has open an investigation after the appearance of ‘fault cent euro coins’, and they might have been introduced voluntarily in the ‘Euro Starter Kits’ by a worker of the Italian National Coin Institute.
The defective coins are the same diameter of the two cents coin and they have the same drawing, but they have written a face value of one cent. A dozen of these coins have already been found, specially in the north of Italy.
An undetermined number of coins was taken away by the authorities, before they could circulate, however it is speculated that a few hundreds can still be part of some fortunates collections.
Six of these coins where bought by the Italian collection company Bolaffi, although they had problem with this investment, and the “Guardia di Finanza” confiscated them claiming that the coins are actually property of the Italian mint.
Only after 11 years of dispute, a court from Rome admitted the right of the company to posses and sell these coins. Finally when they went on auction their price raised up to 6.600 Euro.
If we did not where lucky with the coin in our hands and this coin is not a variant or has no error at all, we can’t still throw in the towel. It might still be a special edition and thanks to that it might have a higher value.
There are only 20.001 coins, price right now is approx 1500 €:
In some of the coin catalogs, i.e. in the Standard World Coin Catalog that we commented a few weeks ago, it is included information regarding the mint volume each year. In general the coin houses carry on big mints of the regular circulating coins, although there are some years that due to problems in manufacture, political decisions, economics or administrative make a lower mint that year. For the collectors focused in coins per year, this years mints are usually very valued.
Low mintage in 2002:
Low mintage in 2005 and 2006:
Low mintage in 2006:
This reduced mints are also frequent in the case of commemorative coins or special ones or in those countries where they are not the ones minting their circulating coins, like San Marino, Monaco, or Vatican City. In them, due to the low number of annual mints the coins don’t even get out to circulate but they are just bought as collection editions.