What are mint error coins?

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The coin collector should need to know where to find coins, how to determine their value and how to store them properly. The coin collection is easy with the proper knowledge and resources. Every coin has two sides OBVERSE and REVERSE. Obverse is referred as head. It is the main side of a coin that carrying the portrait head of the ruler or a symbol and name of the country. The reverse is denoted as the back side of the coin and is called the tail. It describes the price of the coin with year and mint mark. Mint-made error coins are the coins with errors made during the minting process. They are the results of accidents or malfunctions during the minting process. Error coins have problems such as being struck-off center, or with great thickness or too thin. Coins are made with some raised line on its surface. This is due to cracks in the die.

Error coins have been continued to be in the spotlight. The first error coins that cross the million-dollar threshold are minted in September 2010. The most common errors are discoloration of the face, chipping of the surface, broken edges, double striking, mis-stuck coins, etc. Error coins are produced on a large scale accidentally.

The mints find out these coins and put them back to melting. But some of them are escape. These defective coins are eagerly gathered by the coin collectors.

  • Some specimens of coins are found with normal design on one side and the same design on another side also. They are called as Lakhi coins.
  • Die rotation is a type of minting error on the coin in which the obverse and reverse die is rotated. Accidental error coins are more valuable to the numismatists. In modern minting system, error coins are usually very rare.

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2 responses to “What are mint error coins?”

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  1. clic

    Hey there! I’m not too deep into the numismatic side of bullion, but I’m intrigued about whether I should consider sending a possible error 2016 British sovereign I recently received from JM Bullion to a grading service.

    It seems this error might be classified as a “fin error.” One side of the coin protrudes about 2mm, while the other side is 1.7mm at its shallowest. The weight also slightly differs, measuring 7.991 compared to my other sovereigns at 7.982. However, it does pass the ping test and maintains the correct diameter. I’m fairly confident it’s a legitimate sovereign with a mint error.

    Upon inspection, I notice a larger rim on the right side of the obverse and a deeper strike on the reverse. Moreover, in the photo, you can see that the dots around the rim nearly vanish toward the top left.

    Any British Sovereign collectors out there familiar with whether this error holds value for a coin grader? Appreciate any insights!

    1. Alexandre Laurent

      Sovereigns, made of 22k gold or 916.7 purity, were exclusively minted in London, Melbourne, and Sydney. If a sovereign lacks a mint mark, it indicates it was minted at the Royal Mint, typically in London.

      Among the sovereigns I own, those with a bullion finish exhibit peculiar sharply raised edges on one side of the rim. This occurrence stems from their production as a quick and rough rendition of the coin, lacking the smooth and polished finish. However, this aspect doesn’t impact its value significantly. Despite these imperfections, a sovereign remains historically revered as one of the most universally acknowledged and accepted coins worldwide.


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