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Washington Dollar Coin Mint Errors

Tallahassee Was Ground Zero For Misprinted Dollar Coins Issued By The U.S. Mint.

 

by Mark Mathosian

 

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The gold-colored $1 Washington coins were released by the U.S. Mints in Philadelphia and Denver for regular distribution on or after February 15, 2007.

 

Federal Reserve Banks around the country distributed the coins to its member banks. Tallahassee financial institutions, including banks and credit unions, received their fair share of the new Washington coins and immediately put them into general circulation. One local credit union promoted the arrival of the new dollar coins with an advertisement in the Tallahassee Democrat a week or so before they were actually released. The ad encouraged citizens to visit the credit union, open an account and receive a free Washington dollar coin.

 

If you opened an account that day you may have been fortunate enough to receive one of these highly collectible miss-printed coins. That’s because almost immediately after their release miss-stamped coins surfaced in Tallahassee and Jacksonville.

 

One of the first official reports of the error coins to the media and the U.S. Mint was made by a representative of Tallahassee’s Capital City Bank.

 

On February 24th the Tallahassee Democrat reported that Washington coins containing errors surfaced in rolls of coins at the downtown branch of Capital City Bank. The newspaper reported that after opening a roll of coins a bank teller noticed that “not all of them ($1 coins) were made equal. They were the same size, shape and color, but some were missing the date and mint stamp.”

 

The side, not the face of the coin, was supposed to say, “E Pluribus Unum In God We Trust 2007 P.” However, that information was missing.

 

The Democrat further reported that a bank representative contacted a Tallahassee coin dealer who said “the likelihood to get errors on coins the first week distributed is like getting struck by lightning three times.”

 

Once they realized the importance of their discovery bank officials contacted the U.S. Mint and later released a press statement saying, “It appears that Capital City Bank has discovered the first misprint of the new presidential dollar coins.”

 

The bank teller who found the misprinted coins listed one on eBay. By week’s end many coins were posted and soon sellers were offered between $25.00 and $600.00 for the flawed coins.

 

On Friday, February 25, 2007, I telephoned a local Wachovia Bank branch and asked if they had the new Washington dollars and if they would hold some for me. They said yes, they had the coins and yes I could purchase them at the branch. The bank teller said the coins were in rolls of 25 coins per roll.

 

On Saturday morning I went to the bank branch and purchased two rolls of the new Washington dollars. That same day I opened one roll and immediately noticed 5 coins were missing all of the words and numbers around the edge, making them immediately collectible. By the time I opened two rolls I discovered 12 misprinted coins.

 

By Sunday “authenticated” coins were selling on eBay for as much as $500 each. That meant the 12 coins were valued for as much as $6,000.00. As I write this article prices have dropped dramatically. If you are interested in determining their current value, I suggest you search eBay for coins.

 

It is also noted that the U.S. government (in December, 2011) announced they are no longer going to be printing Presidential coins for distribution to the general public. Due to the poor economy, stopping the minting of these coins will save tax payers about $50 million.

 

For historical insight these coins, here is the U.S. Mint’s press release about them.

 

United States Mint Launches First Presidential $1 Coin Products

 

George Washington Presidential $1 Coin Bags and Rolls – bags of 250 coins and rolls of 25 coins – were available starting February 15. Bags and rolls of Presidential $1 Coins honoring John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison will be available later this year. Bags will sell for $319.95, and rolls will sell for $35.95.

 

The United States is honoring our Nation’s past Presidents with circulating Presidential $1 Coins featuring their images in the order that they served, beginning with Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison in 2007.

 

The United States Mint will mint and issue four Presidential $1 Coins per year, and each will have a reverse design featuring a striking rendition of the Statue of Liberty. The composition of the new Presidential $1 Coins will be identical to that of the Golden Dollar featuring Sacagawea.

 

The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-145) seeks to revitalize the design of United States coins and return circulating coinage to its position as an object of aesthetic beauty in its own right. Accordingly, the new Presidential $1 Coins will feature larger, more dramatic artwork, as well as edge-incused inscriptions of the year of minting or issuance, "E Pluribus Unum," "In God We Trust" and the mint mark.

 

Customers can order the George Washington Presidential $1 Coin Bags and Rolls by using the United States Mint’s secure website, www.usmint.gov, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468). A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order will be added to all domestic orders.....

 

By the first week in March, 2007, news of the coin errors was being published in newspapers around the country and the world. When the Mint realized it had a problem it issued a press release addressing the issue.

 

"The United States Mint has struck more than 300 million George Washington Presidential $1 Coins. We have recently learned that an unspecified quantity of these coins inadvertently left the United States Mint at Philadelphia without edge-lettering on them. It is unknown how many of these coins without inscriptions on the edge have been placed into circulation.

   

The United States Mint understands the importance of the inscriptions “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum,” as well as the mint mark and year on U.S. coinage. We take this matter seriously. We also consider quality control a high priority.

 

The agency is looking into the matter to determine a possible cause in the manufacturing process.

 

Production of the Presidential $1 Coin, with its unique edge-lettering, is a new, complex, high volume manufacturing system, and the United States Mint is determined to make technical adjustments to perfect the process. As we adjust this new process, we intend to eliminate any such defects.

 

Consistent with the agency’s practice in such situations, the United States Mint has informed the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Treasury about this matter."

   

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Taken on April 3, 2007