Images Courtesy Of Coin Owner
Q: I am in possession of this 2004 silver proof set which has two of what I believe to be error coins. The first is the Lincoln cent which has a die crack that runs from the “R” in LIBERTY to the back of Lincolns head. The second error is what appears to be a disappearing “2” in the date similar to the weak 3 error found on some of the Lincoln cents in 2003 proof sets. -David, Woburn, MA
A: What I see on the cent appears more to be a flaw in the plating, i.e., a plating blister of sorts. This is not uncommon, is considered a minor flaw and is not too very collectable in terms of demand for the type. It is most often looked upon as a detractor to the value and desirability of the coin rather than as an error.
The ten-cent piece is probably the result of an overpolished (abraded) die. Again, it is nothing particularly desirable to error-variety collectors. We sometimes see such items as the above promoted on eBay but few if any serious collectors bid on them. However, a newbie or two can drive them up in price anyway and then later find out it is something nobody in the error-variety community at large wants. If they decide to dump there recent purchase by listing it again on eBay they can initiate a sort of hot potato effect as one newbie after another finds out they’ve won an essentially worthless item. In order for them to sell it, they rely on finding another newbie, which is not particularly hard on eBay as there are many new fish to fry entering the market on a regular basis. I mention this only because you will see items like this on eBay from time to time, more often than not, accompanied by exaggerated claims of rarity and desirability.
With that said, however, it should be pointed out that we do not discourage collectors from collecting what they enjoy. Even minor errors or varieties have educational value and are worth assembling into collections for study and/or enjoyment if that is what a collector enjoys. They key here it to recognize they have very little value but to enjoy them for what they are and to not pay much for them. -Ken Potter