What Are Some U.S. Error Coins?


Quick Answer

Some famous and valuable U.S. error coins include the 1984 "double ear" Lincoln cent, the 1982 "no P" dime, the 1955 double die cent and the 1965 silver dime. The State Quarter series has also produced a large number of error coins, but most of these are only worth a few dollars as they are relatively new coins and were minted in huge numbers.

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Full Answer

Like the name suggests, the 1984 "double ear" Lincoln cent features an extra earlobe on President Abraham Lincoln. On these coins, the extra lobe is directly under the President's regular earlobe. Surprisingly, the U.S. Mint actually produced pennies with an extra earlobe for President Lincoln again in 1997.

The 1982 "no P" dime refers to the fact that the coin is missing the P that identifies that the coin was struck at the U.S. Mint's Philadelphia facility. This error occurred because, prior to 1980, individual minting facilities did not make any kind of hallmark on currency they produced. The error likely arose when someone used a pre-1980 die to strike the coins.

Double die coins occur when the person operating the coin press does not align the machine properly, causing it to stamp the coin two times, producing a doubling effect. The value of a double die coin increases the greater its two images are out of alignment, with seriously misaligned rare double die coins fetching thousands of dollars.

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