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Pez Heads and Starburst: Errors and “Errors” of George Washington Presidential Dollars

By Lianna Spurrier for CoinWeek …..
In 2007, eBay exploded with different varieties and errors of the new George Washington presidential dollar coins. The series was the first circulate neologism to feature edge lettering in 74 years, so it was bound to have some problems. Some of those errors are still long-familiar nowadays, but others have about disappeared and are no longer noteworthy .

Error: Missing Edge Lettering

The error that started it all.

On February 15, 2007, the same day the newfangled presidential dollars were released to the public, the first “ plain edge ” example was listed on eBay. It sold for $ 612 USD, and people across the country began searching through the coins by the hundreds, looking for this new and shock error .
2007 Washington dollar Missing Edge Lettering PCGS MS66 Thousands were found. It ’ s estimated that somewhere around 200,000 were minted, and the majority were found in Florida. It was an unprecedented error ; the date, mint score, “ E Pluribus Unum ”, and “ In God We Trust ” were all left off of the coins. Due to the bluff scale of the error, certified examples now go for only $ 30- $ 40 in average grades .
There was some debate about what to call these, because “ Missing Edge Lettering ” is quite a taste. many referred to them as “ Godless Dollars ”, but grading companies stuck with “ Missing border Lettering. ”
Since the mint mark international relations and security network ’ thymine show on these coins, no batch is specified when graded. however, the edge of the planchet can be a clue about the mint of origin. Those from Philadelphia seem to show the copper core, as was intended. many from Denver have an border that appears wholly golden, like the obverse and rearward surfaces. This in itself was unintentional, and grading companies don ’ triiodothyronine watch it as dependable adequate to certify them by mint. It ’ s believed that the plating bath in Denver was blend falsely, causing it to adhere to the copper on the edges ampere well as the surfaces .
But with then many people searching through so many coins, other kinds of errors were soon found and capitalized upon. This promptly inflow of searchers and the ask first-year-of-issue difficulties combined to create a overplus of errors, perceived and rare, to flood the market .

“Error”: Upside Down Edge Lettering

When first released, it was believed that the edge letter had a “ discipline ” orientation. On validation issues, this is on-key : when the mint is sitting face-up, the border inscription should be upright. They are strike using three dies – the obverse, reverse, and edge – simultaneously. It was assumed that the lapp was true for circulation strikes, then pieces with border inscription in the opposite direction were sold as “ Upside Down Edge Lettering ” .
however, we ’ ve since learned more about how the circulation presidential dollars are minted. The obverse and reversion designs are struck, then they are former put into a disjoined machine to strike the edge. The orientation of the coin at this distributor point is random. statistically, half should have edge lettering the “ correct ” way, as proof do, and half should have it “ top gloomy ” .

Error: Doubled Edge Lettering

fair like design elements on any mint, the edge lettering on presidential dollars can be doubled. These have run through the edge lettering process twice, resulting in two entirely separate legends. As a result, they can be in different orientations and start or stop at completely unlike areas of the mint. This is more normally seen on John Adams dollars, but Washington examples have been found .
Washington dollars can besides be found machine doubled on the obverse and reverse. The clearest indicator of this is that some of the folds from Lady Liberty’s apparel can be seen on the flange .
Two other inconsistencies with the edge letter have been noted, both of which are caused by the mint slipping during the strike serve. Some have alone partial legends, where portions are missing wholly. Others exhibit wax legends, but with improper spacing .

“Error”: Pez Head

The “ Pez Head ” errors, besides known as the “ Severed Head ”, are missing a identical little separate of the reverse blueprint : lady Liberty ’ s neck. The line that should indicate the front man of her neck international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine present, leaving her lead looking something like a Pez dispenser .
It ’ south believed that this occurred due to over-polishing of the die. The highest points of the die were wear down besides much, causing quite a few visible differences on the reverse. many have weak details on the buttocks of Lady Liberty ’ s gown and are missing detail around the bible she holds. In addition, some folds of her dress are “ missing ”, struck even with the fields of the coin .
These were popular on eBay at the release of the George Washington dollar but are about unheard of today. A search on the auction web site turns up no direct results, and it ’ s not an error recognized by any major grade services. At the time they were relatively cheap and easy to find for sale.

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Error: Clipped Planchet

Clipped planchets are a wide known numismatic error. And while they ’ ra less common on presidential dollars, they do exist. It should be noted, however, that they cause an unexpected impression on the edge inscription .
naturally, there ’ s no letter where the snip occurs, but the share of the brim directly opposite it is besides space. The missing edge results in insufficient press to strike the letter on the opposite area of the coin, known as the Blakesly effect .

Error: Die Flaws with Fun Names

Like any coin, George Washington presidential $ 1 coins can be found with numerous die flaws – cracks, gouges, etc. Some even have the good fortune of being in locations that have earned them interesting nicknames .
The “ Wild Whisker ” die crack starts on the left field border of Washington ’ second neck and extends up onto his kuki, then out into the exit field. It ’ mho very little, giving it the appearance of an boisterous facial hair that the Founding Father forgot to shave. many unlike dies are known with alike cracks, making it an amusing but not excessively rare variety .
The “ Wounded Liberty ” die gouge starts near the $ 1 dedication on the turn back and extends across Lady Liberty ’ s chest. Unlike a die crack, these occur when something was dragged across the die ’ sulfur open, resulting in what looks like an irregular dashed line of lift metal along the mint. There are at least three unlike known dies with alike gouges in this area .
ultimately, some examples exhibit a die breakage that appears to give Lady Liberty an extra curl in her hair’s-breadth. however, good luck finding any on-line with the names attached – none are well-known enough to have very caught on .

“Error”: Starburst

These “ errors ” have streaks encircling Washington ’ s principal, radiating out toward the rim like a starburst. exchangeable streaks shoot out from Lady Liberty ’ s head on the overrule equally well. The cartwheeling mint luster does not appear in these areas, which look rougher than the normal open .
And like the “ Pez Heads ”, Starburst presidential dollars were very popular in 2007 but have since fallen from favor. It ’ south uncertain what precisely caused the radiate lines ; it could have been a die abnormality, or possibly post-mint damage from counting machines .

Error: Blank Planchet with Lettered Edge

The antonym of the coins without edge letter, some planchets found their way out of the Mint with merely edge letter. sometimes called “ Faceless Dollars ”, the surfaces show quite a few marks and dings from being tossed around with other coins .
Planchets are normally fairly marked before come to, but the mint work removes most of the markings. In the case of this mistake, a coin was never struck, so the marks stayed. The border letter, however, is present, so a presidential dollar can be authenticated by third-party scaling and assigned a date and mint grade appellation .

Other Issues

All advanced coins run the gamble of an assortment of errors, and the Washington presidential dollars are no exception. They have been found missing the clad layer, resulting in one side appearing a bright copper coloring material. The clothed level can besides be split or only partially missing .
Washington presidential $ 1 coins can have a filled die or be struck through grease, both of which remove detail from one english. lone significantly affected coins are recognized as an error by third-party grade companies, as little filled areas are fairly common.

Some coins are improperly annealed, though they ’ rhenium unmanageable to authenticate. When the planchet is overheated, it develops a coat and appears toned. The color can range anywhere from black to a copper-red .
finally, Washington presidential dollars can besides exhibit a die clash. On the reverse, this is seen in a line that goes from Liberty ’ s crown to her common mullein, and from the flashlight to the denomination “ $ 1 ”. Due to its put, the clash gives the appearance of an excess spike on her crown but is actually from the outline of Washington ’ s head on the obverse .
overall, there are many, many errors and varieties of this freshman coin. The new footfall in the mint process led to a set of them, but the inflow of collectors searching through thousands of coins in search of “ Godless Dollars ” led to the identification of many errors in a short amount of time. It was inevitable that collectors would pick out anything that caught their eyes and could possibly be considered an error. This led to a few “ errors ” at the startle, but as the craze calmed down, we ’ ve weeded out the rightfully noteworthy errors from the minor ones.

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