Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Post by es330t » Sun, 10 Feb 2008 02:05:30



I have two young children who, as many children are wont to do, when
they walk around look for change on the ground.  Last week, the elder
(who at 6 is very much into saving & earning money) said "Dad, I found
a penny on the ground but it looks funny."  He handed it to me and
what he gave me was an off center strike lincoln cent. (Note: I've
confirmed with a coworker who collects coins that I really do have a
mint error penny.)  When I went on eBay to look for off center strike
pennies I found out that this one penny is worth a couple hundred
pennies.  I told my son that his penny could be worth about two
dollars his eyes lit up and he said "Where can I find more of these?"

Doing a little searching on the 'net I came across a page from someone
who said the best way to find errors is to get bags of coins directly
from the mint.  A bag of 5000 pennies only costs $50 and my son has
all the time and patience in the world (one Saturday he picked up 600
pine cones in the front yard at $.01 each to earn money) to examine
pennies one by one looking for mistakes.  I am left with a few
questions:

1.  From where can I get bags of new pennies directly from the mint (I
am assuming that the most likely place to find errors would be before
anyone else has had their hands on them.)  Can I just get them from a
bank or do they have to be ordered? If they have to be ordered, from
where?
2. Once he's gone through a bag of pennies, how do I then dispose of
the non error ones so I can purchase more pennies?  I am guessing that
most financial institutions won't be e***d about having to deal with
a bag of 5000 loose pennies.
3. Is this a totally stupid idea?

Thanks for the help.

 
 
 

Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Post by tony coope » Sun, 10 Feb 2008 03:27:41




Quote:
>I have two young children who, as many children are wont to do, when
>they walk around look for change on the ground.  Last week, the elder
>(who at 6 is very much into saving & earning money) said "Dad, I found
>a penny on the ground but it looks funny."  He handed it to me and
>what he gave me was an off center strike lincoln cent. (Note: I've
>confirmed with a coworker who collects coins that I really do have a
>mint error penny.)  When I went on eBay to look for off center strike
>pennies I found out that this one penny is worth a couple hundred
>pennies.  I told my son that his penny could be worth about two
>dollars his eyes lit up and he said "Where can I find more of these?"

>Doing a little searching on the 'net I came across a page from someone
>who said the best way to find errors is to get bags of coins directly
>from the mint.  A bag of 5000 pennies only costs $50 and my son has
>all the time and patience in the world (one Saturday he picked up 600
>pine cones in the front yard at $.01 each to earn money) to examine
>pennies one by one looking for mistakes.  I am left with a few
>questions:

>1.  From where can I get bags of new pennies directly from the mint (I
>am assuming that the most likely place to find errors would be before
>anyone else has had their hands on them.)  Can I just get them from a
>bank or do they have to be ordered? If they have to be ordered, from
>where?
>2. Once he's gone through a bag of pennies, how do I then dispose of
>the non error ones so I can purchase more pennies?  I am guessing that
>most financial institutions won't be e***d about having to deal with
>a bag of 5000 loose pennies.
>3. Is this a totally stupid idea?

Yes and no.  It's a totally stupid idea from a very practical
standpoint because the return is negligible against the cost and
effort involved.

It's a wonderful idea because it gives your kid something to do that
will stimulate his mind and possibly get him on track with a hobby
that he can follow the rest of his life.  

At six, his attention span is probably about as short as mouse's
eyelash, and you will probably end up finishing up the project
yourself.  You'll probably lose $10 or so on the deal.  Who cares?
It's cheaper and more entertaining than whatever plastic toy
advertised on TV that also has his attention.

Go for it.

--

Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida

 
 
 

Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Post by Edwin Johnsto » Sun, 10 Feb 2008 03:31:28


Quote:

> I have two young children who, as many children are wont to do, when
> they walk around look for change on the ground.  Last week, the elder
> (who at 6 is very much into saving & earning money) said "Dad, I found
> a penny on the ground but it looks funny."  He handed it to me and
> what he gave me was an off center strike lincoln cent. (Note: I've
> confirmed with a coworker who collects coins that I really do have a
> mint error penny.)  When I went on eBay to look for off center strike
> pennies I found out that this one penny is worth a couple hundred
> pennies.  I told my son that his penny could be worth about two
> dollars his eyes lit up and he said "Where can I find more of these?"

> Doing a little searching on the 'net I came across a page from someone
> who said the best way to find errors is to get bags of coins directly
> from the mint.  A bag of 5000 pennies only costs $50 and my son has
> all the time and patience in the world (one Saturday he picked up 600
> pine cones in the front yard at $.01 each to earn money) to examine
> pennies one by one looking for mistakes.  I am left with a few
> questions:

> 1.  From where can I get bags of new pennies directly from the mint (I
> am assuming that the most likely place to find errors would be before
> anyone else has had their hands on them.)  Can I just get them from a
> bank or do they have to be ordered? If they have to be ordered, from
> where?
> 2. Once he's gone through a bag of pennies, how do I then dispose of
> the non error ones so I can purchase more pennies?  I am guessing that
> most financial institutions won't be e***d about having to deal with
> a bag of 5000 loose pennies.
> 3. Is this a totally stupid idea?

> Thanks for the help.

The US mint itself is not involved in the retail selling of bags of
pennies. (Not this year, at least -- next year may be a different
story.) You'd easily get your bags of cents at face value from a bank,
one that might have those available to customers. Coin dealers may also
have bags of cents for sale, of mixed dates and wear conditions, but for
a premium.
After looking through them, your best bet would be to empty them into a
coin counting machine where no premium was being charged for their
collection.
If you can maneuver through that maze easily enough. You and your kids
should have great fun. Late last year I worked a table at my local coin
club's annual coin show where we had bags of cents from dealers. We
piled mounds of them on the tables and gave the kids Lincoln Cent albums
and a half hour to search through the piles to fill up as many holes in
the album as possible and then take that home. Fun, fun, fun!
 
 
 

Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Post by Mike » Sun, 10 Feb 2008 03:45:42


Some banks get mint sealed bags. Most do not.
It depends on where they order their coin and currency from. If they order
from the FEDERAL RESERVE then they may get mint sealed bags of some coins.


Quote:
>I have two young children who, as many children are wont to do, when
> they walk around look for change on the ground.  Last week, the elder
> (who at 6 is very much into saving & earning money) said "Dad, I found
> a penny on the ground but it looks funny."  He handed it to me and
> what he gave me was an off center strike lincoln cent. (Note: I've
> confirmed with a coworker who collects coins that I really do have a
> mint error penny.)  When I went on eBay to look for off center strike
> pennies I found out that this one penny is worth a couple hundred
> pennies.  I told my son that his penny could be worth about two
> dollars his eyes lit up and he said "Where can I find more of these?"

> Doing a little searching on the 'net I came across a page from someone
> who said the best way to find errors is to get bags of coins directly
> from the mint.  A bag of 5000 pennies only costs $50 and my son has
> all the time and patience in the world (one Saturday he picked up 600
> pine cones in the front yard at $.01 each to earn money) to examine
> pennies one by one looking for mistakes.  I am left with a few
> questions:

> 1.  From where can I get bags of new pennies directly from the mint (I
> am assuming that the most likely place to find errors would be before
> anyone else has had their hands on them.)  Can I just get them from a
> bank or do they have to be ordered? If they have to be ordered, from
> where?
> 2. Once he's gone through a bag of pennies, how do I then dispose of
> the non error ones so I can purchase more pennies?  I am guessing that
> most financial institutions won't be e***d about having to deal with
> a bag of 5000 loose pennies.
> 3. Is this a totally stupid idea?

> Thanks for the help.

 
 
 

Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Post by Jon Purke » Sun, 10 Feb 2008 05:53:26




Quote:
>I have two young children who, as many children are wont to do, when
>they walk around look for change on the ground.  Last week, the elder
>(who at 6 is very much into saving & earning money) said "Dad, I found
>a penny on the ground but it looks funny."  He handed it to me and
>what he gave me was an off center strike lincoln cent. (Note: I've
>confirmed with a coworker who collects coins that I really do have a
>mint error penny.)  When I went on eBay to look for off center strike
>pennies I found out that this one penny is worth a couple hundred
>pennies.  I told my son that his penny could be worth about two
>dollars his eyes lit up and he said "Where can I find more of these?"

>Doing a little searching on the 'net I came across a page from someone
>who said the best way to find errors is to get bags of coins directly
>from the mint.  A bag of 5000 pennies only costs $50 and my son has
>all the time and patience in the world (one Saturday he picked up 600
>pine cones in the front yard at $.01 each to earn money) to examine
>pennies one by one looking for mistakes.  I am left with a few
>questions:

>1.  From where can I get bags of new pennies directly from the mint (I
>am assuming that the most likely place to find errors would be before
>anyone else has had their hands on them.)  Can I just get them from a
>bank or do they have to be ordered? If they have to be ordered, from
>where?
>2. Once he's gone through a bag of pennies, how do I then dispose of
>the non error ones so I can purchase more pennies?  I am guessing that
>most financial institutions won't be e***d about having to deal with
>a bag of 5000 loose pennies.
>3. Is this a totally stupid idea?

The odds of finding an error, whether off-center, rotated die or other
would be rare with new coins. However, it would be a fun activity and
worth the small cost.

BTW,. what year was the penny you found? With the procedures the Mint
now has in place to keep such coins from getting out, more recent
dates sell for a bit more. $5-$20+ on eBay, depending on how
significant the error is.

 
 
 

Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Post by Jim Mennin » Sun, 10 Feb 2008 10:28:08



Quote:

> Some banks get mint sealed bags. Most do not.
> It depends on where they order their coin and currency from. If they order from the
> FEDERAL RESERVE then they may get mint sealed bags of some coins.

There's no such thing as new $50 bags of cents from the mint.  That practice was
ended years ago.  Now they come by the $4,000 pallet sack.

http://www.dallasfed.org/banking/notices/2001/not0116.pdf

 
 
 

Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Post by es330t » Sun, 10 Feb 2008 23:28:11



Quote:

> BTW,. what year was the penny you found? With the procedures the Mint
> now has in place to keep such coins from getting out, more recent
> dates sell for a bit more. $5-$20+ on eBay, depending on how
> significant the error is.

I don't know the year because the off center direction pushed the year
off the metal.  You can see it here:

http://home.mspeed.net/images/offcenter.jpg

The reverse is correctly positioned over the image on the face side,
equally offset, so both sides of the coin have a large, smooth
crescent area on it.

 
 
 

Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Post by Jon Purke » Mon, 11 Feb 2008 02:34:59




Quote:

>> BTW,. what year was the penny you found? With the procedures the Mint
>> now has in place to keep such coins from getting out, more recent
>> dates sell for a bit more. $5-$20+ on eBay, depending on how
>> significant the error is.

>I don't know the year because the off center direction pushed the year
>off the metal.  You can see it here:

>http://home.mspeed.net/images/offcenter.jpg

>The reverse is correctly positioned over the image on the face side,
>equally offset, so both sides of the coin have a large, smooth
>crescent area on it.

I'm no expert, but I know you can get a general idea of the year by
checking certain things like the size of the "FG" initials on the
reverse. They initials were small for a while, then were made
bigger/then slightly smaller in the 1973-74 period? Other changes made
over the years could help pinpoint the date. I bought an off-center
cent last month that according to the 2x2 it was in is from the
1964-1968 period.
 
 
 

Newbie post: Looking for mint mistakes, have questions about buying/selling bulk coins

Post by P » Mon, 11 Feb 2008 04:28:56


I'm forced to reply to this thread.  I think all the answers I've read
are disingenuous.  Time to rain on the parade...

First of all, exactly what are the odds of the original poster finding
an error penny?
I think someone said it would be rare, but I suspect it is far, far
worse than that.  Are you giving the poster false expectations?
Realistically, how many coins would he really have to scrutinize to find
an error?  Ten thousand?  One hundred thousand? One million?  More?  

Some have said this will be a fun project? Are you out of your minds?
Do you really think a SIX year old CHILD would enjoy going through
thousands of coins to find a needle in a haystack?  IF you could check
one penny a second, if would take ONE hour to check $36 of pennies.  For
a six year old, scrutinizing pennies at this speedy rate for an hour,
with out finding a single error would be torture, not fun.    And I
suspect the child will quickly lose focus, and only an egregious error
would be noticed, so the more likely small error would be overlooked.

Don't get me wrong: I enjoy coins, I know you all do also, but it is
mostly a hobby for old men, and sifting through thousands of pennies for
an error is not something I would want to do either.

The poster is better off buying rolls of old halves, and let the kid
search for silver.  Let the kid keep one or two coins from each roll,
and dad can spend the rest.  Maybe even buy some silver and spike the
rolls from time to time, to keep his interest.
Or you could try cleaning old Roman coins.

Quote:
>...my son has all the time and patience
>in the world (one Saturday he picked up
>600 pine cones in the front yard at $.01
>each to earn money) to examine
>pennies one by one looking for mistakes.

Dad, you think this means your son has patience.  I think it only means
that he is willing to work for $$$ (a good trait, by the way.)  He's
going to be pretty pissed off if he looks through 5000 coins and gets
zilch for his effort, and he's going to think twice next time
dear-old-dad comes up with one of his schemes.  
The ONLY way this idea works for me, is if you give the kid all the
pennies he checks.  And then, I bet he misses the error he sees.

Quote:
>3. Is this a totally stupid idea?

No, your intentions are very good,
just misguided.

But what do I know?
I've never been a dad.