Wheat Back Penny

Does California Gold and Silver Exchange Buy Error Coins or Variety Coins? 

At California Gold and Silver Exchange we often get phone calls inquiring about error coins or variety coins.

  • We only buy error coins that are graded by PCGS or NGC.

We do not buy error coins that have not been certified as an error coin. The reason is that in coin making there are different dies that are used for a coin. The age of the die or the place that the coin was minted may be the reason that the coin has a slight difference. This may or may not be an error to the coin. The coin world will often have error’s that are recognized globally.

I saw an online video that said my coin might be valuable. Is it a scam?

With the onset of the internet and YouTube we have seen an increase of videos that identify different “error’s” of coins. These videos are often click bait, used to get people to watch the video and/or subscribing to the video channel and then making money for the video maker. We like to say it is similar to fake news as the information seems to be made up and not from professional coin dealers.


What is an Error Coin?

An Error Coin is a coin that has an unintentional mistake or abnormality that affects either a single coin or a small batch of coins. They are made as a result of human or mechanical error during production in what is known as the “striking” process. In most cases the Mint will make identify and destroy these mistakes, but sometimes coins with one abnormality, or sometimes even multiple mistakes will enter into circulation. This makes the coin very rare, and thus collectible.

Types of Coin Errors
Errors are broken up into three major categories.

Planchet Error
– Clipped Planchet when a portion of the coin disc is missing 10% or more of its material.
– Blank Planchet when a portion of the planchet remains unstruck.
– Lamination Error where the coin blank is defective in some way.
– Wrong Planchet when a wrong planchet meant for another denomination or containing the wrong metal is used.

Die Error
– Defective Die are instances where the die used to strike the coin is damaged in some way.
– Cud results from a broken die.

Strike Error
– Off Center strike – a coin that has been struck out of the collar and incorrectly centered with part of the design missing.
– Multiple Strike – a coin with at least one additional image from being struck again off center
– Broadstrike – a coin that was struck outside the retaining collar.
– Brockage – a mirror image of the design.


What is a Variety Coin?

A variety coin is created when intentional and unintentional changes to the die (or template) occur before the coins are struck. Because the die itself is at fault, this type of error affects a small batch of coins, rather than just a single coin. Collectors try to add every coin from the series into their collection.

Some Famous Variety coins
1955 Double Die Lincoln Cent
1982-D Small Date Copper
1942/1-P&D Mercury Dime
1937-D Buffalo Nickel 3 leg


Do You Buy Error Coins or Variety Coins that are not Certified? 

  • We only buy error coins that are graded by PCGS or NGC. 
The word "Beware" is lined with gold letters on wooden planks. 3D illustration image

Scammer Targets Gas Station and Casinos: 

There is a man going around to gas stations and casinos scamming people with fake gold necklaces and rings. The guy’s story at the gas station is that he is stranded and he needs to get back home. He has his family with him and he drives a nice SUV like an Escalade or similar. He offers the item of jewelry that he is wearing for the person to give him some cash so he can purchase gas. The item that he is willing to trade is marked either 14k or 18k in a big marking that you can read with the naked eye. The mark (or intended victim of the scam) then thinks that they are going to get this “gold” for a little amount and then be able to come into a business like ours and sell the item and make a profit. The items that they are selling are not gold. They are made up of copper, nickel, and zinc and contain no precious metals.


How to Stay Safe:

Beware of the warning signs to avoid getting scammed:

  • Man with a story about being stranded or out of gas approaches you and asks for help
  • Gas Station, Casino, or Similar Location
  • Expensive SUV with others inside who are referenced as his Family
  • He offers to give you a ring or necklace that he is wearing which is very clearly marked as 14k or 18k Gold

If you are the intended victim of the scam, politely decline to help the man. As soon as you are in a safe location, call 911 to report the crime and mention this article if needed.

Help spread the word by sharing this story with your friends and family.