It may come as a surprise to individuals outside the coin-collecting world that extremely rare and valuable US coins are still being minted today. These coins come in the form of mis-strikes or error coins caused by human or mechanical failure in the minting process. Billions of U.S. coins are produced annually. That breaks down to more than 40 million coins produced per day, so errors are bound happen no matter what measures are taken (www.coinsite.com).
In November 2007, a reward of $10,000 was offered by the Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) to view and certify a Sacagawea Dollar error coin found in circulation by Andrew Moores of Lakewood, Colorado. His 2007 Sacagawea Sac Dollar bears “In God We Trust” around the edge of the coin. This feature found on Presidential Dollars is not supposed to be on a Sac Dollar. Andrew‚s coin is the first example of this error to be identified and verified.
WorthPoint asked Glen Burger, a specialist on error coins, to explain how the Sac Dollar error may have occurred. He speculated:
“Hypothetically, It looks like there are three processes this coin went through.
First, the planchet or blank was created. Planchets are blank slugs stamped from metal that coins are struck from. The blanks for the Sacagawea and the Presidential Dollars look the same. They are exactly the same material and the same size and that‚s where the problem began.
Second, this coin was struck as a Sacagawea Dollar. bsp;Then it could have been jammed in a tote bin, which was used first for Sacagawea Dollars and then later for Presidential Dollars.
Third, the final process happened when Presidential Dollars (which were already struck) were stored in the same tote bin where the Sacagawea coin was jammed. The Presidential Dollars went through another process where the words “In God We Trust” and the date were added to the edge of the coin.”
Coin experts had actually anticipated this Sac Dollar anomaly. Since the Sacagawea and Presidential Dollars come from the same planchet, it created the possibility for this error.
When asked about the rarity of this coin Glen Burger replied, “Well the Sacagawea Dollar hasn’t been very popular. It is possible that this is the only one or there could be sacks of these some place yet to be put into circulation.”
It‚s interesting to note that the U.S. Mint is not striking the Sacagawea Dollar for general circulation in 2007. These coins may be purchased at the mint in bags or rolls, but they cost considerably more than face value, making this coin very peculiar to find in circulation.