Spotting errors in your coin collections or maybe in everyday pocket change is easier than you imagine. It’s rather profitable and fun too. You just have to follow the different steps carefully a couple of times so that the impulse of checking out every coin you receive will become a habit. These simple instructions are productive and proven methods of locating the different coin errors and varieties of die circulating inside your pockets and other people’s pockets.
There are three important tools though – a magnifier that can be seven times stronger or more, at least three to five dollars worth of usual or old coins and a very keen and watchful eye. Follow the sequence below.
1. Sort the denomination. If investigating for errors, always group your coins in batches. Example, gather your pennies on one side, then your dimes at the other, then your nickels, and so on. Eyes are very keen observers and so seeing one type joined together will let the brain memorize its features and angles so that you can scan faster. When you go to the next set of the same type of coins, your eyes and mind will collaborate and do the same scanning, determining and saving. It will be easier on your part to point out even the slightest difference with this kind of grouping.
2. Examine inscriptions. Look at the obverse lettering of every coin. Do you see anything unusual or odd about it? There are several instances wherein doubled varieties of die show doubling effects in just one part of a word. Polishing, greasy dirt collection or die abrasion can cause the failure of letters to be inscribed perfectly on the surface of a coin. Upon turning the coin on its other side, look at it carefully from every angle. Inspect for special oddities like doubling, missing letters, etc. that can be found in its inscriptions.
3. Look at the mintmark and date. Focusing on these mintmarks and dates should give you a better idea on what to look out for. These marks belong to the most valuable mistakes that you can most likely find in circulation. Several issues can be concluded in this part of the coin because of repunched dates and mintmarks, various kinds of doubling, overpunches and a lot more.
4. Examine the portrait. Portraits are the major aspects that are most likely to acquire some strangeness in its proportion. When examining it, consider every angle as a whole. Can you see doubling that is quite obvious? Observe for important missing elements, cuds and die cracks. Focus your attention on
the portrait’s ears, chin, eyes, and mouth and look for any signs of doubling.
5. Feel the edge. That would be difficult. But then again, what you can do is to roll the coin on the surface of your palm to examine if the edges are the same. By this method, you’ll see the edges clearly and you’ll be able to point out any lines, seams and reeded edges that are missing.
6. Separate odd ones. By doing these simple things, you can become an expert in coin inspection and printing out certain errors in only a matter of seconds. Once you have determined which among them are odd, examine them thoroughly under a magnifier supported by very good lighting.
By being adept to these, you can easily spot errors in your collections in just a matter of minutes.