A Serendipitous Mint Set Find: (2007) SMS James Madison Missing Edge Lettering Dollars

Posted on 12/15/2008

NGC receives 16 James Madison dollars missing edge lettering.

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NGC recently received a submission of 16 James Madison dollars missing edge lettering. While Presidential $1 coins without edge lettering continue to be found, these coins were especially noteworthy. They were not regular currency issue strikes but instead were found in Mint Sets and therefore have the satin finish unique to Mint Set coins. Accordingly, they were certified by NGC with the SMS designation for "Special Mint Set."

All 16 coins were submitted by Allan Levy of Al’s Coins, a dealer and specialist in mint error coins. He acquired them from another dealer who works with a number of shops on the East Coast, and looks through Mint Sets to find special or unusual coins. According to Levy, this gentlemen had previously located John Adams coins with weak and partial edge lettering, but he "hit the mother-load" when he discovered sixteen 2007 Mint Sets with plain edge James Madison dollars.

Edge lettering is applied to struck coins during a secondary process whereby they are passed through an edge lettering machine. If this step is missed, the coins will have blank edges, without date, mintmark and mottos. Since these Madison dollars had already been removed from the Mint Sets when Levy purchased them, it is unknown whether these coins originated at the Philadelphia or Denver Mint.

"These are the first plain edge Madison dollars from Mint Sets that we’ve certified, and Madison errors on the whole have been notably scarcer than the other Presidential dollars issued in 2007. With such exciting finds to be made, people should remember to double check their sets," comments David Camire, NGC Special Mint Error Consultant.

Al’s Coins can be contacted on the Web at http://www.alscoins.com/.