New Book: 100 Greatest US Error Coins

Posted on 8/24/2010

The newest entry in Whitman Publishing's 100 Greatest series is a landmark book for collectors of error coins.

Whitman Publishing has released 100 Greatest US Error Coins, by Nicholas Brown, David Camire and Fred Weinberg. The book debuted at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Boston, August 11, 2010.

In this richly illustrated coffee table book, three of America’s best-known error coin specialists take the reader on a personal guided tour of the remarkable misstrikes and other oddities produced by the US Mint.

100 Greatest US Error Coins is the seventh entry in Whitman Publishing’s 100 Greatest library. It follows books that showcase coins, paper money, medals and tokens, comic books and stamps.

"Each of the 100 Greatest error coins was voted into place by leading coin dealers, collectors, researchers and historians," said Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker. Inside, the reader will find prized and seldom-seen rarities — the unique and high-valued pieces collectors dream about. The book also explores more readily available and widely popular error coins. All of them have a special "How’d that happen?" quality, and the authors explain how each error occurred.

Forewords by Richard Doty (senior curator of numismatics at the Smithsonian Institution) and Douglas Mudd (curator of the ANA’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum) welcome the reader to this fascinating part of the hobby.

"You can learn a tremendous amount about how things were supposed to go, when they didn’t."

— Richard Doty, senior curator of numismatics, the Smithsonian Institution

The introduction by Q. David Bowers includes a historical narrative on the US Mint, numismatic aspects of error coins and the history of error coin collecting in the United States.

"Errors have grown into one of the hobby’s most active fields in recent years," the authors note.

A two-page spread is devoted to each of coins nos. 1 through 10, with nos. 11 through 100 enjoying a full page. In the banner at the top of each page is the coin's rank, a descriptive title and the quantity known. Essays describe the errors, how they were made, the circumstances of their discovery and other interesting details. These essays are illustrated with enlarged photographs and images of related errors. A summary of each coin’s market value going back to 1980 is included.

The book is rounded out by an in-depth, heavily illustrated appendix on the minting process, how error coins are made and how they get out of the mint. This section’s photographs include never-before-published images from inside the US Mint’s operations. A second appendix covers the famous "golden dollar mules" (with the obverse of a state quarter), including a detailed registry of the 10 specimens discovered so far.

"100 Greatest US Error Coins is not just a value guide or a fancy picture book," said Tucker. "It’s a doorway that takes the reader to a hundred different points in the Mint’s production processes, most of which have been kept secret for years. And it’s a fascinating introduction to the hobby of collecting these important coins."

Broadstrikes and brockages, off-centers and wrong planchets, die caps and double strikes and mules — all of these and more await the reader in 100 Greatest US Error Coins.

The book is coffee table-size, 144 pages, full color, with stories for every coin, and more than 500 illustrations. Retail price is $29.95. 100 Greatest US Error Coins is available online (including at WhitmanBooks.com) and at hobby shops and bookstores nationwide.