Article by:

Al Levy

Off Center Mint Error Sales

Off Center Market: Lincoln Wheatback Cent

Collectors are aware that most of these dates are nearly impossible to find. They are willing to substitute off centers with broadstrikes or partial collars. It is not unusual to find these error types mixed within a collection. The collector will purchase these dated error types that fill the void in their collection. Some dates take decades before one shows up for sale.

Scan through the back issues of Mint Error News Magazine to look up prices realized for the early Lincoln off-centers. The closer to the 50% off center with a full date and mintmark, the more money is paid. The color of the coin is a major price factor. Almost each quarter 1956-D and 1957-D are sold on eBay. None sold! A few were offered in low grades but failed to sell due to prices asked. The major auction houses have been selling these in high grades for way more than they sold on eBay in the past.

Since the grading services started listing problem coins as “Genuine”, there has been an influx of these being offered on eBay. This site is becoming a dumping ground for inferior coins. Lots of scratched, cleaned and questionable items are showing up regularly. When the sellers states “you grade”, might be a good time to stay away from the item.

A 1c 1975 PCGS MS68 sold for $317.78 50% off center. Color was not listed on the holder but looked like it was Red. For $545.00 a 5c 200(4) with no mintmark area sold. Then a 25c CA 200(5) with no mintmark in Unc sold for $756.00. How many have you seen?

Reader of my charts must understand that some of the listings on eBay may have been overlooked. This is a guide only. What if the previous reported sale price sold because the seller listed it as a “Buy it now”? Or, the lot was misdescribed? There are numerous factors to consider when reading charts. One major thing to consider is my charts show coins sold exclusively on eBay.

The date collector knows the true market for error types. They do not follow coins sold on eBay exclusively. They frequent shows. Subscribe to most auction catalogs. Solicit error dealers with their want lists. Many times these collectors accept coins in which the percentage of off center is minor since this is all that is available.

Here are records of recent sales of off-center mint errors on eBay from July 1, 2010 to September 30, 2010.

1. All lots had buyers. If the coins actually changed hands is unknown.
2. A picture accompanied each lot or it was not recognized.
3. Mislabeled items were ignored.
4. Some lots may have changed hands more than once.
5. “D” next to the date symbolizes that the coin had damage or was scratched.
6. “C” next to the date symbolizes that the coin was cleaned.
7. “B” next to the date symbolizes that the coin had damage and was cleaned.
8. If the date or mint mark was missing, parentheses were used.
9. Postage/handling/insurance fees were ignored.
10. Major auctions were not listed.

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