It was on the spur of the moment early on October 10 that I decided to "rob" two banks on my way to a food supermarket. After walking away empty-handed from the first bank, my luck was a little better at the second, for the teller had one mixed roll of halves plus $14 worth of loose halves.
Nothing was out of the ordinary until I went through the roll when a half dollar caught my eye. Looking at its obverse, I could tell its circumference was slightly off - not perfectly round - around the four o'clock position. Upon a closer inspection, I could also see that some of the lettering were somewhat stretched out and/or incomplete - especially the letters, B and R, in LIBERTY. They were hardly distinguishable from the normally imprinted letters for B and R. The date was barely truncated on the bottom at the rim. The reeding was noticeably missing from the rim around the four o'clock position.
While the normal weight for a clad JFK Kennedy half dollar is 11.34 grams, the clad coin in question weighs only 8.0 grams, and its date reads "1979." A quick consultation with The Red Book confirmed my suspicion. The official weight for a Susan B. Anthony $1 coin is 8.1 grams, and its first year of issue is also 1979.
Bingo! A wrong-planchet error!
My thrill upon finding such an error coin was, however, short-lived.
Four days later, my euphoria suddenly turned into chagrin when I was gathering my other wrong-planchet (of the same metal composition) and off-metal (of different compositions) Kennedy halves for an impromptu presentation at my local coin club. I was shocked to find that one of them was a PCGS-slabbed Kennedy half dollar struck on a SBA planchet.
Oh, my bad, my memory! I had thought my "raw" SBA-planchet Kennedy specimen had helped fill that last "missing hole" in my collection.
In any event, I took it as a small comfort, thinking that coin collectors with not-so-great memories do indeed have more fun as they would keep surprising themselves over and over again.
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