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Written by: Rhonda Earley @ http://www.associatedcontent.com - March 05, 2007.
Guide to Collecting the George Washington President Dollar - Beware of the Rip Off Sellers
If it's one thing I don't like, it's people being taken for their hard earned money. With the excitement of a new coin series comes unscrupulous sellers preying on unsuspecting new collectors with false information to make them think that what they are getting is something they aren't. It puts a black mark on the hobby and on collectors.
Let's take a look at the buzz the Washington Dollar has created thus far. The first in a series is always exciting and to be able to get the first coins is a great feeling! The likeness of George Washington is on the obverse with the dates of his Presidency. All Presidential Dollars have The Statue of Liberty on the reverse.
Be aware that some of these coins are being marketed with "errors" when there are no errors. Unsuspecting people and would-be collectors are paying a lot of money for coins marketed as errors and it's a shame. The sad thing is people can't tell if they are collectors taking advantage of a new coin and the market or if they are truly not collectors but people looking to make a quick buck on other peoples lack of knowledge. In either case, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the person who paid $50 for a $1 coin. That same $50 could have bought two rolls at your local bank.
The error being marketed is that the inscription on the side is "upside down". These are not errors and I'd be hard pressed to even call them types. Simply put, the mint did not make sure all the inscription was right side up or even perfectly aligned and have stated on their own website that there would be variations on the inscriptions. Unfortunately, it seems most people don't know that the mint has information on coins or that the mint even has a website. Reputable dealers will tell you that these are not errors and unreputable dealers, aka some eBay sellers, will not. It's a buyer beware situation.
There are legitimate errors on the coins, however. A blank edge with no mint mark, year or inscription is an error. Dropped letters, double stamping, etc., are errors where value has yet to be determined. If you find one of these, hang on to it as it may be worth something. Don't pay a premium for them at this time though.
Taking a look at the actual minting process will help you understand this better. The obverse and reverse are struck first. The coins are then carted to another machine where the edge lettering is then added. The President Dollar coins are inserted at random, be it upside down or right side up and the inscriptions are not even aligned the same. Some may have 2007 and other inscriptions at the bottom, top or side. They are then weighed, counted and poured into bags for distribution.
Despite these rip-off tactics some people are utilizing, the Presidential Dollar Coin is worthy of your consideration for collection if you start it now. This is the time to get them at face value in premium condition but do so through your bank. They come pre-rolled and are in incirculated condition. If you don't yet have one, there are folders available that are similar to the State Quarter folders and you can take coins out of circulation to put into your folders. Each Presidential Dollar will come in P and D mintmarks for general collecting and for circulation and commerce.
Because the President Dollar coins are new, people are unaware of the minting process and therefore, fall into the trap of the appealing wording of error auctions. Don't be one of these victims. Educate yourself and enjoy this new series. They really may be a perfect collectable for you! Whenever in doubt, buy your President Dollar coins directly from the U.S. Mint. They have a subscription service for the Proof Sets for less than $15.
Take the time now before you put in too much time and money to learn more about the minting process of the new Presidental Dollar Coin so that you will not fall into this expensive trap.
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