Monday Morning Brief for Nov. 29, 2021: A clearer picture

November 30, 2021 2 min read

Monday Morning Brief for Nov. 29, 2021: A clearer picture

By William T. Gibbs , Coin World, Published: Nov 29, 2021, 7 AM

With the revelation that the West Point Mint released 7,924 of the 2021-W American Eagle quarter-ounce gold bullion coins struck from an unfinished Proof obverse die, we now have solid evidence of the coin’s rarity.

It is a little ironic that what is arguably the most exciting release by the United States Mint for 2021 is an unintentional one.

In a year that witnessed the production and release of 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars, and limited editions of the American Eagle gold and silver coins in two design types, the most sought-after 2021 coin will be this error and variety — a coin produced in error and released by mistake.

We credit United States Mint officials for not only identifying how many coins were struck but when they were produced. When the coins were struck narrows the window of when they were released and shipped to the Mint’s authorized purchasers, which in turn helps holders of tubes of the coins to focus their search.

Error coins of this kind have an honored place in numismatics and are welcomed into collections. The same kind of error occurred in 1999, when the Mint struck American Eagle tenth-ounce and quarter-ounce gold bullion coins with unfinished Proof dies. Both of those coins carry premiums well above those of the regular bullion coins of their kind.

The 2021 coin appears to be scarcer than either of the two 1999 coins, which have slightly higher mintage estimates. Of course, the premiums for the new coins will depend on how many are found and certified and how quickly they are listed in standard price guides.

I write this column a few days before Thanksgiving. The owners of the new errors who bought them at bullion prices have something new to be thankful for.

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