I thought the damage was insignificant if it were small like that hole.
That hole is not that small.
... it's a hard learned lesson to stay away from problem pieces...
Yes, true, if you come across coins like these no matter how rare the date, they are only good for melt.
I have a 1893 Canada ten cents (flat top 3) in about EF condition but, with a hole that was probably used for a necklace at one time.