Caveat - Read through the article, this is out before the print edition by a week, so start the searching!http://www.coinworld.com/articles/m...ed-mint-mark
(Full text below)
I will donate $1,000 to a numismatic nonprofit in the name of whoever first sends me a 1975-D Jefferson 5-cent coin. It has to be a certain variety and in Mint State, however. Read on!
In the Dec. 24, 2012, issue of Coin World
, I noticed the Readers Ask column, "Case of the moving Mint mark," pointing out that the 1975-D Jefferson 5-cent coin, total mintage 410,875,300, was normally found with the D Mint mark downward from the right side of the 5 of the date, but one die had the D high and between the 5 and the Jefferson portrait. This is, indeed, a common coin â€" the entire mintage for all 1975-D 5-cent coins is more than the total of all men, women and children in the United States!
While Mint marks vary considerably on many United States coins
, including those of the 20th century, the position of the D near the portrait was extreme, at least in my view.
This piqued my curiosity, and I contacted Mike Diamond, who provided the images for the column. It turned out he had an example for sale, which I purchased for $25. It arrived in due course, is illustrated here, and is in what I would call Extremely Fine to About Uncirculated grade.
Then began a further search, including mention in one of my columns. Did someone have a roll of them? Just one other turned up. Randolph Grimes sent me an image of a worn example he owned.
As I write these words, the misplaced Mint mark 1975-D Jefferson 5-cent coin seems to be very rare, probably 400 times more so than a regular 1975-D 5-cent coin as suggested above. On the other hand, probably only a tiny fraction of people owning 1975-D 5-cent coins know of the variety. I expect other examples are waiting to be identified.
If this were to be listed in A Guide Book of United States coins
, it would become well known and, in time, its relative rarity could be confirmed. Certainly, more are around. It seems that it will remain relatively scarce.
I dreamed up this idea: I will donate $1,000 to one of three causes â€" the American Numismatic Association Young Numismatist program, American Numismatic Society library fund or the Smithsonian's Dick Doty initiative â€" in the name of the first Coin World
reader (only the first finder, who also gets to select the nonprofit to receive the money) who can supply me with a nice Mint State example of the misplaced D coin.
Q. David Bowers is chairman emeritus of Stack's Bowers Galleries and numismatic director of Whitman Publishing
LLC. He can be reached at his private email, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or at Q. David Bowers LLC, Box 1804, Wolfeboro, NH 03894.