1973-S Proof Clad Ike Dollar
Double Struck On A 50¢ Planchet
NGC PF 66 CAMEO
This is one of the most spectacular Proof Ike Dollar Mint Errors available today. Not only is it a spectacular double struck, it is also struck on a clad half dollar planchet weighing 11.2 grams.
There are 3 proof Ike Dollars known that were double struck on clad half dollar planchets. Another example known shows a double profile of President Eisenhower's head on the obverse and 2 moons and part of an extra wing on the reverse. This NGC Proof 66 mint error dramatically shows 2 heads on the obverse, while the reverse shows double wings and other details.
Proof coins are struck by technicians who hand feed the blanks into special presses. They are produced, examined and packaged using extreme quality control. It is very unusual to find major proof errors. A few broadstrikes, off-centers, double strikes (in collar) and off-metals have been known to be found in sealed proof sets. Proof errors are aggressively sought after by many error collectors.
This proof mint error is the ultimate modern major mint error on the highest denomination and has survived 46 years in amazing quality and preservation. It has deep mirror surfaces with a blazing cameo portrait.
The 2 images below detail the dramatic doubling on both the obverse and reverse:
I sold the other dramatic Proof Clad Ike Dollar
Double Struck on a 50¢ Planchet in
the low five-figure range. It was
featured in a Coin Week article.
One of the most controversial categories of U.S. coins are mint errors. Many dealers and collectors, as well as coin auction houses, buy, sell, trade and auction many rare, exotic and unique major mint errors. Obviously, some of these defy logic and were intentionally created and taken out of the Mint.
In the early 2000's, a group of several hundred U.S. error coins were found in a safe-deposit box. Fred Weinberg purchased this group which included coins struck for proof sets and also coins struck for circulation. This group was auctioned by the California State Controller's Office of Unclaimed Property. The U.S. Secret Service inspected and released this collection to the State of California determining that it was legal to own. The State of California then auctioned the collection and the rest is history.
Another example of U.S. error coins escaping the Mint occurred in the 1970's. A hoard of proof error coins were smuggled out of the San Francisco Mint inside the oil pans of forklifts that were being serviced outside of the Mint. This topic was discussed in the June 6, 2022 Issue of Coin World, which covered Fred Weinberg's account of this story. The Coin World Managing Editor concluded:
Obviously, the marketplace accepts these coins, and some collectors are happy paying thousands of dollars for coins that show every indication of having been created through illegal means.
In Episode 11 of the PCGS video series Slab Lab, Seth Chandler interviews Fred Weinberg. In part 2 of the interview, Fred explains in detail why mint errors that are decades old are not recovered by the U.S. Mint. Fred's recollection of conversations in his office with the Chief of the U.S. Mint Police are extremely insightful and explain why the Mint doesn't attempt to recover error coins from decades ago.