1976-S Proof Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar
Second Strike Off-Center
NGC PF 64⭑ UNIQUE
This proof Bicentennial Dollar major mint error is unique in many ways and has no equals. It is the only known proof Bicentennial Ike Dollar major mint error of any kind.
It is the only known double struck. There are no off-centers known, no off-metals known, no mated pairs known, and no double denominations known.
Even though non-Bicentennial proof Ike Dollar major mint errors are rare, there are examples known with several types of major striking errors.
A 3-Leaf Clover set of Ike Dollars struck on dimes sold in a Heritage auction for $105K, two mated pairs have sold for $40K and $75K, off-metals have sold for as high as $25K each, off-centers and double strikes at $25K as well, a unique Bronze Ike Dollar sold for $75K, and a unique Ike Dollar on a struck Bronze Medal sold for $40K in a Heritage auction.
This double struck proof Bicentennial Ike Dollar is pedigreed to John Devine "Lonesome John," a famous pioneer in the field of mint errors and was just certified by NGC. It was previously unknown to the numismatic community and is just now being offered for sale.
It is in very choice proof condition and has deep mirrored fields with a cameo portrait and liberty bell. It has high eye appeal since the major devices on the second strike are fully struck. The Ike portrait, Liberty Bell and the Moon are fully present as well as the complete IN GOD WE TRUST and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Being the only known Proof Bicentennial Ike Dollar major mint error of any kind propels it into the rank of unique, amazing and spectacular numismatic rarities.
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.
Featured on the cover of Mint Error News Magazine Issue 67: