Update: The Press Frenzy about the “Godless” George Washington Dollar Coins

I didn’t originally think that today would be a big sales day for me on eBay, but it was.

About a week ago, I wrote a post here about the discovery of mint errors on some of the new George Washington Presidential $1 dollar coins.

George Washington Dollar Coins: First Significant Mint Error Found (Missing Edge Lettering)

Mint Error

A dollar coin with missing lettering above one with proper lettering

Well, it took a while, but the mainstream press caught on to the controversial angle on this error today, and in a big way. Ironically, it’s the angle that Ray commented on in his comments on my post – no edge lettering means no “In God We Trust” on the coins with the errors.

This article from Australia has coverage of the dollar coin that sold for $405 on eBay. For more detailed coverage, check out this piece in the New York Times:

New York Times: US Mint Good Creates Godless Dollars

An unknown number of new George Washington dollar coins were mistakenly struck without their edge inscriptions, including ”In God We Trust,” and are fetching around $50 apiece online…

So far the mint has only received reports of error coins coming from Philadelphia, mint spokeswoman Becky Bailey said.

Bailey said it was unknown how many coins lacked the inscriptions. Ron Guth, president of Professional Coin Grading Service, one of the world’s largest coin authentication companies, said he believes that at least 50,000 error coins were put in circulation.

”The first one sold for $600 before everyone knew how common they actually were,” he said. ”They’re going for around $40 to $60 on eBay now, and they’ll probably settle in the $50 range…”

The coin’s design has already spurred e-mail conspiracy theories claiming that the religious motto was purposely omitted. That rumor may have started because the edge lettering cannot be seen in head-on photographs of the coin.

To show you how seriously the US Mint is taking this “conspiracy theory,” check out this hastily written post on the US Mint website.

So, how did this impact me? Well, as I posted on this blog last week, I had acquired some of the original bank rolls of the George Washington dollar coins and listed them on eBay. (Click here if you are interested in buying some – I still have a few left)

In order to drive traffic to my Store listing, like any good eBay seller, I put up a $0.99 auction to get some bidding going and to pull people into my coins. Using the eBay Marketplace Research tool, it was easy to see that about 100 rolls were selling daily, mostly out of the core auction listings.

My auction was set to close at 5pm today, so I checked it around 3pm. Imagine my surprise when I saw that my little listing already had over 800 page views. That’s an incredibly high number – I usually consider one of my auctions successful when it gets on the order of 50-75 page views.

Not knowing what was happening, I flipped to My eBay, and I saw that an astounding 15 rolls had sold out of my eBay Store, just in the past few hours.

Well, now I know. It’s interesting – the eBay bidding activity showed up well before my normal news sources gave me a clue to the cause. It just goes to show you how liquid and real-time the eBay marketplace is.

People must be bidding up these early rolls, hoping that there are mint error coins in them. I wish them luck. The bidding on the auction ended at $56 for a single 25-coin roll. Quite a premium. Mint errors are normally a big deal, because they are rare. The catch here is, if this error is common enough, the error won’t end up being worth much. It’s a gamble, and only time will tell.

I wonder now if this mini-press boom will get more interest around collecting these coins. I had expected the normal press coverage for the first coin, and then a rapid drop off in attention. However, it seems like now everyone will be rushing to get the John Adams coin, in the hope that there will be errors there too (don’t count on it).

Update (3/17/2007): If you are looking to buy original, unsearched bank rolls of the new George Washington dollar coins, I have procured a box of 40 rolls, in a box certified as wrapped on December 7, 2006. They are availablehere on eBay Express.  Sold out!  Will get more soon!
Update (5/24/2007): For a limited time only, I am now carrying unopened, original John Adams Presidential Dollar coin rolls in my eBay Store. Click here to buy them on eBay Express. I also have a few more original bank rolls of the George Washington dollar coins.  Click here to buy them on eBay Express.

If you are interested in the other rolls I am carrying, click here for all the coins I am currently selling on eBay Express.

24 thoughts on “Update: The Press Frenzy about the “Godless” George Washington Dollar Coins

  1. Pingback: Psychohistory George Washington Dollar Coins: First Significant Mint Error Found (Missing Edge Lettering) «

  2. I’ve been monitoring the sales of the “godless dollars” on eBay. The record thus far is $735 for one coin (sold today, Thurs. 8 Mar. 2007). The first coin on eBay sold for $612.50. They are now selling for $225+; coins in higher grades of condition are selling for much more. Ron Guth of PCGS estimates that there are probably 50,000 such error dollars; many, however, are being rapidly degraded due to improper handling. This error coin is certainly “one for the history books.” Everyone wants one, but they are rapidly disappearing — especially in higher grades. Soon we will be seeing tarnished, beat-up “godless dollars” at premium prices. This error coin is definitely a good investment if it’s a high grade (e.g., MS-65+).

  3. Great information, Thomas. Thanks so much for commenting.

    I personally haven’t been doing the treasure hunt myself. I’ve been selling unopened rolls, like lottery tickets. It would be exciting if one of my buyers actually found one of the errors, but even with 50,000 it’s long odds of finding one.


    • i have one coin the dollar coin with the edges that were not inprinted “in god we trust on it” I worked at at bank and god these right from the mint trucks that delived thrm to us at the bank. mine is in PERFECT condition never been touches and i have had it in my safe box. i had several of them and people coming in the bank. are you interested in purchasing this? very very the best condition. please email me at keridrexel11@hotmail.com. thanks

  4. Are you sure about the rarity of these dollars? I went to the bank after being informed by my son, about the godless dollar frenzy and bought a half a box . I haven’t peaked into all the rolls yet , but at last count we found 11 blank rims and a large quantity of upside down print (if that’s worth anything).

  5. Hi Wil,

    There is no such thing as “upside down print”, since the minting process for the dollars randomly prints the lettering either face up or face down, or rotated.

    11 Blank Rims is a lot – are these “P” dollars? If so, selling these rolls or blanks themselves is well worth it – the price for blank rims is about $40-$50 per coin.

    It is possible that this error is so common that the price will eventually be lower. However, right now, almost all blank rims found seem to be sourced to a single 140,000 coin bag from the mint that may have missed edge printing.

    Want to sell me a roll? 🙂


    • Not only a 140,000 coin bag but one that was rolled out into rolls around florida not sure if it was string and sons but that’s the distribution area for these dollars

  6. Wouldn’t a “smooth rim” be an easy thing to counterfeit? How can somebody tell if a coin was minted with blank rims, or whether the rims were shaved off?

    • Very easily that’s why buying raw would be risky NGC ANACS and PCGS can tell the way a rim should be minted versus any buffer wheel marks that would grind the rim away.

  7. hi, i bought 10 rolls from a local bank and most were struck off center.some both sides. is this an error? thank you

  8. i have been loking for some rimless myself but have noy found any yet and we have gone threw a lot of rolls. am i waisteing my time up here in buffalo?what are the chances i will find one her? i just want one to put away for my unborn son.

  9. I have a George Washington $1 coin that has no rim writing and nothing on the front or the back. Is that worth anything? or is it just the ones that have no writing on the rim?

    • You have a blank planchet. It’s what coins start as. Worth maybe $10-15 certified by NGC PCGS or ANACS

  10. HSN is now selling them for $399.95 a coin with a Certificate of Authenticity in a “sonically sealed acrylic ICG holder”.

  11. Yup those were my coins that sold on HSN.. i have plenty more to sell if anyone wants them.. both certified and uncertified.. also if anyone has a bright ideas on how i can market about 2000 of these coins, i would like to hear it. i dont want to use ebay though.. as id like to sell them retail for around 300 apeice for midgrade coins.. (not icg coins either) it will be pcgs.. i wanst very happy with the grading i got back from ngc.. hit me up @ johnson.rudolph@gmail.com if you have some helpful input..

  12. does anyone think these coins will be worth keep for the future or would it me better to sell them off now??? i live in Tampa Florida and i have been buying rolls at my bank and currently have 175 of the error coins left. i would appreciate any advice.

  13. what is the deal with the upside down in god we trust dollars in the john adams series of dollars are they worth anything?

  14. There is really no such thing as “upside down” – the US Mint process does not guarantee which way the letters face. PCGS has recently recognized the two directions as different, but this seems like a difference that is unlikely to generate any value, since there will be millions of coins in both directions.


  15. Pingback: No More Godless Presidential Dollar Coins, 6 New “State” Quarters for 2009 « Psychohistory

  16. Adam, First I know nothing about coin collection. I bought the Presidential Dollar rolls of George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson from Fifth Third Bank in Florida and are from the Pa. mint. These have not been opened so I have no idea if there are blank rims in these. One of the rolls that says George Washington has the Statue of Liberty at both ends so I am to assume they are George Washington, have you come across this? Without opening it up I wouldn’t know. I bought them the first day they went on sale. Wondered if they had the Statue of Liberty on both sides of the coin.

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