Filled Die Error Coins Value Guide – What’s Missing?

Have you ever found a coin in change that is missing part of the design or any of the lettering? Did you wonder what sort of error or variety this might be?

Find the value of your error coin online.

Something is Missing on My Coin: Filled Die Errors

Filled die or grease filled die errors are actually very common and occur more frequently than you might expect. These errors occur when part of a coin’s design is obscured by grease or other foreign matter on the die’s surface. The rest of the coin strikes up, but a selected section does not.

This could be just one numeral (such as the “1” in the date 1985) or just one letter (such as the “Y” in LIBERTY on a Lincoln Cent.) Other times, more of the coin’s surface is affected, covering a greater portion of the design or legends.

Error Coin Value Depends on Rarity

While fascinating to look at, grease fill or filled die errors are unfortunately common enough that they typically hold little value unless they are very severe. Dirt, debris, or grease can fill the recesses of a die, which in turn does not allow the design to strike up properly. Given this interruption, the metal from the planchet (coin blank) is not able to flow normally and does not become fully impressed. This issue usually only lasts for a couple of coins before the foreign matter becomes dispersed or dislodged, returning the die to normal function.

What are Error Coins Worth?

Very extreme examples can carry a premium, however. When much of the die is obscured, these coins can be appealing to error and variety collectors. Here are two examples that have sold at a premium at auction:

Example #1: 1881-S $1 Morgan Dollar — Filled Die Obverse — AU58 PCGS

1881-S $1 Morgan Dollar -- Filled Die Obverse -- AU58 PCGS

1881-S $1 Morgan Dollar -- Filled Die Obverse -- AU58 PCGS Obverse

 

Example #2: 1925 $20 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle–Minor Filled Die Obverse–MS60 PCGS

Possible Filled Dies 1925 Double Eagle obverse

Possible Filled Dies 1925 Double Eagle obverse

On the other hand, here is an example of a filled die error that is not dramatic enough to be particularly valuable. The “1” in the date is partially obscured: 1863 1C — Minor Filled Die At “1” in Date — MS62 PCGS

1863 1C -- Minor Filled Die At "1" in Date -- MS62 PCGS

1863 1C -- Minor Filled Die At "1" in Date -- MS62 PCGS

How to Sell Your Error Coin

If you find a minor filled die error such as the Indian Cent shown above, it is likely just a fun curiosity. However, let us know if you discover a very dramatic piece! You never know what you might find if you carefully check your coins. Find the value of your error coin online.

Bid on error coins online at Heritage Auctions.

 

Posted by Sarah Miller

Director of Numismatics, New York

  1. I have a 2014 penny that I think is a major fill on both side all the way around the rim how much does it cost to have graded

    Reply

    1. Hi Billy,

      Thank you for your message. If you are interested in consignment or learning more about your items and would like to receive a free auction evaluation, please:
      – Submit a free auction evaluation: https://www.ha.com/common/acquisitions.php?target=auctionevaluation&type=social-cs-Facebookfreeeval-092517

      Or email us directly at bid@ha.com .

      Thank you,
      Heritage Auctions

      Reply

  2. Filled die or grease filled die errors are actually very common and occur more frequently than you might expect. These errors occur when part of a coin’s design is obscured by grease or other foreign matter on the die’s surface. The rest of the coin strikes up, but a selected section does not. Thanks for all these information.

    Reply

    1. Thank you for your comment!

      Reply

  3. I was looking through my collection of 1959 pennies and came across something odd. The “R” in “liberty” looks to have a glove of copper filling the hole. I looked for damage, but could find none (Though there are a a few nicks on reverse and Obverse), but over all its not a bad looking circulated coin. Ive asked other coin collectors about it, but have yet to come up with a definitive answer. I read your article and wondered if this is what i have on my hands. I dont suspect it being of any great value, but just looking for an answer as to what i have in my collection. Thanks for the article!

    Reply

    1. CSSocialMedia May 13, 2020 at 10:25 am

      Ray,

      To see how much your item is worth, visit https://www.ha.com/common/acquisitions.php?target=auctionevaluation&type=social-cs-hablogfreeeval-
      092517 . You can also call us at 1-800-872-6467.

      Reply

  4. Hi, I just bought a 1865 Indian head cent which is in amazing condition but the whole date is barely visible it looks and is truly amazing, I am in the UK and just love American coins.
    Could anyone let me know what a coin like this would go for and given it has not been graded. Thank you for your time and take care, hope to hear back.

    Yours sincerely
    Daniel

    Reply

    1. CSSocialMedia June 11, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      We offer FREE auction evaluations at https://www.ha.com/common/acquisitions.php?target=auctionevaluation&type=social-cs-hablog-freeeval-
      092517 . You can also call us at 1-800-872-6467.

      Reply

  5. I have 1991 Washington quarter where all the facial features are missing and hair features are missing it is smooth do you know if this is worth anything

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *