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

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