What is a Brockage Error Coin?
A “brockage” is an error that can occur when an already minted coin sticks to the die and impresses onto another blank that has not yet been struck. After a struck coin fails to eject from the dies and escapes detection by a mint employee, a new blank is fed between the struck coin and the hammer die, creating a brockage. One side of the coin has the normal design, and the other side has a mirror image of the same design. While many brockages are not centered, a fully overlapping (complete) brockage is the most desirable and will sell for more than a partial brockage.
These are mint mistakes that can occur and occasionally slip by quality control measures to be accidentally released into circulation, eventually found by the collecting public.
Brockage Error Coin for Sale
Heritage is offering a very exciting example in the February 2020 Long Beach Auction, a 1976 Bicentennial Eisenhower Dollar with a full mirror brockage!
What are the Types of Brockage Coins?
A full brockage covers the entire face of a coin, like this 1976-D 50 Cent Clad Bicentennial Half Dollar — First Strike Full Brockage — MS64 PCGS
A partial brockage covers only part of the face of a coin, like this 2001 Lincoln Penny with Partial Brockage.
Which Brockage Coins are Worth Money?
Full brockage coins are generally more valuable than partial brockages. Also, larger denominations, older pre-1950 coins, or coin types for which fewer brockages exist are typically more expensive than either smaller denominations or series for which several brockages are known to exist.
Some of the most common brockages are 1965 to present “clad” nickels, dimes, and quarters or Lincoln Cents. These categories have a reasonable quantity of brockages known and come up for auction more frequently. Nice versions of these more common full brockages typically sell for between $100 and $1,000 depending on how dramatic the error is and what sort of condition it is in. Partial brockages sell for a bit less and can be under $100 if found on a modern clad coin.
Older brockages or those on rarer types can sell for far more, easily selling for over $1,000 in many cases. Heritage Auctions has sold several brockages in the $1,000 to $10,000 range in the past, including a Two Cent Piece, a Large Cent, and a Kennedy Half Dollar.
Why Collect Brockage Error Coins?
These coins are very fun to collect because they show the dramatic and impressive mistakes that can sometimes escape from the Mint! Rather than achieving the goal of every coin being consistent and virtually the same, error coins are visually striking and show what can happen when the minting process goes awry. What began as a mistake has become very popular and collectible today, with error coin collectors seeking out the boldest and most intriguing examples of errors at auction and in the marketplace.
What is a Double Error Brockage Coin?
Even more interesting is the fact that some coins show a combination of more than one type of error. For example, you can have a brockage that was also struck on the wrong planchet, making the coin a double error! Here is an example of a Washington Quarter brockage that was struck on a planchet intended for a smaller Jefferson Nickel:
How Rare are Brockage Coins?
The rarity of a brockage varies by time period, condition, and denomination. Dollar-sized coins are rarely seen with brockages, as are half dollars. Lincoln Cents can be found with some frequency with at least partial brockages and appear at auction fairly regularly. Clad nickels, dimes, and quarters are seen with brockages fairly often and are more available on the market.
Older coins are rarely seen with brockages, especially those before 1900. These so-called “type coins” often bring significant attention when they appear at auction.
However, a brockage error does not necessarily have to be very old to be valuable. An example of a very rare brockage created after 1950 is this piece, as brockages have rarely been found on Eisenhower Dollars:
What are the Most Expensive Brockage Coins?
Brockages found on Proof coins are especially scarce. Proofs are specially mirrored coins meant for collectors that were not intended for circulation. Heritage has offered a couple of proof brockages in the past, including this 1958 25C Washington Quarter — Full First Strike Brockage of Obverse on Reverse — PR62 PCGS
How to Lookup the Value of Brockage Coins?
In order to evaluate your brockage coin, you should consider the degree of the error (is it a full brockage or only partial?), its condition (is it circulated or uncirculated?), as well as the general scarcity of errors for the coin type and period. You can consult Heritage’s Permanent Auction Archives for the value of brockage error coins.
How to Get a Brockage Coin Graded
Having a brockage graded by a reputable grading service can also help to maximize the value that you may receive when selling your error. Most error collectors prefer to purchase error coins that have been reviewed by a grading service. They will both authenticate your error and place a condition report on the coin.
How to Sell Your Brockage Coin – Request an Appraisal
As the world’s largest rare coin auction house, Heritage is known for achieving strong results on great error coins. If you have found the next exciting error, please contact us to receive a complimentary evaluation of your coin. Perhaps you have discovered something that escaped the Mint’s quality control procedures and will dazzle error coin collectors today!
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