Proof 1976-S Jefferson Nickel Obverse Cud (Die Break) Just Discovered
A few extremely rare Proof 1976-S (Bicentennial Year) Jefferson Nickel Cuds were just discovered. These were in a collection for over 40 years. They were just authenticated and certified by NGC.
The only OTHER date known for Proof Jefferson Nickel Cuds is 1969-S, with an estimated mintage of 15 known. This date trades from $1,250 to $2,000 in gem proof condition.
The 1976-S (Bicentennial Year) Proof Jefferson Nickel obverse cud was just discovered and is much rarer with no archived public sales. We were fortunate to obtain these after they were certified by NGC.
Cuds on proof coins are extremely rare. In 1975, I handled one of two known Proof Lincoln Cent cuds. It was featured in my Catalog of Rare Mint Errors.
Exotic and Intentional U.S. Error Coins In The Marketplace
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.
Proof Errors are featured in the NLG award
winning book, World's Greatest Mint Errors.