Although this was an intentionally struck mint error, it is unique and very dramatic. A 1964 Silver Roosevelt Dime was overstruck by 1972 Lincoln Cent dies. 1972 Roosevelt Dimes were clad in composition but by selecting a Silver Dime as the host coin, this 1972 Lincoln Cent is struck in silver.
This type of double denomination is known as an 11-Cent-Piece. Occasionally one is discovered with a year or more span between the dates of the Dime and Cent. In this case, there is an 8 year gap, which is very unusual. It is in choice mint state condition with both full dates clearly visible on the obverse. The most exciting aspect of this unique mint error is the fact that it is a 1972 Lincoln Cent struck over a struck SILVER Dime instead of a clad Dime.
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.