Thursday, June 21, 2007

U.S. Mint goofs again, strikes dollar coins without inscription

PHILADELPHIA - It looks like the U.S. Mint has struck again - or actually, not struck again.

New dollar coins featuring John Adams are missing edge inscriptions including "In God We Trust," according to the Professional Coin Grading Service, a rare coin authentication company.

The company said hundreds of Adams dollar coins have been found without the edge lettering, repeating a mistake the U.S. Mint had aimed to fix after it marred an earlier batch of presidential dollars.

The Mint "has heard about these reports and is looking into them," said Jana Prewitt, a spokeswoman for the agency.

The error repeats a mistake, first widely reported in March, that an unknown number of George Washington dollar coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint without their edge inscriptions, including "In God We Trust," "E Pluribus Unum" and the year and mint mark.

After those "godless dollars" were discovered, the Mint pledged to more closely monitor the striking process.

But a Detroit collector received smooth-edged Adams dollars in sealed containers from the Philadelphia Mint. There also are reports of the opposite problem - Adams coins with edge lettering that has been double-struck, said Ron Guth, president of the Newport Beach, Calif.-based coin service.

"It's too early to put a final price tag on the collector value of Adams presidential dollar errors because no one knows how many others will turn up," Guth said in a statement.

The Adams dollars, officially released into circulation May 17, are the second in a series of presidential coins slated to run until 2016.

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