By George, mint goof gives U.S. God-less coins
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published March 8, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - An unknown number of new George Washington dollar coins were mistakenly struck without their edge inscriptions, including "In God We Trust," and are fetching more than $200 each online.
The properly struck dollar coins, bearing the likeness of the nation's first president, are inscribed along the edge with "In God We Trust," "E Pluribus Unum" and the year and mint mark. The flawed coins made it past inspectors and went into circulation Feb. 15.
The U.S. Mint struck 300-million of the coins, which are golden in color and slightly larger and thicker than a quarter.
About half were made in Philadelphia and the rest in Denver. So far the mint has received reports of error coins coming only from Philadelphia, mint spokeswoman Becky Bailey said.
Bailey said it was unknown how many coins lacked the inscriptions. Ron Guth, president of Professional Coin Grading Service, one of the world's largest coin authentication companies, said he believes that at least 50,000 error coins were put in circulation.
"The first one sold for $600 before everyone knew how common they actually were," he said.
Guth said it appeared from the roughly 50 smooth-edge dollars he has authenticated that the problem had to do with quality control rather than a mechanical error.