One need not be a serious coin collector to appreciate “World’s Greatest Mint Errors,” though the book is clearly intended to appeal to the professional numismatic community. Written by Mike Byers—publisher and editor of Mint Error News Magazine and minterrornews.com—this extensive guide groups major mint errors into 30 different categories (including Off-Center Strikes, Double Strikes and Proof Errors, to name just a few).
Each chapter begins with a definition of the aberration in question, followed by enlarged color photographs of each error coin presented, along with a concise explanation of how and why the mistake happened. Most chapters conclude with a price guide, and the appendix includes a section illustrating how error coins are filtered out of the minting process.
While a handful of the faults pictured might be recognized only by an informed observer, most are visually dramatic—and more radical than one might expect. For example, chapter one features a Swedish 1964 2 ore that is bonded to a wrench. Also remarkable is a 1999 Lincoln Cent that has been folded over three times and expanded to the size of a Half Dollar, as well as the entire chapter devoted to “fragments and scraps.”
Notably, Byers asserts that the future of mint errors isn’t what it used to be, in part because the U.S. government has taken drastic measures to eliminate mistakes and ensure that error coins don’t enter circulation. So this “Best of” collection is likely to endure as a valuable reference for a very long time. It will set you back some serious coin to purchase it, however, as it lists for $37.95.