Tallahassee Marks The Spot

What’s in your wallet? Flawed $1 coins turn up in TallahasseeTallahassee Marks The Spot For Flawed U.S. Dollar Coins

By Mark Mathosian

The U.S. Mint recently created 300 million gold-hued $1 coins featuring George Washington on their face and the Statue of Liberty on the back – the first in a series honoring former U.S. presidents. But some apparently missed a step in the striking process – and many of the flawed coins found their way to Tallahassee.

Designed after the “50 State Quarters” program, coins bearing the images of past presidents will be released in the order in which they served. Coins released this year will depict the likeness of Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. These “golden dollars” are about the same size as the Sacagawea dollars and feature large, dramatic artwork.

They are uniquely inscribed on the edge with “E Pluribus Unum,” “In God We Trust,” the year and mint mark.

In February, Federal Reserve Banks around the country started distributing the Washington coins to financial institutions for circulation. Almost immediately, coins without edge lettering surfaced in Tallahassee and Jacksonville. In fact, one of the first official reports of the flawed coins was made by employees of Tallahassee’s own Capital City Bank.

Employees at the downtown branch opened a roll of coins and noticed that although coins were the same size, shape and color, some were missing the mottos, the year and mint mark.

A smooth-edged coin was listed on eBay, and by week’s end, flawed coins were selling for between $25 and $600. The U.S. Mint quickly acknowledged its mistake and announced that an unspecified quantity of coins accidentally had left that organization’s facility in Philadelphia without the edge lettering, apparently having missed a step in the printing process.

Today, the flawed coins are in big demand by collectors and the curious. Prices for wordless dollar coins have settled between $50 and $150, while coins graded by professional numismatic grading companies demand much more.

Since Tallahassee was Ground Zero for the misstamped coins, ask for them as change when shopping. Carefully scrutinize every $1 Washington coin that crosses your palms. Not everyone knows that some coins are missing the information around their edges, which makes your odds of finding one excellent.


On this Web site schools, police departments and other institutions auction off their surplus items. While you might not be in the market to buy a helicopter or a street sweeper, you could bid on a couple of knives confiscated at an airport. Even if you’re not in the mood to buy anything, it still is fun to see what’s for sale – like a lot of two dozen cell phones or even garbage trucks. Leon County now is selling its surplus stuff on the site, although the county will continue to have live auctions.

This site offers up a vamped-up and hip slice of crafts – definitely not your grandma’s crocheted toilet paper holders. The online home of Craft magazine, it features a blog, the magazine, forums, a projects page and even podcasts. Learn how to make Japanese mudballs, refashion T-shirts and pants, or even make a floor mat out of vintage belts. Most crafts come with a how-to video.

Relive your childhood – with an artistic twist – by visiting the online gallery of certified master Lego builder Nathan Sawaya. You name it, Sawaya has built it with the iconic plastic bricks. From a life-size version of Han Solo frozen in carbonite to a 12-foot replica of the Brooklyn Bridge, Sawaya’s creations are breathtakingly realistic and detailed. 

Lego sites you might like:


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