First a ‘Godless dollar,’ and now a faceless one |

First a ‘Godless dollar,’ and now a faceless one

Associated Press Writer
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

DENVER (AP) ” Mary and Ray Smith can’t make heads or tails of a new presidential dollar coin they found last week. It doesn’t have either.

A week after the revelation that some of the coins slipped out of the U.S. mint without “In God We Trust” stamped on the edge, the Smiths said Tuesday they found one with nothing stamped on either flat side.

It does have “In God We Trust” on the edge. What’s missing is the image of George Washington on the front and the Statue of Liberty on the back. Instead, the Smith’s coin is just smooth, shiny, golden metal.

“We’re just so excited,” Mary Smith told The Associated Press. “I’m just dumbfounded that we actually found something significant.”

U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said officials had not confirmed the Smiths’ find. But Ron Guth, a professional coin authenticator in Newport Beach, Calif., said he is certain the coin is authentic.

“It’s really pretty rare,” Guth said. “It somehow slipped through several steps and inspections.”

It could be worth thousands of dollars, maybe more, he said. The value will depend on how many similar misprints are found, but the Smiths’ will always be worth more because it will be the first one to be independently authenitcated, Guth said.

The first “Godless” coins, which went into circulation Feb. 15, initially sold for $600 but were attracting bids of up to $152 on eBay Tuesday. It’s not certain how many were made.

Douglas Mudd, curator at the American Numismatic Association’s museum in Colorado Springs, said Guth is one of the best known-coin authenticators in the country.

The Smiths’ coin bears a “D,” meaning it was produced by the Denver Mint. The “Godless” coins were all believed to have come from the Philadelphia Mint.

The Smiths, who live in Fort Collins about 50 miles north of Denver, are coin collectors who bought two rolls of the presidential dollars on March 7 after hearing about the earlier mistake.

Mary Smith said she thought they might find a “Godless” dollar of their own.

“I opened the first roll, and I looked at all the edges, and they all had printing, so I just set them down and left the stack there,” she said.

On Thursday, she pocketed the top two dollars to use during the day, and her husband noticed the next one in the stack looked odd.

He checked, and it was blank on both sides.

“I could tell right away something was strange,” Ray Smith said. “I knew what we had immediately.”

Guth still has the coin, but the Smiths say that when they get it back, they’ll store it in a vault at their bank for now.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do with it,” Ray Smith said. “I think we’ll hold on to it for a while.”

The U.S. Mint struck 300 million of the coins, about half in Philadelphia and half in Denver.

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