A coin and stamp collector recently purchased a set of commemorative coins from the Royal Australian Mint for his collection, when he noticed something strange about one of the coins.
Trevor, from NSW's Central West, who doesn't like to reveal much more about himself thanks to his vast collection of rare coins and stamps, recently picked up the 50 cent set created to commemorate the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force. The 11-Coin Set is available in a limited mintage of 15,000.
Each time he adds new coins to his collection, Trevor places each one into a carefully organised folder with information on each coin written behind each folder page. As he was doing this, ever the keen eyed collector, Trevor noticed that one of the coins contained elements of a different coin, seemingly a misprint.
Trevor said he spends a lot of time on the phone with people at the Mint - he is a part of the 'legends' loyalty program - and said they told him they don't know how a misprint could have happened.
If you look at the image above, the coins feature iconic aircraft from Australia's history along with a coloured section inspired by the identifying designs of the planes. The third and seemingly misprinted coin contains elements of two of the preceding coins.
"They said they went right through it. Now if they made the wrong die up, they would have found it. So my inclination is that somehow that coin without the color has ended up in the F/A-18 box to be finished off or it could be that someone with a sense of humor at the Mint has taken one out and just put it in to see if someone finds it, I don't know. But still - that's a rare coin," Trevor said.
The Mudgee Guardian reached out to the Royal Australian Mint which said they had been in contact with Trevor about the coin but that without assessing it in person, couldn't definitively say whether it was a genuine misprint.
"We have been in contact with Trevor. As we mentioned to him, without physically inspecting this coin, the Mint cannot confirm if the coin is a genuine error coin," a spokesperson from the Mint said.
"To have an error coin assessed and certified we recommend all coin collectors contact one of the Mint's authorised distributors or a coin grading agency. There are several available that offer this service."
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The Mint also said it's hard to know how many misprints are out there in the wild, so it's worth taking a second look at your collection.
"Due to the rarity of these coins, avid coin collectors are continually on the hunt in effort to add these valuable coins to their collections," the Mint spokesperson said.
"If a coin collector finds an issue with a product purchased from the Royal Australian Mint, they are entitled to request a refund or replacement. Coin collectors can contact the Mint on 1300 652 020 if they wish to arrange a refund or replacement."
Trevor has no intention of selling the misprinted coin, but wonders if there are any other collectors out there who have the coin in their collection and weren't keen-eyed enough to have picked it up.