Coin and Paper Money Collecting/1994 penny error


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QUESTION: Greetings, Ron
I came across a very unusual modern penny: it is a 1994 US cent, no mint mark and it is... larger than the standard size of 3/4" by 1/16th of an inch, just shy of the size of a nickel. It is not stretched, it has normal thickness. The condition is not great, it has been exposed probably for long time to the elements and it has some dings, however, it has great details and I would think that a professional cleaning would make it very attractive.
Any thoughts?

ANSWER: Based on pics and description, do not believe it to be anything other than buried and the elements in the ground affecting your coin.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ron, I appreciate taking the time to take a look at my post and expressing your opinion, which I greatly respect, but in the same time I respectfully tend to disagree with it. I do not expect this coin to be anything of value. However, I do not have any reasons to believe that the coin was buried and if it was, the idea that somehow it got so perfectly enlarged by 1/16th of an inch in the ground, while preserving its integrity and details doesn't seem to be the right explanation. If the elements had such a great effect on the coin to enlarge it, either under or above ground, as a zinc penny it would have suffered other significant alterations, I would imagine, like excessive corrosion and other damages. Then again, nothing indicates that you are not right either.
Thanks again.

You have the right to disagree. It's rather difficult to offer an exact opinion from a photo. One actually has to hold and examine the coin to get a better "feel" of the conditions. It's like wanting a doctor to give a opinion over the phone without seeing the patient. My opinion was offered with my years of experience and what I have observed during the time. The enlargement may have been from striking w/o the retaining collar, which at best would add a buck or two to the value. The copper coating is either missing or was removed. I opt for being buried. You can try to pose the question to the error group on Yahoo, which has many more experts willing to offer an opinion of what you have.
Good luck in your collecting.

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Ronald Fern


I can answer most all questions relating to US coins, tokens, and currency. I'm not strong on world coins or ancients. Primary field of expertise is errors and varieties. Over 55 years experience in coin collecting. Part time dealer since 1976. Employed by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 34 years as an Industrial Engineer/Technical Specialist before retiring in 2002.


Worked weekends for "Lonesome" John in the late 1960's to mid 1970's processing error coins, packaging, and preparing orders. Worked with John Devine and Fred Weinberg on several California Error A Rama's in the early 1970's. Served as display judge at annual Error-A-Rama coin shows. Opened and operated mail order coin business DBA "CAL ERRORS" in 1976. Contributor to Alan Herbert's "Official Price Guide To Mint Errors" and Fivaz/Stanton "Cherrypickers' Guide". Worked Saturdays at Huntington Beach Coin Exchange 1980-1999. Had table and sold coins at a number of coin and gun shows in So CA, AZ and NV. Sell coins, tokens and currency on Facebook. Past "Errorscope" Editor. Presently CONECA Examiner.


Errorscope, Numismatic News, Civil War Token Journal, Error and Variety News

AA Degree LBCC pre Engineering, 1964 BS Degree CSULB Ind Technology, 1968

Awards and Honors
1st Place EAR Trophy for Civil War Token Errors, NLG Author of Year Award for best monthly coin column "Error News and Views" in small Numismatic paper, owned and published by Ray Anthony.

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