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Old 12-15-2003, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Missouri
Posts: 669
I got a 2-headed nickel back for change. How can I find value?

Actually, my boss got this back for change, and he wants me to find out how much it is worth.

He said it's a 2001 2-headed nickel.

I told him it was possible that somebody bought it out of a catalog of jokes or something. I know you can buy fake coins for as cheap as $2.

Anyway, assuming it isn't a fake coin, where could I find out how much this coin is worth?
Old 12-15-2003, 10:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SLC, USA
Posts: 4,078
The first step would be to take it to a local coin dealer. They can look at it and tell you if it's fake or not, and give you a rough idea of the value.
Old 12-15-2003, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 3,919

It's fake.
Old 12-15-2003, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 3,362
I'd start with the assumption that it's a fake. Guaranteed to win every toss of the coin. They are made by splitting two genuine coins.

It's practically impossible to manufacture these by mistake using modern day methods.
Old 12-15-2003, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Scranton PA
Posts: 6,431
From here...
A coin with two heads, two tails or designs of two different coins
With few exceptions, these pieces are novelty items sometimes called magician's coins. They're created by hollowing out one coin and trimming down another to fit inside. A seam can be found along the inside edge of the rim on one side. Because they're altered coins, they have no value to coin collectors.

However, a small number of legitimate error coins known as "mules" were discovered in 2000. A mule is produced when dies intended for different denominations are paired to strike the two sides of a coin. The recently discovered mules include
- at least one specimen of a1999 Lincoln cent with the reverse of a Roosevelt dime
- at least six specimens of a Sacagawea "golden dollar" with the obverse (portraying George Washington) intended for a state quarter
In addition, a single Indian cent struck by two obverse dies, both dated 1869, was recently authenticated.

If you have a coin like one described in the previous paragraph or cannot find a seam even under magnification, a coin collector or dealer in your area may be able to assist you in determining if it's genuine. Once professionally authenticated, you would be well advised to offer or consign the coin at auction to get the highest price.
Old 12-15-2003, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 3,919
I have a two-headed coin. How much is it worth?

Well, itís probably worth $1.95 plus postage. The coin is a "magicianís coin" Ė a novelty item. One can order these from the pages of novelty catalogs and magicianís magazines. "Youíll never lose a coin toss with this coin," the ads read. Some kid or aspiring magician accidentally spent his or her good luck charm and now you have it.

If you look carefully, one of the sides of the coin has a seam near the edge, just in front of the rim. The host coinís reverse was carved out, another coinís obverse was removed and glued into the host coin.

Besides, two-headed or two-tailed coins are generally impossible, with one or two rare exceptions. Anyone uncertain as to whether his or her coin is genuine or altered should contact an authentication service.

Such altered items have no numismatic value.
Old 12-15-2003, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Lost In Space
Posts: 7,785
Wasn't there an incident at the Mint?

Originally posted by Futile Gesture
...It's practically impossible to manufacture these by mistake using modern day methods.
I recall an incident with the new quarters at one of the Mints. A few years ago, an employee purposely messed up the dyes so new quarters with the new Washington image would be minted with the old eagle backs. Or, something like this. It was caught before the coins could go into circulation. I think the man did it out of revenge for not getting the raise he was expecting, IIRC.

Does any other Doper recall this? It may have been the Philadelphia Mint, IIRC. The year was 2000, I think.
- Jinx
Old 12-15-2003, 11:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: North of Canada. Really.
Posts: 7,710
I don't recall that incident, but the striking of "rare" coins by Mint employees for personal gain is nothing new. The famous 1913 Liberty Head nickels are believed to have been struck for private enterprise, as an example.
Old 12-15-2003, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: KNOXTN
Posts: 4,334
A genuine two headed coin would be the product of two or more USMint employees taking their job in ther hands and conspiring to strike a few using mismatched dies deliberatly. The would quietly be escorted out of the mint, sans job and recourse.

Don't mess in the mint, deliberate mistrikes or trying smuggle them out Gets You In The End!

Pseudo two headed coins are relatively easy to make as mentioned above. Takes some machining shills and a real good glue, something like "Gorilla."

Save your nickels!

"Beware of the Cog"
Old 12-15-2003, 11:54 PM
Graphite is a great
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 25,787
Yep. Anyone skilled in a machine shop can hollow out one nickel, and grind the edge down a bit on the other, then "friction fit" them together. Voilla!

We even get Lincoln cents put into Roosevelt dimes like this. Double denomination coin. A magician's coin.
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