by 12-Year Old Numismatist
For Immediate Release August 21, 2000
Suggestion by 12-Year Old Numismatist Leads to Policy Change at PCGS, NGC
A chance meeting at the ANA Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, between Marc Crane of Marc One Numismatics and pre-teenage numismatist Ryan Mastrangelo of West Chester, PA, has led to a policy change by the world's two largest rare coin certification services. At 12-year old Mastrangelo's suggestion, blank planchet errors for the 2000 Sacagawea dollars will no longer be certified as "No Date," but will instead be placed in holders with the year 2000 in parenthesis.
"This will be a significant improvement in the identification and marketing of these first year of issue Mint errors," said Crane, principal owner of the Newport Beach, California, numismatic firm. "The Sacagawea dollars have proved to be incredibly popular, and anything unusual from this first issue is an important collectible."
Young Mastrangelo attended the recent ANA Convention in the company of his parents. They stopped by the bourse table of Marc One Numismatics to view the Washington quarter/Sacagawea dollar double denomination "mule" error that Crane had just purchased from Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc. The famed Mint error is one of three to receive worldwide attention and national television exposure following their recent discovery.
In order to explain how the error was made, Crane also displayed a blank planchet that was originally manufactured for a Sacagawea dollar but escaped the Mint without being struck. Mastrangelo was as fascinated by the NGC certified blank planchet error as he was of the NGC certified MS66 double denomination "mule" error that Crane had just paid more than $30,000 for. The blank planchet was certified as authentic, but in place of a date the certification insert noted as follows: (No Date).
"Isn't this one time when we actually do know the date?" asked Mastrangelo. "After all, it can't be anything other than a 2000 coin."
Crane could only nod in agreement. "I immediately contacted David Camire at Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Richard S. Montgomery, president of Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). They both agreed to change the 'No Date' policy to a 2000 date in parenthesis," Crane said.
"PCGS will designate the Sacagawea blanks as year 2000 items until the 2001 blanks are prepared," Montgomery stated. "This doesn't necessarily mean on January 1, 2001. If we learn that planchet preparation for the 2001 coins begins on December 15 of this year, for instance, then the cutoff date will be December 14, 2000. PCGS is happy to add this service for the many Mint error devotees that we have recently met."
David Camire of NGC was equally enthusiastic about the new policy. "This change will apply to future submissions until 2001 planchets are prepared and to those pieces already certified by NGC. Postage will be the only expense involved in the changeover of previously certified pieces as NGC does not charge to ReHolder" Camire said. "This important first year of type recognition for the Sacagawea blank planchets will make a significant addition to any error collector's portfolio" Camire added.
Young Mastrangelo seems unfazed by all of the hoopla surrounding his suggestion. "My dad collects coins and he got me interested," Ryan said. "I collect statehood quarters and just about everything else." What coins are his favorites? "Mint errors!" he answered enthusiastically.