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Two Heads Aren't Better Than One
October 28, 2011

I had a recent telephone call from someone who said he had a 1965 proof set.

I asked if what he had might be a 1965 Special Mint Set because no proof sets were made in 1965. The caller didn’t answer. He simply said it was a cent, nickel, dime, quarter and half dollar.

What the set was apparently was of no never mind to him. He didn’t seem to care one way or another, proof or SMS.

What he did care about was the half dollar. It had two heads.

Now I have had calls like this before.

I jumped right in and said two-headed coins are privately made from two genuine coins. They are called magician’s coins.

The caller didn’t like that answer.

Who can tell me what it is, he asked?

I know he meant he wanted me to tell him who he could show the piece to so he could sell it for a million dollars.

I wouldn’t be very popular with coin dealers if I sent two-headed coin owners to them. I simply repeated that it was a magician’s coin and such pieces were quite common.

The caller wasn’t going to give up, but I eventually tired him out.

I expect the caller will attempt to find a coin dealer to show it to.

To that poor unfortunate dealer, I say, “Sorry, I tried.”

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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