PCGS certifies American Gold Eagles of the regular edition 2021 with the mintmark “W”

The Professional Coin Grading Service ( has authenticated and certified 61 regular Type 2 reverse quarter-ounce American Gold Eagle bullion coins that have been falsely minted with a West Point “W” mintmark on the obverse.

Now PCGS certified, this is one of the regular Type 2 reverse quarter-ounce American Gold Eagle bullion coins that were mistakenly minted with a face-proof die and found in the discovery roll of Gerald Medel of Lakeside Coins. (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service.)

The coins discovered by Gerald Medel of Lakeside Coins of San Diego, California were submitted to PCGS on his behalf by Ian Russell, President of GreatCollections Coin Auctions ( of Irvine, California.

PCGS has classified the coins as unfinished proofs and some of the coins are now being auctioned by GreatCollections.

“These discovery coins show how full of surprises our industry can be. While we eagerly await the details of the creation of these coins, the exciting discovery during a live Instagram auction underscores the adaptation of our hobby to social media and underscores the rapid development “growth of the numismatic market over the past two years,” said PCGS- President Stephanie Sabin, “We are proud to see more groundbreaking coins find permanent homes with PCGS holders, and there is still plenty of time for more recent PCGS news in 2021.”

“This is an impressive discovery at a time when the United States Mint is striving for perfection. Errors on gold coins are always rare and attract a lot of interest. We are grateful to Gerald for entrusting us with the first coins he discovered, ”said Russell.

GreatCollections is offering the first 10 defect coins in an auction without reservation. Bidding for five of the coins will end on Sunday, October 31, and bidding for the other five will end a week later on Sunday, November 7, 2021.

“It appears that a W-Mintmark Evidence Cube was used to create some of the unofficial bullion coins sold through the Mint’s Authorized Buyer Program,” said Russell. “Something similar happened in 1999, when American Eagle gold coins valued at US $ 5 and US $ 10 were mistakenly minted with the mintmark W. These examples are very popular today.”

The first 2021-W quarter ounce American Eagle Unfinished Proof coin was discovered by Medel in late September when he was live on his Instagram account for Lakeside Coins ( while opening a roll of 2021 quarter ounce American Eagles in 2021 the new reverse design. When he saw the mintmark, he was silent and put the coin aside.

“All 40 coins in the roll had the West Point mintmark! The next day I started research and over the next three and a half weeks I found another 21 coins, 61 total, while searching thousands of coins,” recalls Medel.

“I’ve known Ian since he launched GreatCollections in 2011 and I contacted him to submit the coins to PCGS. I was so excited about the discovery, my wife and our three children accompanied me from San Diego to Irvine when I delivered the coins. “To Ian,” Medel said.

The first 40 W mintmarks found together in one roll are identified by PCGS as the pedigree of the “Discovery Roll”.

Mintmark 2021-W close-upThis photo, provided by GreatCollections Coin Auctions, shows a close-up of the West Point mintmark on one of the regular American Gold Eagle type 2 reverse quarter ounce bar coins that were mistakenly marked with a die on the obverse.

Steve Feltner, PCGS director of numismatic education and head of the grading team, recalled the surprise he felt when he first saw the coins.

“When Ian Russell and PCGS President Stephanie Sabin showed me a few sets of raw gold coins, Ian handed me a Standard Business Strike 2021 Type 2 Quarter-Ounce American Gold Eagle and then one as evidence. I wondered where that was going since then would.” These two coins are extremely common. I immediately thought that the reason for the visit might be a cool, repetitive “strikethrough” or even a newly discovered “mule”. My head was racing, “said Feltner.

“Then Ian handed me another business strike and smiled knowingly. My eyes automatically caught the W mintmark and knew he was on to something. After a few seconds of processing, we started discussing the discovery; a group of American Gold Eagles struck. ” with unfinished proof stamps! “

For more information, contact GreatCollections at 949-679-4180 or online at

Via the professional coin grading service

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is a third-party company founded in 1986 for the grading of coins and banknotes. In 35 years, PCGS has more than 47 million US and world coins, medals and tokens with a total value of. audited and certified over $ 46 billion. For more information on PCGS products and services, including submitting your coins for authentication and rating, please visit or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.

About GreatCollections

GreatCollections is a certified coin and banknote auction house that handles transactions from start to finish. Since its inception in 2010, GreatCollections has successfully auctioned over 950,000 certified coins, making it one of the leading certified coin companies in the United States. Ian Russell, Owner / President of GreatCollections, is a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild and a member of the National Auctioneers Association. For more information, visit or call (800) 442-6467.

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