There are few times in the life of a coin dealer that you get the chance to discover a truly unique piece. One of those times happened to me several months ago.
A local woman came into my shop with a miscellaneous collection of U.S. coins. Most of them were circulated common pieces. She was interested in getting a price for them. As I was going through the collection I noticed a strange item. It was a Seated Liberty 50c that was obviously smaller than it should be. and not completely struck. It looked to be larger than a quarter, but smaller than a half dollar. I told her that the piece should be checked out and asked her if I could weigh it, take a photo and see if I could get more information for her. She agreed.
After she left I posted the coin in the Error Group on Coin Talk. The responses were immediate and enthusiastic. It was generally agreed that this was a Seated Liberty half dollar that was struck on a quarter planchet. I called the owner and suggested she bring the coin back and I would submit it to NGC for certification. I sent it in and three weeks later received the good news that it indeed was a genuine error.
The coin is currently in auction. Although it would have been nice to have a piece like that in my collection, just identifying this unique piece makes this coin dealer mighty proud!