Aug 9, 2014

Gold Nuggets

Webster defines an error as something that is not correct, an unintentional deviation.  In a manufacturing environment, mistakes cost producers time and money to detect, rework, repair or scrap.  Defective products that reach customers can damage the producer's reputation and bottom line.  Serious errors may present health and safety risks to the manufacturer and end user.  These facts drive global businesses to promote variation reduction and error elimination in their operations.  One such business is the US Mint.  Quality improvements in their output have been most evident since the year 2002.  Their impressive reduction in major errors directly impacts the modern US error coin market.  Shortage gives rise to opportunity.

The late lean manufacturing teacher Yuzuru Ito described process failures as gold nuggets or treasures because they tell a story of how and why failures occur.  Mr. Ito wasn't collecting coins, he was helping industry prevent mistakes.  Nevertheless the gold nugget analogy strikes a chord with numismatic error collectors.  From time to time we will show you interesting errors and share the stories behind them.  We also invite you to read the general numismatic information published here.


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