U.S. Coin Price Guide

Coin Collecting

Buy Coin Supplies

Cheerios Dollars Soften
By Steve Roach

When a new subtype or variety is discovered, there is initial excitement, then over the next several years, the market adjusts as the coin does (or doesn’t) enter "mainstream" collecting.

A year ago, an example of the "Cheerios" 2000-P Sacagawea dollar sold at auction for nearly $35,000! However, the initial excitement that accompanied its discovery has waned, and savvy collectors can now acquire an example for a fraction of its price at its market apex.

As part of the U.S. Mint’s marketing aimed at promoting the new dollar, it produced 5,500 dollars to distribute in General Mills Cheerios cereal boxes in 2000. The coins are notable for being struck using a prototype reverse die with enhanced definition to the eagle’s tail feathers, wing feathers and neck feathers. This design was modified prior to the production of regular-issue dollars, making the "Cheerios dollars" rare and highly collectible.

The subtype was discovered in 2005 and by that time, many of the examples had already been spent.

Perhaps part of the reason it took the collecting community so long to identify the differences is that, for placement in the Cheerios boxes, the coins were put in a holder that prevented the reverse from being examined – to remove the dollar from its holder would destroy its value. As a Cheerios dollar, it sold for up to $200 on eBay prior to its discovery as a distinct subtype.

Since its discovery, it has appeared at auction sporadically, and its price has fluctuated wildly.

So far in 2009, seven have sold at auction. In May, a Mint State 66 example realized $5,175 and an MS-68 piece brought $7,762 at auction. Just several weeks later, an MS-66 example realized $3,565 at auction. A year earlier, in July 2008, an MS-68 coin realized $35,000 and in May 2008 another MS-68 example brought $29,990.

In April the "discovery coin" was sold with a small archive related to its discovery for $9,200.

At the moment these are very scarce. Professional Coin Grading Service has certified only 33 in all grades. But, as more examples of this subtype are discovered, the certified population is bound to rise. This could either increase prices by bringing greater visibility to the variety, or depress prices by increasing supply beyond the demand.


© 1992-2018 DC2NET™, Inc. All Rights Reserved