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“Before Wite-Out”
February 28, 2011

J. Agre

We were looking for an interesting hook to highlight the popular and dramatic overdate on this unadulterated gem 42/1-D Mercury Dime, when it occurred to me that there was a potentially good "Hey, someone hand me an eraser" type gag just waiting to be unleashed.

Ultimately, though, it seemed like we could go the eraser one better, suggesting that, had it been invented at that time, someone could have simply 'whited-out' the erroneous '1' and started over, rather than scribbling over it with a '2' like a young child.

Captions that didn't make the cut:
We knew we were going with this basic concept, but not before clearing a few technical hurdles:

1.  Discovering that it is actually spelled Wite-Out, a registered trademark of Bic.

2.  Confirming that it was invented years later (in 1956, actually).

After that, it simply became a matter of word choices, starting with "Minted prior to the invention of Wite-Out". 

I did not like the sound of the word 'invention', though, so we went with the final version to your left.

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