SANTIAGO, Chile — An engraver fired by Chile's mint for an error that led to the release of 1.5 million coins featuring the country of "CHIIE" said Friday that his bosses deliberately covered up the mistake.
The error showed up on Chilean 50-peso pieces for the year 2009.
Engraver Pedro Urzua Lizana told The Associated Press he unknowingly left off the bottom part of the letter "l" when, in December 2008, he was hurriedly fixing a minor deformity in the original mold for making the dies to stamp out the coin.
The coins were released to the public last year but no one at the mint, including himself, knew about the error until a coin collector called in October to point it out, he said.
Once informed, officials at the mint fixed the stamp for future 50-peso pieces, but sent another batch of bad coins to the Central Bank without telling officials there of the error, Urzua said. Those coins never were released to the public, he said.
Various officials at the mint, including the head of Urzua's department, asked "that we not say anything to anyone" about the error, he said.The Central Bank, which issues the coins continues here
There are 1.5 million of these badly drawn boys hanging round Chiie...sorry, Chile now. Not exactly a limited edition, but they'll have a value above 50 Chilean Pesos (about nine and a half US cents right now), that's for sure.