A common act of coin vandalism is the “sandwich job.” The
perpetrator takes a coin or planchet and places it between two other
coins or between a second coin and a firm supporting surface, and
applies pressure. The result is a false image that is incuse and
mirror image. The illustrated 1973 Lincoln cent is a typical example.
Reverse design elements from the upper half of an overlying cent were
impressed into the obverse. The reverse (not shown) has an impression
from Lincoln’s bust.
There are times, however, when a coin or planchet gets trapped
between two other discs of coin metal in the striking chamber on a
Mint press. When the stacked threesome is struck, the coin that
emerges from the middle of the stack is sometimes referred to as a
“sandwich strike.” These bear only a faint resemblance to a fraudulent
The first of two undated Lincoln cents illustrated this week shows
what happens when three planchets are piled on top of each other. The
planchet represented by the first illustrated cent was struck
off-center, between two other planchets. It was positioned on top of a
second planchet that was centered within the striking chamber. This
produced an ordinary uniface strike on the reverse face of the
illustrated coin. The obverse face of the illustrated coin was partly
covered by a third planchet. This overlying planchet almost completely
covered the middle planchet but was positioned slightly farther out
from the striking chamber. As a result, it left an “internal indent.”
The area of the middle planchet (the illustrated coin) left exposed by
the top planchet was struck directly by the obverse die, leaving a
die-struck crescent at the perimeter of the protruding tongue of coin
metal that carries part of Lincoln’s face.
Two planchets and a coin were involved in the next sandwich strike
illustrated. The middle and bottom participants entered the striking
chamber as unstruck planchets. The middle planchet rested on top of a
second planchet that was centered within the striking chamber. The
reverse face of the off-center strike is uniface from the underlying
planchet, while the obverse face carries a flipover brockage from an
overlying coin. When the strike was completed, the obverse face of
this off-center sandwich strike was left with a brockage of Lincoln’s face.
The double-struck 1996-D cent illustrates what can happen when
three previously struck coins overlap within the striking chamber.
The reverse face of the off-center second strike shows a brockage
of the word liberty. It indicates that the middle coin overlapped a
newly-struck coin that was seated within the striking chamber.
The obverse face features an “internal” partial brockage from a
coin that partly covered the obverse face of the middle coin. Close
inspection reveals the incuse, mirror-image letters tes of am arranged
along the sloping medial surface of the indent.
Coin World’s Collectors’ Clearinghouse department does
not accept coins or other items for examination without prior
permission from News Editor William T. Gibbs. Materials sent to
Clearinghouse without prior permission will be returned unexamined.
Please address all Clearinghouse inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or
to (800) 673-8311, Ext. 172.