For error collectors, the axiom “more is better” is deservedly
applied to brockages.
A brockage is an incuse (sunken) mirror-image impression that is
generated when a coin (or any piece of die-struck material) is struck
into a planchet or another coin. Coins with two or more brockages on
the same face are scarce and arise under a number of different circumstances.
A coin can be struck several times, with each strike generating a
brockage. This can occur if a coin is struck several times by an early
or mid-stage die cap, with movement of the coin between strikes. It
can also occur if a previously-struck coin intrudes into the striking
chamber on each strike. The same coin or different coins can be involved.
Multiple brockages are more often produced during a single strike.
One simple scenario involves two previously-struck coins intruding
simultaneously into the striking chamber. The massively broadstruck
undated Lincoln cent depicted here shows two brockages of the reverse
design lying side-by-side. The smaller brockage shows the Lincoln
Memorial, the letters unite and the o from one. The larger brockage
shows the memorial and the words one cent. The paired brockages were
generated by two cents that landed on top of the planchet represented
by the illustrated coin.
As the intrusive coins were struck, their expanding edges met in
the middle to form a chain strike.
Every conceivable combination
Multiple brockages can also be generated by every conceivable
combination involving a die cap and a free-floating coin that
insinuates itself between the die cap and a planchet. The upper right
quadrant of the illustrated 2000 Lincoln cent is occupied by a
first-strike brockage from a partial (off-center) die cap. It is
radially aligned with the die-struck design on the reverse face and is
therefore an “aligned partial brockage” (other examples can be seen in
the Jan. 17 “Collectors’ Clearinghouse”). The brockage consists of the
lower right corner of the memorial, the designer’s initials (fg), and
the letters e cent.
Before the strike, a free-floating cent with a 90 percent
off-center strike intruded between the die cap and the planchet
represented by the illustrated brockaged cent. The unstruck portion of
the off-center cent left a featureless surface that occupies the left
side of the 2000 cent. The struck tongue of metal left a small,
centrally located brockage that partly overlaps and obscures the
brockage generated by the die cap. It takes the form of a shallow,
semilunar indentation that contains the upper left corner of the
memorial and the adjacent word united.
An off-center planchet can also stick to a die cap when struck,
transforming the off-center coin into a partial die cap. The two
adherent die caps will then produce a double brockage, one of them an
aligned partial brockage.
Multi-struck coin origin
An obvious source for a multiple brockage is a multi-struck coin.
This scenario is illustrated by a broadstruck 1999 Lincoln cent with a
90 percent flipover partial brockage from a double-struck cent. One
brockage consists of Lincoln’s head, the motto in god we trust and
part of liberty. The second brockage consists of the front of
Lincoln’s bust and the s of trust. Abnormally low striking pressure
left impressions that are crisp and only slightly expanded.
From small to large on one coin
Our final example is a copper-alloy cent with three overlapping
brockages of the Lincoln Memorial on the obverse face. The brockages
follow a size progression, with the smallest being the clearest and
most complete. This is a clashed cap strike reflecting two earlier
collisions between the die cap and the reverse die.
The largest brockage is the primary brockage, generated by the
original reverse design of the cent that adhered to the obverse die.
After striking a few planchets, the expanded working face of the die
cap struck the reverse die directly, picking up a new impression. This
secondary raised design is responsible for the mid-size brockage,
which can be referred to as the secondary brockage.
After striking a few more planchets, the working face of the die
cap once again struck the reverse die directly. A fresh raised design
was picked up by the working face and this is responsible for the
smallest brockage, which can be termed the tertiary brockage.
Other clashed cap strikes can be seen in the August 30, 2010,
“Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column.
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.