One of my recent finds was a bit of a surprise!
Between coins in a roll of quarter dollars I found a small medal
depicting St. Francis of Assisi with his hand upon what appears to
possibly be a greyhound dog.
Francis was canonized as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church by
Pope Gregory IX on July 16, 1228.
St. Francis is known by many as the patron saint of animals and of
the environment, and is one of two patron saints of Italy.
The medal measures 1-inch tall by 0.75-inch wide, and is silver in
color, although it is easy to tell that the piece is not really
composed of silver.
The medal was produced in Italy. It seems that these medals are
produced under the title of “St. Francis Pet Medal.”
Another discovery for this week is what appears to be a circa 2000
Lincoln cent that was struck through a heavy layer of what is often
The grease is actually a layer of lubricant sometimes containing
other bits of grit or debris. In this case, there was an apparent
accumulation of material on the surface of and in the recesses of the
When a die inadvertently becomes layered with the gunk that is
sometimes a part of the minting process, the details from the die do
not properly strike up on the finished coin.
As you can see, the details of Lincoln’s bust are weak as are the
date, IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY.
While some might postulate that this coin is simply one that was
weakly struck, it only takes a look at the reverse of the coin to
prove that the coin was struck by a filled obverse die.
The reverse of this coin, appearing relatively normal, indicates
that the coin was struck with enough pressure to raise the coin’s details.
A filled obverse die would account for the weakly struck details on
the coin’s obverse and the fairly normal details on the reverse of the coin.