When was the last time you saw, in private hands, an 8-foot-long
section of webbing that resulted from blanks having been punched from
zinc-coated steel coinage strip (for ultimate production into 1943-D
For most collectors, the answer is probably never.
At the Aug. 1 to 5 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of
Money in Denver, error coin dealer Fred Weinberg
purchased the webbing from a building contractor. According to
Weinberg, it is the sole surviving example in private hands of webbing
obtained by the contractor, who had used some other pieces of the
webbing in the reinforcement of walls erected in a Denver-area home
three decades ago.
Two much smaller pieces were sent, at the time of the home’s
construction, to the ANA and the Smithsonian Institution.
The fallout from the Enhanced Uncirculated Coin
Another column in the August 21 weekly issue of Coin World reveals
that while forms of numismatic literature like fixed-price lists
were meant to be fleeting, they can actually be quite useful.
Weinberg, who operates Fred Weinberg & Co., said the webbing
sold for more than $1,000 to David J. Camire, an error coin specialist
and grading finalizer for Numismatic Guaranty Corp.
The webbing, less than a foot wide, was folded when presented for
sale to Weinberg at his bourse table.
The webbing is what was left after coinage strip was fed through a
blanking press. A blanking press punches out rough-edged blanks from
strip. Blanks’ edges are deburred before annealing to soften the
blanks, and then sent through an upset mill to form a raised rim
before being struck between dies on a coinage press.
Connect with Coin World:
up for our free eNewsletter
Like us on
us on Twitter
Today, ready-to-strike copper-plated zinc planchets are supplied to
the U.S. Mint by an outside vendor, Jarden Zinc Products.
For all other denominations where the U.S. Mint punches blanks from
coinage strip provided by an outside vendor, the webbing is chopped
into small pieces while exiting the blanking press and deposited into
a hopper for later metal reclamation.
A telling story
Weinberg said the tale of the zinc-coated steel webbing is an
unusual one. Weinberg related the following via email:
“The gentleman who came up to me at the show said he was a
contractor, and one day (over 30 years ago), someone drove into his
‘work yard’ in a truck with a large amount of these long (8 feet)
punched planchet strips from the 1943 Steel Cents.
“The guy just wanted to dump them, and thought the contractor could
use them. The contractor couldn’t really figure out a use, but then
decided to use the strips inside the walls of a house he was building
in the Denver area. They were put in the walls, and then plastered over.
“He was left with one long strip (the one I bought) and a shorter
strip, about 2 feet long (my guess). He cut the smaller strip into two
pieces, and sent one to the ANA as a donation, and the other piece to
the Smithsonian in Washington,” also 30 years ago.
“A few weeks later, he was contacted by Denver Mint Police who said
they were contacted by the Smithsonian about his donation, and said he
wasn’t allowed to have them.
“He told them the ‘House Story’ and the two agents who came to his
work yard made him take them to the house he had built.
“He drove them there, showed them the house, and said that behind
the walls were the planchet strips. The two agents apparently realized
there was no ‘threat’, nor any way to recover decades-old steel that
had been plastered over and on.
“He returned the next day with the 8-foot strip, and I bought it.”