Readers Ask column from March 28, 2016, Weekly issue of Coin World:
In 2008 the Mint
modified the reverse of the silver American Eagle, which resulted in
some being mistakenly minted with the old 2007 reverse. Has anyone
noticed that the Mint also modified the obverse in 2008? If you
look on the drapery at the letter L in LIBERTY you will notice that
the lines on the drapery on the 2007 extend to the upper bottom of
the letter L and on the 2008 the lines extend to the lower bottom of
the letter L. Evidently the Mint modified the obverse letters also.
I’ve Googled this and can find no info about this obverse change in
2008. Could there be some 2008 obverse errors out there we don’t
David Martin / Via Email
Coin World reported on the changes to the obverse and reverse
lettering on the 2008 American Eagle silver dollars — concurrent with
the introduction of new digital manufacturing techniques in die
production — in January of that year, so those differences have been
known to the collecting community since then. However, the changes to
the reverse have received greater attention because the U.S. Mint
mistakenly produced approximately 47,000 Uncirculated 2008-W American
Eagle silver dollars using the reverse type for 2007 and not the
correct 2008 version.
Mint officials say it is not possible for a 2007 obverse design to
bear lettering that is of the style used in 2008. Here’s what the
technology specialists at the Philadelphia Mint had to say in response
to our inquiry on behalf of the reader:
“2008 was the year we introduced digital manufacturing techniques on
the obverse and reverse. It is most evident in the lettering.
“Note the L and Y in LIBERTY. Unlike the reverse, the obverse has a
date which defines the year of manufacture or release.
“As such, there is no possibility of having the digital artwork (as
noted by the narrow lettering) of the 2008 on dies dated 2007.”
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