US Coins

Inside Coin World: Unusual misaligned die errors

Coins struck by dual misaligned dies like this quarter dollar and coins with adjustment marks are among the subjects of our columns this week, found exclusively in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

Original images by Mike Diamond.

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New Hampshire quarter with dual misalignment

“Major horizontal misalignments of the anvil die are rare,” writes Mike Diamond in the “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column in the June 9 issue of Coin World. “This is understandable, as the anvil die is confined by the collar,” he explains before discussing several of the rare exceptions. 

He discusses a New Hampshire quarter dollar struck from both obverse and reverse misaligned dies, explaining, “Major anvil die misalignments and dual misalignments are frequently associated with damage to one or both dies.” Read his column, found exclusively in the print and digital editions of Coin World.


Not your usual Early American fake

In his “Detecting Counterfeits” column, Michael Fahey discusses “a slightly unusual counterfeit — a struck copy of a 1788 New Jersey, Head Left copper variety,” explaining, ”While fakes of U.S. Colonial coins have been around for a long time, most are cast replicas that are not very deceptive.”

In contrast, “The piece shown here is a die-struck counterfeit that is a close imitation of a rare variety,” he says. The piece would likely not fool a specialist in Early American coinage because of some subtle differences in the lettering, but it could fool someone less familiar with the series and the particular die marriage it resembles. Read more in his column in the July 9 issue.

When your roll find isn’t even numismatic

When Bill O’Rourke searches through rolls of coins, he sometimes finds silver pieces and collectible die varieties and tokens and coins from other countries. Sometimes, though, objects lurking inside rolls of coins are not even numismatic in nature, he writes in his “Found in Rolls” column.

“It seems obvious some thought was involved from whoever put these odd objects into rolls of coins,” pointing to such finds as a washer, an Air Force key tag, and a cent-size glass disc. Such finds “can make you smile as you wonder just how in the world they got jammed into a coin wrapper in the first place.”

What are ‘adjustment marks’?

A recent article about Draped Bust dimes coming to auction included a reference to “adjustment marks.” One reader wondered what adjustment marks are. Steve Roach explains the history and significance of the parallel lines found on some early coins in his “Readers Ask” column in the July 9 Coin World.

In the early days of the U.S. Mint, employees used to carefully weight each silver or gold planchet before striking, and if a planchet was too heavy, it was filed to remove tiny particles of the metal until the weight met official standards. The file marks appear as parallel lines on the coins even after striking. To learn how they affect a coin’s collectibility, read the column, found exclusively in the print and digital edition.

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