Collector Basics: Unplated planchets

Unplated planchet errors, like this 1983 Lincoln cent, have only been possible since 1982.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Editor's note: This is one in a series of Coin World Collector Basics posts on numerous types of planchet errors.

Unplated planchets

New in U.S. coinage, unplated planchets became possible in 1982 with the introduction of the copper-plated zinc cent (and briefly in 1943 with the zinc-coated steel cents).

The zinc-copper alloy planchets are plated after they are punched from the strip but some planchets miss the plating process. Coins struck on the unplated planchets are grayish-white in color.

Beware of cents which have had their plating removed after leaving the Mint. Although beyond the ability of a novice collector to detect, any of the authentication services currently operating should be able to distinguish between a genuine piece and an altered version.

More planchet error basics:

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