Striking Errors!

and Mike Diamond

One of the most dramatic subspecialties in numismatics is the collection of error coins. Error coins occur when something goes wrong during the preparation of a coin blank (planchet) or during the striking of the coin. Each error coin is a unique occurrence, and sometimes a numismatic puzzle to unravel.

The error coins pictured on this page are especially striking. The photographs are credited to club member Jerry Bobbe. The rest of the text (beyond this brief introduction) was contributed at the webmaster's request by Mike Diamond - not a club member, but one of the foremost authorities on error coins.

 

The coins pictured here are fantastically rare and valuable striking errors!

Large Cent Cap Obverse This 1856 large cent is a deeply cupped broadstrike with a full, centered, first-strike brockage. Many would call it a die cap, but I see no evidence that it struck another coin after the initial strike that created the brockage. The brockage shows uniform clarity and expansion across the reverse face. If it had struck another planchet (creating a counterbrockage on the latter), the center of the brockage would be much more expanded than the periphery and much less clear. Evidently a large cent planchet was deposited on top of an already-struck large cent and the two were struck together out-of-collar.
Large Cent Cap Reverse  


This 1886 Morgan dollar was created in the same way as the large cent. It too is a cupped broadstrike with a full, centered, first-strike brockage. There's no evidence here either of a second strike that would allow us to define it as a die cap. The obverse shows surface film doubling of much of the design (the white outlines that you see).

 

Morgan Dollar Error Obverse
This surface film doubling effect can be seen on more recent coins and is not in itself indicative of more than one strike. Surface film doubling in recent coins is apparently produced when either the die or the planchet has a very thin film of oil on the surface. Morgan Dollar Error Reverse

 

1859 Indian Head Cent Cap This Indian cent and Liberty Head nickel are both deeply cupped. They may be die caps, but we can't be sure until we see what the reverse looks like.
Liberty Nickel Cap  

 

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