Author Topic: Major error on a US dime  (Read 186 times)

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Offline brandm24

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Major error on a US dime
« on: October 17, 2020, 12:51:20 PM »
The dramatic 1942 over 1941 Mercury Dime overdate is nearly as well known as the 1955 double die Lincoln Cent. It's probably the most well known overdate of any American series.

Though near the end of the production run for 1941 Mercury dimes at the Philadelphia Mint, working dies were still being produced. At the same time dies were being struck for the new 1942 dated coins. It was during this process that the dramatic overdate error occured.

Production dies are impressed using working hubs which leave an incuse impression of the coin's design on the die. The process involved requires at least two impressions to accomplish. Between strikes the dies must be annealed in order to harden the steel. Apparently, a 1941 working die was struck after the annealing process by a 1942 hub which created the overdate. The foot of the "4" is also strongly doubled as a result. The error occured twice, as two varieties have been discovered. The well known Philadelphia example and a less dramatic overdate produced at the Denver Mint.

The error was discovered early and first reported by Kingston, NY collector Arnold Cohn in the March, 1943 issue of the Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine. A large number of circulating examples firat appeared in Phoenix, Arizona according to researcher Walter Breen. Although many of these coins have been pulled from circulation and thus show various degrees of wear, four rolls of uncirculated specimens were discovered in 1954. Many of the pristine specimens known today come from that hoard.

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Major error on a US dime
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 11:58:47 PM »
I see signs of an overdate on the 4 too ???

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Major error on a US dime
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2020, 11:11:49 AM »
Yes, since the die and hub were properly aligned the only shift shows in the final digit of the date and somewhat on the 4. The relatively minor overdate on the 4 is often overllooked by counterfeiters and is an important disgnostic used to authenticate these coins.

I'll post more on the counterfeiting and altering of the issue later when I can get some good images.

Bruce
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Offline brandm24

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Re: Major error on a US dime
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2020, 02:55:34 PM »
As with all major mint errors, fakes are common in this series. Fortunately, many are easily detected but some are meticulously detailed and would fool many collectors. Any questionable examples should be referred to professionals for their opinion.

There are two types known here, altered date pieces and counterfeits. The better counterfeits are probably made from dies created from a genuine coin. On the surface the resulting example would appear gemuine, but on closer examination indistinct details and other clues become apparent. The attached image shows weakness particulary in the motto "In God We Trust" and a lack of sharpness on the overdate. The "1" is particularly weak in sharp contrast to a genuine example.

The second means is an altered date forgery. Often a genuine 1942 dime is chosen as the only alterations that have to be done are to add a bogus "1" in front of the "2" and retool the "4" to make it appear doubled. An engraver will move metal around on the coin's surface and fashion a "1" from it. Often the added number will appear indistinct and mishapen as in the image attached. There will also be telltale disturbances on the coin's surface usually in front of the genuine "2" from the displacement of metal to create the "1". Notice on the attachment that the forger made no attempt to show doubling on the "4". Fortunately, this is an amateurish attempt but some are more professionally done and are deceptive.

Bruce

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Offline brandm24

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Re: Major error on a US dime
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2020, 10:19:32 AM »
Here's an image of a 1942 /1 from the Denver Mint. The detail is much softer than the Philadelphia strike.

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Major error on a US dime
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2020, 11:28:59 AM »
Maybe it's the light or the dirt, but I see the overdate 4 before the overdate 1.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Major error on a US dime
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2020, 04:46:13 PM »
It's not the best picture, but the 1 directly in front of the 4 shows only the very top and bottom. The rest is mostly gone. As far as I can see the overdate 4 shows in the foot and slightly at the end of the cross bar. I'll have to see if I can find a better picture that shows more detail.

Bruce
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Offline brandm24

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Re: Major error on a US dime
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2020, 05:08:49 PM »
Here's a clearer picture that shows sharper detail.

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Major error on a US dime
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2020, 12:08:22 AM »
It's not the quality of the picture. Your latest is indeed better and yet the effect on my eyes is the same. The 4 underneath sticks out inside and below while the 1 is barely visible, except below the 2. Not that it matters. Nice thread!

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Major error on a US dime
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2020, 10:13:27 AM »
I see what you're saying now, Peter. Apparently, the two dies were aligned slightly differently when the second strike was applied by the hub.

Bruce
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