A re-punched mint mark, or RPM, is a coin that shows two or more mint marks on the same coin. This was caused by human error in the punching of the mint mark onto the coin die . Before 1990, a U.S. Mint engraver manually punched the mint mark into each individual working die.
Occasionally, due to human error, a die would get two or more punches of the same mint mark, sometimes in almost the same location, and sometimes at 90 or 180 degree rotations. Some times the Mint engraver would catch these defective working dies before any coins were produced from them.
A working die that had multiple punching of a mint mark would strike coins with multiple impressions of the same mint mark letter. Such specimens are called re-punched mint marks, or RPM’s. In the Coin Collecting Hobby these Re-punched Mint Marks (RPM) are very collectible.
When the Mint started using mint marks (letters) in the early 1800’s to identify the various branch mints at which coins were being struck, the mint mark was hand punched into the working dies that would be striking the coins. It was the last portion of the design to be placed on the die. These mint mark letters are as follows: D for Denver, S for San Francisco, CC for Carson City, O for New Orleans, P for Philadelphia, and W for West Point.
A Mint engraver would take a thin steel rod (punch) that had the mint mark engraved on one end and hold it in place on the working die where the mint mark was to be applied. Using a mallet he tapped an impression of the mint mark into the die.
In most cases it was necessary to strike the punch more than once with the mallet in order to leave a satisfactory impression of the mint mark in the die. When the multiple mint mark impressions are from the same mint mark (a D punched over a D, or an S punched over an S), the variety is known as a Repunched Mint Mark (RPM) variety.
Re-punched mint mark terminology
The reference of D/D is used to refer to a “D punched over a D.” Likewise, S/S is used to refer to an “S punched over an S.” So in today’s modern coinage, the most affected mint marks with RPM’s would be the D (Denver) and S (San Francisco) mint marks as they are the mint marks most familar to the collectors.
When people describe mint mark punches, a direction may be implied the D/D or S/S mint marks, such as D/D North or D/D West. When a direction of an RPM is given, that direction refers to the direction of the weaker mint mark punches. The weaker mint mark punches were the first to be punched into the working die and did not penetrate as deeply in the working die. Eventually a stronger primary punch would be the deepest impression in the working die, completing the addition of the mint mark symbol and creation of the RPM on that working die.
A Doubled Die is a term in coin collecting used to refer to doubling in the design elements of a coin. Doubled dies can appear as an outline of the design or in extreme cases, having design elements and dates appear twice in an overlapping fashion. Doubled dies can be seen on the Obverse or Reverse of the coin – or both ! They are commonly referred to as Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) or Doubled Die Reverse (DDR).
What are Doubled Dies worth ?
Doubled die error coins can fetch significant prices when they are noticeable to the naked eye or occur in a popular coin series. A few examples are the 1955 doubled die Lincoln Wheat cent, the 1969-S doubled die Lincoln Memorial cent, the 1972 doubled die Lincoln Memorial cent, the 1964 doubled die Kennedy half dollar, the 1961 doubled die Franklin half dollar to name just a few.
In the coin collecting world, proper terminology for this occurrence includes the letter ‘d’ at the end of the first word, hence “doubled die”. The term “double die” without the first word ending in ‘d’ is not proper numismatic terminology.
How are Doubled Dies created?
Doubled dies are created when the master die imprints an additional, misaligned image onto a working die. Its the working die that has two or more pressings, not the planchet. A working die with several misaligned pressings is taken to a press where coins are made with that working die.
The different classes of Doubled Dies
There are many ways this misalignment of devices can occur, which have been grouped into eight classes:
Class 1 Doubled Die, Rotated – Results when the working die receives an additional pressing from the master die that is misaligned in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.
Class 2 Doubled Die, Distorted – Results when the master die design moves toward the rim between hubbings.
Class 3 Doubled Die, Design – When a master die bearing a different design stamps a die bearing another design.
Class 4 Doubled Die, Offset – The working die receives an additional pressing that is misaligned in an offset direction.
Class 5 Doubled Die, Pivoted – The working die receives an additional pressing that was misaligned via rotation with a pivot point near the rim.
Class 6 Doubled Die, Distended – The working die receives an additional pressing from a master die that was distended.
Class 7 Doubled Die, Modified – The master die is modified between the working die’s pressings (e.g., a design element was chiseled off).
Class 8 Doubled Die, Tilted – A working die and/or master die is tilted during a hubbing.
Doubled dies are a result of the way in which in the United States Mint dies are created. Before 1997, die pairs (hammer die and anvil die) were made by hubs that contained the raised design elements that were intended to appear on the coin. The blank dies were heated (to soften them) and then were pressed against the hubs to transfer the design from the hub to the working dies.
Often, one impression was not enough in every case to transfer the design elements from the hub to the die, so multiple impressions were required to transfer enough of the design. For this reason, after the first impression was made, the die was reheated and prepared for a second impression.
The mint workers would try to use guides to align the hub and the working die perfectly to prevent overlapping, or a doubled die. If the die was acceptable within the mint standards, the working die would be put in a press and coins would be minted. If the engraver thought something was amiss, they would stop the press and investigate. A lot of variety coins have escaped the mint prior to 1996.
It is when mint workers failed to align dies properly during this process that doubled dies were produced. In many instances three to four impressions were required, which could but rarely led to tripled and quadrupled dies.
In summary, prior to 1996, after each impression, a heated working die is removed and checked to see if the entire design and its details were successfully transferred from the master die, to the target working die. A doubled/tripled/quadrupled die is created if these multiple impressions pressed onto the working die were not properly aligned. If the die was acceptable and within the mint standards, the working die would be put in a press and coins would be minted. If the engraver thought something was amiss, they would stop the press and investigate. A lot of variety coins have escaped the mint prior to 1995.
Note: you will see HUB used in place of master die in may locations – it’s the same thing.
New way to make working dies but doubled dies are still being created
Modern coining methods have greatly reduced the number of these varieties due to the use of a single squeeze hubbing method during die creation, but doubled dies in modern United States coinage are still occurring.
With this new die making process implemented after 1996, dies only require one impression of the hub to transfer all of the design from the master die to the working die. But it has been discovered that the pressure created is so great, that some working dies tend to slightly rotate during this process.
What is a Die Variety Coin? What is a Die Variety ?
A die variety is a variation to the normal design to a coin die, usually caused by human error or defects in the preparation or maintenance of the coin dies. Varieties are typically produced on working dies, instead of on the master die.
Typical die varieties include doubled dies (Doubled Die Obverse and/or Doubled Die Reverse; DDO or DDR), re-punched mint marks (RPM’s), Over mint marks (OMM) and re-punched dates (RPD’s), over dates, plus a small number of other minor varieties introduced during the strike of the coin.
CONECA is a society for error and variety coin collectors
CONECA – Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America (CONECA) is a great organization to offer education about coins, error coins and die varieties.
CONECA (pronounced: CŌ´NECA) is a national numismatic organization devoted to the education of error and variety coin collectors. CONECA focuses on many error and variety specialties, including doubled dies, Re-punched mintmarks, multiple errors, clips, double strikes, off-metals and off-centers — just to name a few. In addition to its website, CONECA publishes an educational journal, The Errorscope, which is printed and mailed to members bimonthly. CONECA offers a lending library, examination, listing and attribution services; it holds annual meetings at major conventions (referred to as Errorama) around the country. The CONECA website is: www.conecaonline.org
Along with our dealer tables, if a promoter is to offer a free table, I will also be manning the CONECA table. CONECA (pronounced: CŌ´NECA) is a national numismatic organization devoted to the education of error and variety coin collectors. CONECA focuses on many error and variety specialties, including doubled dies, Re-punched mintmarks, multiple errors, clips, double strikes, off-metals and off-centers — just to name a few. In addition to its website, CONECA publishes an educational journal, The Errorscope, which is printed and mailed to members bimonthly. CONECA offers a lending library, examination, listing and attribution services; it holds annual meetings at major conventions (referred to as Errorama) around the country. The CONECA website is: www.conecaonline.org
My setup as the CONECA State Rep for Virginia
For the major shows, I push all in. I bring microscopes, Cameras, reference materials and knowledge. I shake hands and offer free attribution services for people with questions about the type of coin they have or wish to purchase.
What does CONECA Have to Offer?
The CONECA organization has a lot to offer. There is a forum that has some of the best attributors in the United States visit the CONECA forum.
Variety Vistaoffers an extensive listing, most with photos of error coins, categorized by year, mint mark and coin type.
CONECA also sports the CONECA master listing which provides a text listing of each coin attributed and listed with a CONECA number. The master listing typically shows Re-punched mint marks, Doubled die obverse and doubled die reverse entries. Many of the coins listed in the CONECA master listing show a URS rarity listing, so it helps the collectors know how rare an error or variety coin is, which may help identify a value of the error coin for insurance purposes or a potential agreed upon sale price.
Low cost attribution service offered by CONECA
CONECA offers a low cost attribution service. Should you find a coin that you think merits a second opinion and would like to get it attributed for a small fee ( plus postage and handling) you can contact one of people on CONECA attributions page.
Error Coins and varieties are getting a little scarce, and the more you know about an error coin, the better you are prepared when you find one, or if you are looking to buy one.
Get a free, second opinion on a coin you have or about to purchase
Don’t be a victim of fraud, or be disappointed in a purchase to find out that mechanical doubling is not a true doubled die coin, or other possible scenarios. CONECA representatives exist in many states. Although many of the representative have their own opinions on what they examine, we all are human. Everyone can make a mistake or inaccurate attribution. The CONECA State representatives will offer their opinion, but in the end, it is up to the customer to make that final decision on what action is best.
CONECA State Reps attend coin shows across the U.S.A.
Beside visiting the CONECA website, you can visit a state representative which may attend a coin show near you. When I attend a coin show and I am offered a free table to use only as an educational “work shop” and offer my opinion on coins people will allow me to examine. I tell the promoters it will help bring in more potential customers over time. It’s a win win situation. But I have a hold card. Most shows I attend I have a error collecting buddy who is the ANACS representative who sends in customers submission to the 3rd party grading company, ANACS. Geoff has about 10-15 more years of error and variety expertise under his belt. Most of the time we tag team and find out an answer if a coin mildly stumps us for a bit.
CONECA Registration online, or by mail
You can join the CONECA society. While it is not a necessity to join CONECA, most of the people who have joined have come back to my table and said “thank you” to me. Most say they were made very comfortable and enjoy every moment, from the awesome greeting and welcome aboard email to the other services that CONECA provides, it has helped quite a few error and variety collectors – and dealers find some great resources.
CONECA offers memberships renewable yearly
The cost to join varies, but young adults, Families and individuals will find great value in joining CONECA. If you choose to do so, as part of your membership, you can receive copies of the CONECA bi-monthly magazine called ErrorScope. The articles offer expert advice and tips on how to recognize error coins from across the world.
The CONECA errorscope is sent bimonthly, and that added value alone is worth the yearly fee. You can find out more information about joining CONECA, at the CONECA main website. Click this link to know more about joining CONECA.
CONECA – Join or renew !
Use the CONECA State Representative as a referral
If your a Virginia Resident, please feel free to add me as a reference. All you have to do is add “VA State Rep” in the referral line or anywhere on the online form. The only thing that does is help show how many members are in which state, or where they joined CONECA.
Have any questions about joining CONECA ?
If you know some one that wants to join CONECA, or loves to collect error coins and varieties and you want to give them a great gift, the CONECA yearly membership may be the answer. I can answer your questions, or point you to the CONECA person who handles memberships. If you cannot find a CONECA application or locate it online, I will gladly mail one to you or point you in the direction to do the application online.
If you are at a show, come on by the CONECA table and we will shake your hand. Take a CONECA application. It’s free and you can mail it in at your leisure. We’ll offer a CONECA elongated cent for stopping by the CONECA table, subject to availability.
What is the difference between a Die Crack and a Die break on a coin ?
Die cracks are small hairline cracks that appear on a die which is used to make coins. Die craks occur due to undue stress or wear put upon the working die. Die breaks may start as a die crack and over time, The crack simply starts to shatter a working die. Die breaks tend to show up much wider on a die and die cracks have the potential for the die to disintegrate in a very short period of time.
At the CONECA table at shows, I get a lot of questions about die break and die cracks. I basically try to break these two categories out. I am old school, and I have learned from some of the best.
How die cracks and die breaks happen
The first thing that normally happens to a coin when things go wrong, is the die begins to crack. At first, the die cracks are hair thin. I typically see the die cracks in the head area of the Lincoln Cent. Some of these die cracks may go from the head area towards the rim. Most of the die cracks run towards the WE in In God We Trust. I have seen die cracks start on Lincoln’s jacket area and travel slowly toward the southern rim. Again, these die cracks are pretty thin.
When looking at die cracks on a Morgan Dollar happen, they are seem to happen in a circular format, especially close to the rim. These die cracks can travel through many of the letters on the reverse of the Morgan Dollar. The die cracks seem to be relatively thin in width due to the size of the coin.
Now, the die breaks. Die breaks seem to become quite uneven in width. Die breaks are blotchy, and can be very wide. I have found a good example of a Lincoln cent with both the die cracks and die breaks. Die breaks typically make people wonder how this piece of the die does not fall out of the die. In the case of the Lincoln Cent below, it looks like the rim of the die was still intact, but that piece of die between the crack would not last much longer.
Die cracks and die breaks end up happening over time. Some of the design features of the die, and some times the metal composition play into the reason die cracks and die breaks happen. Most of the time, its simply due to stress, wear and tear on the working die. I have seen a lot more Die cracks in cents, followed by die cracks and die breaks in Morgan Dollars, then quarters then half dollars.
What is the Value of a die break or die crack?
The value of die cracks and die breaks is very minimal. Most of the collectors state that die breaks and die cracks are simply damage, and these are not a true error or a variety.
There comes a point when die cracks and die breaks become dramatic, and then may become a collectible item due to the sheer spectacle it becomes. The Lincoln Cent below may be an example of where it may fetch a premium since it shows both the die cracks and die breaks.
How much does a die break or die crack cost ?
The good ole’ saying says, to a collector, a coins’ value is only as high as a collector is willing to pay for it. Typically, if a coin has some pretty dramatic die cracks, it may fetch between $1,00 to 5.00 on a good day. A coin with dramatic die breaks – I mean a wow spectacle where its a sheer wonder why the die hasn’t disintegrated may fetch several hundred dollars or more.
Some of the major die breaks may even make it into some of the magazines or books. It all boils down to what people wish to collect, and how much they are willing to spend.
With every roll or bag that is out there, it’s like a lottery. One never knows what exactly will be pulled out of the roll or bag and in some cases some great damaged coins, errors and variety coins can be pulled.
A Lincoln Cent with Die Cracks and Die Breaks
Can YOU see which of the abnormal lines on this Lincoln Cent are Die Cracks and which ones are Die Breaks? You may have to use your CTRL key and mouse wheel to make the photo a little larger. When you are done, press CTRL+0 to get the screen back to normal.
Stand by for another post on a group of strike through’s I found digging through a bag of Lincoln Cents. In the mean time, here is a photo of the Lincoln Cent with the die cracks and die breaks.
During the 2018 VNA show, I was headed to an objective, and on my way, I walked around a few tables trying to locate a few Lincoln Cent rolls to fill my voids. I walked down a main aisle asking coin dealers as I headed to another objective.
One coin dealer answered up, “Hey I have a few rolls, and if you provide me a list, I’ll see what else I have available and bring them in for you to look at tomorrow”. I finished my quest and then told the coin dealer that I will provide them a list either by hand or email.
Well, the coin dealer brings down three rolls. A few re-wrapped rolls from the 1960’s era, and a 1958 roll in a plastic roll. The coin dealer says, “Look these over and let me know if you are interested in any of these”. The coin dealer then heads back to his table.
Opening the 1958 Lincoln Cent roll
I decide to uncap the 1958 and spread a few over the table. I immediately notice that this roll is far above the usual quality you find at shows in these days. This Lincoln Cent roll had promise for me to pull out a winner or two. – or more. I had my son run the other two rolls back to the dealer, and ask what he wanted for the 1958 roll. My son tells me he wants $3.00 for the roll. I immediately handed the son the cash and I started to sort the newly bought Lincoln Cent roll out.
ANACS always runs specials, so I decided to cherry pick 15 of the best to send into probably the strictest grading company there is and see what comes back. The only thing about ANACS specials is, that it can take what seems forever for your coins to come back.
They DO tell you up front that it is under one of the slowest grading programs they offer, and most of the times, this economy package will take close to a month or more. In working days, this is probably between 25 to 30 days. In ANACS’s defense, there are a LOT of people who take advantage of these specials, and its all about waiting, or coughing up more hard earned money and getting them back just a tad faster.
After I cherry picked about 20-25 1958 Lincoln Cents out of this roll and asked my son to assist in looking over the roll and cherry pick the best over all. I grab an ANACS submission form, fill in the details and hand them over to the ANACS representative, Geoff.
They are sent out during the show, which saves me shipping costs to ANACS. The ANACS special also has free return shipping, so I ended up sending (15) 1958 Lincoln Cents in and four error coins. The total cost was $139.00.
Awesome Grades I got back for the 1958 LincolnCents
The coins came back about 4 weeks later, and I was pleasantly surprised. Of the (15) 1958 Lincoln Cents I sent in, I ended up getting: (8) 1958 Lincoln Cents MS-66 Red (7) 1958 Lincoln Cents MS-67 Red Wait – what ? Seven 1958 Lincoln Cents in MS-67 ?
Lincoln Cents are some of my favorite coins, and I know that grades in the MS-67 range can get pricey. I decided to look up the price first: PCGS price guide for a 1958 Lincoln Cent MS-67 Red is $675.00 each. NGC price guide for a 1958 Lincoln Cent MS-67 Red is $645.00 each
The 1958 Lincoln Cent Population MS-67
The population report for the 1958 Lincoln Cent in MS67 Red is as follows:
ANACS – out of (700) 1958 Lincoln Cents graded as MS, only 27 graded as MS67 with only 1 better.
PCGS – out of (3522) 1958 Lincoln Cents graded as MS, only 44 graded as MS67 with none better.
NGC – out of (4160) 1958 Lincoln Cents graded as MS, only 159 graded as MS67 with only 1 better.
That is only (230) 1958 Lincoln Cents that has been graded MS67 over all these years. That’s less than 5 rolls of Lincoln Cents. The MS-66 value is close to $45.00 a piece, and the population numbers are a lot higher.
The Monty Haul of 1958 Lincoln Cents
I ended up with eight of these. So for an investment of $3.00 for the roll, plus 139.00 for the grading, I ended up with; (7) 1958 Lincoln Cents worth $645.00 each ($4515.00) (8) 1958 Lincoln Cents worth $45.00 each ($360.00) That’s a total value of $4875.00, if these 1958 Lincoln Cents sell near price guide value. That’s the type of investment I would like to make each and every day.
Traffic seemed light for the 2019 VNA show, but for good reasons on Saturday.
I attended the 2019 Virginia Numismatic Association annual coin convention. Traffic was light all weekend. During Saturday near noon there was a violent thunderstorm that brought heavy rain and dampened the amount of visitors that might have attended the show. I must add in, that for the annual three day show, we did “OK”.
Last year, in 2018, we did absolutely outstanding. In 2019, we did about 1/3 of the sales and revenue we did in 2018. This year the silver bullion purchases which were light. Our main sales were brillant uncirculated slabbed Morgan Silver Dollars MS63 to MS66 and US error coins and varieties. I wish to Thank all that attended the Virginia Numismatic Association coin show convention, especially the customers who purchased from us.
I set up three paid tables and a free table for my part as the CONECA State representative for Virginia. I had a steady flow of people asking questions. I handed out quite a few applications and a reference sheet which have a lot of the CONECA areas that are helpful to coin collectors, especially error and variety coin collectors.
The Virginia Numismatic Association coin show convention is not a small show!
Looking at Virginia Numismatic Association annual coin convention bourse floor layout, I am pretty sure the dealer attendance was a little smaller this year than in the past. The VNA needs to make a slight profit to recoup some of the costs associated with this event. I believe its in a great location, but the word needs to be spread about this coin show and the events it holds. Table fees for this annual show are slightly higher than shows that do two, three or four shows a year or more. I personally don’t mind spending a little extra to set up at one of the biggest coin shows in the state, as long as advertising, word of mouth and websites can inform the coin collectors about the upcoming VNA coin convention. Did you miss this years’ Virginia Numismatic Association coin show convention?
Miss the VNA convention? Our new online coin shop coming soon !
The website for future VNA shows is http://www.vnaonline.org . I suggest bookmarking this website and the VNA. We will be loading up our shopping cart soon, once the software has been upgraded to a newer version. Our shopping cart will be located at auctions.minterrors.org
Young coin collectors were sighted at the Virginia Numismatic Association coin show convention
There were a good number of younger collectors in attendance, but these numbers could also be a lot higher. If I seen young collectors in their teens or so, I would ask the parents to come on over and have a look at the error coins and other type of coins available. The educational director, John P. placed two of the treasure hunt answer sheets close to my CONECA table, and as the younger people were getting answers from these answer sheets, I would simply say, “hey whats that a picture of on the monitor?” Most would toss an answer out there, and I would help them understand what they saw. I was impressed to see that a few younger adults knew what a classic doubled die was, but didn’t understand how the doubled dies were created.
An error coins and varieties presentation at the 2020 VNA ?
I think I will contemplate getting a presentation together for the VNA for next year. It will be simple enough for any staff member to be able to present the material with relative ease. I’ll devise my plan and see if it can be a cost effective solution to help people understand the primary error coins and varieties that can still be found in rolls and pocket change.
Best coins I got to see and examine at the 2019 VNA Coin show
I was at the Virginia Numismatic Association ( http://www.vnaonline.org ) annual coin show. I brought my microscope and camera gear and I got to photograph a lot of unique coins. Have a look !
1860 over 1859 Spanish Two Reales Repunched Date (RPD)over date
Ever since I had the privilege to examine this coin in hand, I have been on the hunt to find more information about this overdate. I do not see any documentation on this, let alone another example. Being that this is slabbed and genuine, it may very well be the only one known in existence.
The photos came out “OK”. The problem with taking photographs with portable lighting is that the environment can change drastically. Some times in order to get an absolutely perfect photograph of a slabbed coin take take a while – some times hours. Being that this was photographed just before the show opened, I placed some undesired haste upon myself to get the coin done as soon as I could so I could assist other customers as they came up to the CONECA table. Take a look at this over date. It looks pretty amazing.
1971-D Kennedy Struck Through and Raised
This Kennedy Half Dollar is one of the weirdest I have handled in quite some time. The struck through error on this coin is pretty evident. It almost looks like hands of a clock. The extra metal is raised. When I placed the Kennedy Half Dollar so the obverse was face down, the coin was see-sawing back and forth. The highest point of the metal is evident, and its on the cheekbone, about half way between the ear and mouth. The height was easily noticeable, the extra metal height about the thickness of a dime or so. I did not have a lot of time to photograph this coin, so I took what photos I could.
An Ancient coin, slightly larger than a pea
Not one but, TWO 1972 Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse DDO-001’s
Dealers Questioned the Authenticity of this Barber 50 cent piece – Counterfeit?
I had a person ask whether this coin was a counterfeit or not. I told him its extremely difficult to tell when the coin has already been slabbed by a third party grading compnay, or appears that it is a legit coin. I looked over the slab and noticed a few deficiencies. The owner said other dealers told him it was a counterfeit because the coin looked too good. I said, “what? So these dealers would consider anything like a proof of this series questionable as well? ” . I suggested that the owner consult the company who slabbed the coin. They could send it in to verify the autehnticity of the coin, but there may be a chance that they would not get the coin back if it is a counterfeit. The coin may be confiscated by law enforcement and used as evidence.
The outer ring of the coin has some debris. This would not be an issue if the coin had some of the same type debris on it as well. This coin looks free of any debris or discoloration. On the obverse side to the left of the coin, there appears to be some damage to the interior of the holder. It could be some sort of separation attempt?
The reverse shows a pretty significant amount of discoloration or debris around that outer ring as well. It is simply tough to say for certain if this coin was a counterfeit.
Double struck flipped in collar Jefferson Nickel
1939 Jefferson Nickel Doubled Die Reverse
Dollar sized coin with die clashes
There are several more neat looking coins that I will crop and put on here. But overall, these were the more interesting coins that I got to handle and examine.
We’re currently rebuilding the webserver. The website should be up and operational within a few days. I think I have most of the ground work done. I will be loading up the website with posts as soon as possible.