How off center coins are produced
Off center coins are typically created when there is a malfunction in the minting press. When a minting press is producing coins normally without any errors, a planchet is fed onto the anvil die. The collar then surrounds this blank planchet. The hammer die then strikes or squeezes the planchet with many tons of pressure.
The blank planchet quickly becomes a coin when the tons of pressure caused by the hammer die helps squeeze the planchet between the hammer and anvil dies. The hammer and anvil dies image is transferred to the obverse and reverse of this coin. The coin is released from the collar and it exits the striking chamber, and out of the minting press.
There are various conditions that can occur for the creation of an off center coin. The most popular condition for an off center coin to be created is that the coin is not properly centered on the anvil die. In this case, the collar is unable to firmly grasp the coin exactly between the hammer and anvil dies. This means the coin simply rests free in close proximity of the dies, probably resting on top of the collar.
When the hammer die strikes this uncentered coin, the off center coin receives a partial image of the hammer and anvil die. Eventually the coin will find its way out of the minting press. If this off center coin can avoid the quality assurance measures put in place to catch major mint error coins, this mint produced error coin may actually end up in a roll or bag and escape the mint.
The Value of off center coins
Values of off center strikes vary due to many reasons. Typically, the larger the coin the more value it could have.
Additional value of off center coins can considered if the following conditions are met:
- The coin is uncirculated. Three conditions exist
- A brilliant uncirculated coin that may grade MS60 to MS63
- A Gem brilliant uncirculated coin that is MS64 or higher in grade may fetch additional premiums.
- A PROOF coin value can be rare and extremely valuable.
- Ideally the coin is 50% to 75% off center showing enough details to quickly identify what type coin it is with ease.
- The entire date and if possible, the mint mark is visible.
- Off center errors made after 2005 or so are more rare and desirable since the US Mint QA (Quality Assurance) methods are very strict.
- Off center strikes are typically worth more on higher denominations.
- Off center strikes that have been authenticated and graded by a third party grading company can add value to the coin ( ANACS, NGC, PCGS for example).
- If the off center strike is on a special release, it may command a premium ( for example, a 1976 Kennedy Bicentennial Half Dollar)
- Should the off center strike show some dramatic features, this may add some premium to the coin.
What is an off center coin worth?
A collectible coin is worth only as much as a collector is willing to pay for it. Supply and demand along with the appeal of the coin will go a long way. The amount of off center coins manufactured in the US are slowly drying up. We suggest you consider the ability to obtain an appealing uncirculated off center coin at your earliest convenience.
Not a big fan of off center coins major mint error coins? Take a look at our major mint error coins called Die Caps: Die Cap Major Mint Error Coins (minterrors.org)
Looking for “normal” coins? Please see Shop – US Coins, Silver Bullion and Numismatic products and services – TheCoinStore.org