A nice struck on wrong planchet error coin. This is a 1966 Lincoln Cent struck on a dime planchet. Let us examine this struck on wrong planchet coin and think of ways that this struck on wrong planchet error can occur.
How are struck on wrong planchet coins made?
In order to have a slim chance in finding one of these coins in circulation or in a mint roll or bag you should take the time to know a few ways that this struck on wrong planchet coin can be made. Here are some possibilities:
- In order for struck on wrong planchets to occur, a planchet(s) not intended for a particular denomination need to be struck by the wrong set of dies.
- The struck on wrong planchet coin has a higher chance at success if the wrong planchet is close to the same size (mm wise) in order for this wrong planchet to make it down the coin minting path and be placed onto the anvil working die and struck by the incorrect hammer die.
How does the wrong planchet enter the wrong set of working dies?
- Remember this coin was struck in 1966. Going back in time, the US Mint pack then created their own planchets. Once these planchets were cut out, they were probably transported from the planchet creation area towards the minting presses in a large bin of some sort.
- These bins were dumped in a pit like area that was rectangular shaped. I believe it had a side door which opened and the planchets (blank coins) were fed onto a conveyor belt and eventually found their way from being warmed up, to having a rim placed upon it (becoming a Type II planchet) and eventually being introduced to the minting press.
- The US mint has a limited amount of minting presses and typically each “area” strikes a different coin denomination, but bins and holding areas have multiple uses.
How struck on wrong planchets become reality
- It is really simple in most situations. If you carefully read the bulleted text above, you have a generic understanding how a “normal” coin is struck.
- A struck on wrong planchet coin are wrong planchets that are either sent in bulk to the wrong minting machines OR, when the workers dump the bin into the hopper they do not ensure the bin is 100% empty.
- After a bin has been dumped, in the bottom of the bin there may be a single or multiple planchets laying at the bottom of the bin. Once the bin has been dumped, they are probably stored off to the side waiting to be used once again. When these generic used bins are used again for another purpose, like being filled up with planchets of another size, the wrong planchets are mixed in with other planchets.
- This bin now filled up with a mix of planchet types and or sizes is then sent on its way to the minting process once again.
- These incorrect planchets that were at the bottom of the bin may be dumped into another area and the coins are struck by the incorrect dies.
- If these struck on wrong planchet error coins can escape the Quality Assurance tests that the US Mint had set up to catch error coins, then the struck on wrong planchet coins enter the bagging area and may eventually leave the US Mint.
Other ways Struck on wrong planchet error coins happen
Back in the day there were other ways struck on wrong planchets may have occurred. Let’s ponder on how this could happen.
The area where the blank planchets were dumped is a holding area. There is a mini garage like door there that raises in order for the coins to escape the holding area and head toward the conveyor and down the minting press line. I have seen photos where incorrect sized planchets are trapped in the holding bin.
I have seen coins trapped in the track which raises and lowers that mini garage door.
I have also seen planchets simply hiding in corners of the holding area in a unusual pattern that caused them to become stuck. Then when a new load of planchets are dumping into the bin, the trapped planchets are hit, become scattered and free, mixing in with the other planchets.
Struck on wrong planchet error coins may have occurred when a mint worker sees a few planchets laying loose on the US Mint floor picks these planchets up and probably tosses them into an area where he thinks they should go. The gesture is nice, and it may become spectaular if the planchets were tossed into the wrong area and struck on wrong planchets were created.
In the end, struck on wrong planchets occur when a planchet some how goes through a strict process by the mint and that small percentage of luck happens and the error coin escapes the mint and into circulation.
Struck on wrong planchet – a Close up and quick attribution
If I had found this coin in loose change, from a roll or bag of coins, these are the steps that I would take in order to determine if the coin had a chance to be real.
The coin composition. This is obviously not the right metal. Lincoln Cents are not struck on what appears to be Copper Nickel.
Is the coin magnetic? If you suspect this coin was struck on a dime or nickel planchet, those type of planchets are not magnetic. BUT, what happens if this coin could have been struck on a foreign planchet?
It’s all about the weight. The US Mint has some really strict planchet size and weigh tolerances. If this coin is weighed and it is extremely close to the weight of a US dime planchet, and it is a non-magnetic planchet, the evidence is pretty solid and this should be the potential struck on wrong planchet match.
If you look at the obverse of this coin, beside the metal type…..although slightly obscured by the PCGS holder, you can see that “IN GOD WE TRUST” is not completely there. A quick look at “LIBERTY” does not show the “L” and the “I” is almost at the rim.
I would say a lot of people would not pay attention to this type of coin in circulation. The common person may claim the coin was electroplated or dipped in something to create excitement to a collector who knows about struck on wrong planchet errors.
For the average knowledge of a collector, the reverse looks pretty normal if you will. What looks different is that the width of the rim around the outer edge is quite inconsistent. Additionally, “ONE CENT” is touching the rim.
To me, sometimes the strikes on struck on wrong planchet error coins seems damaged looking almost. It is very hard to put into words. It is as if as the hammer die strikes the planchet, making it into a coin, but the coin still tries to stretch and expand, attempting to fill in the collar all the way around. If there is a significant size difference in planchet diameters, the metal thickness may thin and never reach collar at all. So as the dies try to flatten and fill the collar, some of he metal in between the dies tries to escape letters, numbers or devices and help spread the metal out.
So there you have it, an overall explanation on how struck on wrong planchets happen, as well as how to attribute a potential struck on wrong planchet error coin.
Not a big fan of struck on wrong planchet major error coins? Take a look at our major mint error coins called Die Caps: Die Cap Major Mint Error Coins (minterrors.org)
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