Mis-struck World Coins – A Primer
by Bill Snyder
More and more collectors are now looking for something ‘different’ to collect. I would like to suggest that one can learn a lot about coins and coinage by looking into Error coins.
Of the three general types of error coins (Planchet errors, Die errors and Striking errors), Striking errors (sometimes called Mis-strikes) are my favorites.
Illustrated below are four major kinds of Mis-struck coins: Off-Centers, Doublestrikes, Brockages, and Broadstrikes. These four are avidly sought by collectors, particularly if the error is clearly obvious to the naked eye.
Look for off-centers that (1) have the Date showing, and (2) are at least 10% off center.
Most Double Strikes were struck as well-centered coins, but were struck again before the coin could leave the coining chamber. As with Off Center coins, look for Double Strikes with a date (at least one), and ones with the two strikes at least 10% (of the diameter of the coin) apart.
Much has been written about how Brockages happen. (* see some definitions from the Web, below). Suffice it to say that a Brockage will have the same picture and wording on both sides, but on one of those sides, everything is backwards. Also, everything is ‘set in’ to the coin surface, instead of raised).
Look for ‘full’ (or ‘mirror-image’) brockages. These are the ones in which one whole side is an exact mirror image of the other side. It’s a bit hard to describe, so please study the picture (above).
Normally, every coin struck from about the mid-1800’s (depending upon the country of origin) is of uniform size. A collar surrounds the metal disk as the dies come together, and the coin metal is squeezed against it. Naturally, the resulting coin will have almost exactly the same diameter as the inside of the collar.
If, for some reason, the collar is not there (is out of position), the coin metal is unrestrained and an over-sized coin results.
I hope that this introduction has sparked your interest in Mis-strikes. They need not be expensive. Remember that you get to choose what type of coin (type of error, size and metal of coin, country of origin, etc) to look for.
* Some Web authors explain a brockage:
A brockage is formed when a coin is not ejected from the press and remains in place while another planchet is struck. The result is that the first coin acts as a die for the second coin and makes an incuse impression of the exposed face. – from http://www.triton.vg/errors.html
A brockage is an early form of mint error which results from the use of a previously-struck coin as a die. We suppose that this normally resulted from a freshly-struck piece adhering to the punch die as a result of surface tension, or simply the adhesiveness of heated metal; a virgin flan was then inserted on the anvil die and struck with the punch, so that the obverse previously produced by that anvil die appears in incuse as the reverse of the new coin. Eventually the first coin drops from the die and coining proceeds as usual; the flawed pieces escape detection and find their way into circulation. – from http://www.numismatics.org/publications/termsandmethods/
Brockage – A mirror image of the design from one side of a coin impressed on the opposite side – occasionally, a newly struck coin “sticks” to a die, causing the next coin struck to have a First Strike Mirror Brockage of the coin stuck to the die; by the second strike the mirror is distorted, and later strikes are termed Struck Through A Capped Die. – from http://www.donchingon.com/excelencia/en/glossary/
A brockage is a Mint error, an early capped die impression where a sharp incused image has been left on the next coin fed into the coining chamber. Most brockages are partial; full brockages are rare and the most desirable form of the error. http://www.pcgs.com
Notes – The coins illustrated are all silver British India 2 Annas pieces.