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Another Washington dollar planchet found

2007JAPresT-IIBlank-ac.jpgBack in April we reported on Butch Parrish of Virginia finding a planchet in a roll of Philadelphia George Washington Presidential dollars. Now another Numismatic News reader, Thomas P. Van Zeyl of Illinois reports finding a planchet in a roll of 2007 Washington dollars from Denver. 

Van Zeyl supplied an image of the planchet, seen to have the raised upset rim diagnostic to a planchet, which is the proper term for a blank after it has been run through the upset mill or rimmer. The process of ?upsetting? the rim helps facilitate the flow of metal into this area of the coin during the strike, and also aids in standardizing their diameter in the event any blanks are slightly too large.

Van Zeyl wrote:

?A few weeks ago, I was made aware that a teller at another of the bank?s branches (who has since left the bank?s employ) had a completely blank Washington dollar coin. I provided my contact with my credentials and my contact information and told her to have this woman contact me if she wished to learn more about this coin. A couple of weeks passed by and the ?discoverer? finally called me and we got together on July 18th. I brought with me business strike examples of the Washington 2007-D dollar, along with these pictures of a 2000 Sacagawea Blank Planchet (via Fred Weinberg?s Web site) for comparison purposes:

?While my photographs are not the best, I can personally attest that the ?discoverer?s? piece looks EXACTLY like the Sacagawea blank planchet photos from the Fred Weinberg inventory.?

A question that comes up frequently from finders of planchets in the Presidential dollar rolls is how to prove which coin design they were intended for. Clearly, if a planchet is found in a roll of Washington dollars, it was intended to be struck as a Washington dollar. Unfortunately, it is impossible to prove later since these planchets are now being used for more design types of dollars. 

Error specialist Fred Weinberg of Encino, Calif., who acts as a consultant to the Professional Coin Grading Service for their error coin certifications, stated that PCGS will not identify on the holder which dollar coin a blank or planchet may have been intended for, other than it being identified as the copper-core, manganese-brass type introduced in 2000 (for the Sacagawea dollar).

He stated further that even though the process is slightly different between the production of planchets for Sacagawea and Presidential dollars, PCGS does not distinguish between them, simply attributing them currently as ?2000-2007 Manganese Blank Planchet.?

Blanks intended for Sacagawea dollars are annealed (softened) after they are run through the upset mill while those blanks intended for Presidential dollars are annealed before the upset so that the work hardening of the rim created by the process remains intact. The Mint found that this allows the planchet to withstand the rigors of the edge-lettering process better. The edge lettering is applied to the coins after they are struck.

According to Weinberg, there do seem to be some visual differences between the Sacagawea and Presidential dollar planchets. The Presidential planchets seem brighter and ligher in color. But, he said, the differences are ?not quantifiable.? He said planchets identified as being from Presidential dollar sources appear to be a bit less burnished, but that this could be true of current Sacagawea planchets also, of which few have been seen in the past few years. In effect, what seems to be different may not be at all if we were to compare planchets to planchets produced in the same year and at the same facility. 

As for value, Weinberg pegs them at about $125 each, though early pieces that were slabbed prior to the Presidential program and have been designated as Sacagewea dollar planchets may be worth more.

Not a bad find for a buck, no matter what it was intended for!


Ken Potter is the official attributer of world doubled dies for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America and for the National Collectors Association of Die Doubling. He also privately lists other collectible variety types on both U.S. and world coins in the Variety Coin Register. 

More information on either of the clubs or how to get a coin listed in the Variety Coin Register may be obtained by sending a long, self-addressed envelope with 63 cents postage to P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076, or by contacting him via e-mail at KPotter256@aol.com.
An educational image gallery may be viewed at Web site www.koinpro.com.

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