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Wrong-planchet half dollar found

Potter170.jpgA wrong-planchet half dollar dated 1980-P with a four-digit value has been found. A Pennsylvania hobbyist reported it May 30.

?I found this 1980-P Kennedy half in a roll yesterday and I think it might be a wrong planchet error but I?m not sure. There is only a slight trace of reeding on the edge and the condition is probably about uncirculated (AU). It?s also smaller in diameter and a little thinner than a normal Kennedy half. I don?t have the proper equipment to weigh it. Any help in identifying it would be greatly appreciated,? RHM wrote.

Without an actual examination of the coin and without knowing its weight, it is impossible to conclusively attribute the planchet to a United States or other country?s coin (the U.S. Mint struck coins for other countries in 1980).

What we do know from the metal flow that shows on the characters closest to the rim is that it was struck on an undersized planchet. However, the finder was able to add a bit of information that helped immensely; he later confirmed my suspicion that he could see a copper core.  This suggests that it is a clad planchet of the type used for dimes through dollars during that year.

In my opinion, the coin is too spread-out and fills too much of the collar for it to have been struck on a quarter planchet.  This suggests that it was most probably struck on a Susan B. Anthony dollar planchet. If so, an estimation of its value from a panel of error coin experts is somewhere between $850 and $1,750 for an AU grade.

Rich Schemmer of Franklin Square, N.Y., pegged it at about $1,500 for an AU and $2,000 for a Mint State-60  and higher mint state grades within a range of $2,300 to $2,750 for certified MS-63 to MS-65 grades.

James Essence of Jim?s Coins & Stamps, Madison, Wis., said, ?Looks like nice piece. I would say retail price $1,200-$1,600.?

CONECA president Mike Diamond said, ?If it?s on an SBA planchet, I?d guess maybe $1,200. Since it?s close to normal diameter, it lacks a certain eye appeal. Neat, just the same.?

Mike Byers of Byers Numismatic Corp., San Clemente, Calif., said, ?It appears to be struck on a SBA dollar planchet since there is a copper core. I?d estimate approximately 10 known from all of the dates. These have sold on eBay from a low of $850 for a circulated piece, to a high of $3,500 for a gem BU piece certified MS-65.?

Neil Osina of Best Variety/Sportscards & Coins, Glendora, Calif., said, ?It looks to be from a Type 1 planchet, evenly centered with no trace of having had a raised or rolled rim.

?Having been struck from a Type 1 planchet can add about 10 percent. Usually any dollar denomination with another denomination is quite rare and very desirable.?

Osina concurred with Essence on price.

Error dealer, Fred Weinberg of Encino, Calif., said, ?I?d estimate the value of a 1980 Kennedy half struck on an SBA planchet at $1,750-$2,250. The 1980 date is scarcer than the 1979-dated Kennedy on SBAs.?

The off-metal or wrong-planchet error occurs when a wayward planchet from one denomination gets stuck in a tote bin door or for other reasons gets mixed in with planchets of another type and is then delivered to a press striking coins for a denomination other than what the planchet was intended for.

To qualify it as an off-metal it must also be made of a different composition than intended. The wrong-planchet error generally refers to a wayward planchet strike of the same composition as the intended coin but from a different denomination.  Thus a Kennedy half dollar struck on an SBA planchet is a wrong-planchet error but not an off-metal strike.

Half dollars struck on SBA planchets are rare, making this an extremely nice find that?s hard to beat. It provides an incentive to look through clad half dollar rolls.


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. He is a regular columnist in ?Numismatic News?? sister publication, ?World Coin News,? where he pens the Visiting Varieties column.  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 60 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 on his Web site at www.koinpro.com.

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