Skip to main content

Cuds found on new quarters

Numismatic News readers are finding major die breaks known as cuds on the newly released 2006-P state quarters.

Numismatic News readers are finding major die breaks known as cuds on the newly released 2006-P state quarters.

Frank S. Trout and Don Mix of Florida reported the newest one on the reverse of a 2006-P North Dakota quarter. G.J. Lawson of West Virginia and William C. Massey of Maryland reported two different 2005-P West Virginia varieties.

According to Trout, he and Mix originally obtained 30 uncirculated rolls of North Dakota quarters from a bank in Orlando on Sept. 22. He first found one of the cuds when he decided to go through a roll to find a nice coin for his collection. He and Mix then found 40 more out of 20 rolls, leaving ten rolls to search through. Presumably the finds will be around 60 pieces when the balance of rolls is searched.

Their find displays a major die break or cud at about 4 o?clock extending from the rim into the prairie grasses and field below. There is also a noticeable die crack that runs from the lower end of the cud into the field extending to lower design.

According to Trout, he is no newcomer to cherrypicking. A collector of 60 years, he still remembers finding 1972 doubled dies in uncirculated rolls he obtained from a local market in Philadelphia in 1972. He said he found 25 of the major doubled die #1 and rolls of doubled die #2 and #3. He has been cherrypicking ever since that time.

William C. Massey of Maryland submitted a 2005-P West Virginia quarter with a cud at about 8 o?clock.

G.J. Lawson of West Virginia submitted another 2005-P West Virginia quarter with a major die break on the reverse at about 8 o?clock that is different than Massey?s. The right edge of Lawson?s cud is smoother than the edge on Massey?s find. Lawson?s also exhibits several die chips within the ?B? of LIBERTY on the obverse, which serves as a distinctive marker for the coin since they probably all have this characteristic.

?Cud? is a slang term from the 1960s that stuck. A cud occurs when a section of the die face and corresponding shank breaks away and leaves a void in the die in its place. The die will now strike coins with a raised blob of unstruck metal that has been partially forced up into the void during the strike. On the opposite side of the cud will often be an area of weakness, representing the fact that nothing was present on the opposing side to create the pressure needed to raise up the design sufficiently. None of these cuds show an area of weakness, as these die breaks are not large enough to cause the effect.

2005-P West Virginia cuds, of which there are several different of about the same size as these, have been seen selling on eBay at an average price of about $40 each. There is no history of sales for the North Dakota cuds.

Cuds are often confused with die breaks or even die chips that are found within the interior of the coin design but have no connection to the shank of the die or edge of the coin. A die break ? no matter how large ? that does not involve the edge of the die is not a cud, it is simply a die break, which may be defined as a small, medium or large die break (see Alan Herbert?s Official Price Guide To Mint Errors for an in-depth discussion on die breaks, chips, etc.).

I also illustrate a cud error here on a die, this for a Mardi Gras doubloon, so that the concept of what it is can be better understood. Remember that a cud always, without exception, affects both the shank and face of the die as is seen in that die photo.

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

For more information on either of these clubs, or to learn how to get a variety listed in the Variety Coin Register, send a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope and 63 cents to Ken Potter, P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076-0232.

Contact Ken via e-mail to, or visit his educational image gallery located at Web site