Is there any way of telling a worn, dateless 1916 quarter from a 1917?
On the 1916 quarters, the leaves left of the “L” in LIBERTY are broad and close together; on the 1917, they are narrow and farther apart. The drapery above the “19” is different and position of the toes above the “6” or “7” differs. The star below the “W” in WE on the 1916 is farther from the line, and relief of the stars is not as high as it is on the 1917. After deciding all that, you still have a dateless coin worth only its bullion content.
You’ve said several times in response to questions that visual inspection of coins at the various U.S. mints went out in the 1960s. Does that statement still stand?
As far as I can determine it does, at least as far as the coins are concerned. The minting process now depends in great part on “riddlers,” which are vibrating screens that catch the under- and oversized planchets and coins. However, at least in the early stages of the switch to the copper-plated zinc planchets in 1982, they revived the belt inspection for the unstruck planchets. Ten-thousand out of every 600,000 planchets coming from the private supply company were put on the belt and visually inspected.
Is there any factual basis for the claim that 200 silver quarters and 60 silver dimes were minted with 1965 dates?
Absolutely none for the specific figures. However, there was a very small number of both denominations struck by accident, the so-called “transition” coins. There are probably less than a dozen known of either denomination.
What is a witness line on a coin or medal?
A witness line is a raised ridge of metal on the edge of the coin at right angles to the edge of the piece. It is extruded between the segments of an edge die as a result of the pressure exerted by the dies in striking the coin. A segmented edge die is one that is separated into three or more pieces. The segments are mounted so that they can be forced against the edge of the planchet, usually by hydraulic pressure, as the dies strike the planchet.
Are there 1795 cents with reeded edges?
There are examples with part of the edge reeded, and at least six specimens are known with full reeding. They are the result of experiments at the Mint that year with the idea of reeding the coins rather than lettering the edges, using a Castaing machine.