Numismatic News readers are still finding major die breaks, (also known as ?cuds?) on state quarters. Over the past few years we?ve shown them on coins of several states, including West Virginia, Colorado and North Dakota.
Where you find one variety, there is usually more to follow. The newest one is on the reverse of the 2007-P Wyoming quarter found in a roll by Mike Bozynski of the private Royal Oak Mint in Michigan.
According to Bozynski, an employee went to the bank to make a deposit and decided to buy a roll of the newest state quarter to be released. When he returned, the employee sold the roll to Bozynski, who then decided to look through it for errors. To his surprise, he found the cud error. In returning to the same bank a few days later, they found that every roll had been given out to collectors.
To date it appears that this may be the first major die break to be found on a Wyoming quarter. A search of eBay auctions revealed that no cuds have been offered there for this issue.
Bozynski?s cud shows on the reverse extending from the rim encroaching upward into the bottoms of LUR of E PLURIBUS.
The term ?cud? is a slang holdover 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 then strike coins that will show 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 not enough metal was present on the opposing side to raise up the design sufficiently when struck. Bozynski?s coin shows that area of weakness on the obverse over the TAT of STATES.
The obverse of his coin also coincidentally was struck through grease, a condition that has become so common in recent years that it is almost ignored by error collectors as being a collectible error type except when it covers far more of the obverse/reverse.
Values for typical cuds on state quarters were at one time as high as $40 each, but have fallen in recent years due to the numbers found. Today they often sell on eBay for as cheap as $8 to $9 and up into the $20 range for typical examples.
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.).
Shown here is another 2007-P Wyoming quarter from Douglas Rall of Idaho. This one shows numerous die chips, die breaks and die cracks on the rear section of the bronco where they have been fairly common. A search of eBay auctions on Oct. 28, revealed that a number of auctions containing rim die breaks or die breaks in the interior of the coin similar to Rall?s were being misrepresented as cuds. Interestingly, my search revealed that they often do not sell at all but when they did, brought in little more than a buck.
Apparently eBay bidders are becoming a little more sophisticated than they were several years ago when bidding on minor errors, often touted as ?rare and desirable,? sometimes erupted into bidding wars where the coins fetched multiples of what they were worth.
I also illustrate the cud error here on an actual Mardi Gras doubloon die 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 we see here.
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 60 cents postage to P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076, or by contacting him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. An educational image gallery may be viewed on his Web site at www.koinpro.com.