Two interesting varieties of 2009 Harrison Presidential dollars from Philadelphia have been discovered by F. Michael Fazzari of Independent Coin Grading Service, who was prescreening quantities for grading and encapsulation.
On one group of coins that he reviewed is a die crack under Harrison’s bust. Early stages show a small break in the rim continuing into the “9” and just touching the bust.
On coins from a later die state, the crack becomes wider and longer, continuing through the President’s shirt and into his shoulder.
A different die crack on other coins is even more visually compelling. This break forms a circular arc under Harrison’s shoulder, Fazzari says. As with the previous example, the crack progresses in strength. Eventually the die should have failed completely when the arc shaped area broke off. This would leave a huge void for planchet metal to fill, creating a blob under the President’s bust.
Fazzari reports that fewer than 100 examples of both varieties were found in rolls from the Philadelphia Mint.
No coins displaying a complete die failure were found among the coins he reviewed. The Mint might have caught them, but some lucky collector might be in for a surprise.