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Half shows error

Strike-through errors are among a number of interesting errors that turned up recently.

This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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Strike-through errors are among a number of interesting errors that turned up recently.


Numismatic News reader, Merle Hyldahl, sent an image of a 2005-P Kennedy half dollar that shows a relatively deep and obvious strike-through error on the obverse. Hyldahl said, “I was recently going through a bank-wrapped roll of 2005 Kennedy half dollars and ran onto one coin that had a large spike running from just north of the ‘In’ of ‘In God We Trust’ and running north through Kennedy’s nose and into his forehead.” I have no idea of what the offending material was.

David L. Kell also found a strike-through on the reverse of a 1974 Kennedy half running through the eagle’s tail feathers and arcing down just above the words HALF DOLLAR. I can only guess that it is a bit of “flashing” from a high-pressure strike that broke off the rim of a previously struck coin.

Johnny Robinson sent in yet another Strike-through “something” error that is found on the head of a 1987-P Washington quarter.

Strike-through errors occur when almost anything falls between the dies when a planchet is present and the offending material is struck into the coin. The offending material may range from a mixture of grease, dirt, metal filings, etc, to items as exotic as washers or cloth. Unless it was “grease,” more often than not, it is impossible to determine what the offending material was.

Another neat error find is a 1982 cent that was double struck in the collar flipped over and rotated virtually 180 degrees. The understrike is most easily seen as the base of the left side of the Memorial Building and “ON” of ONE struck into Lincoln’s shoulder and as vestiges of his head into and above the building.

The father and daughter team of Roger and Heidi Biller found it looking for errors and varieties in rolls with this one being one of their better error finds so far. They sent a list of other finds ranging from 13,000 Wheat cents to some rather dramatic variety finds like the 1972 Doubled Dies No.1 and No. 4 (an example of the very rare No. 4 in MS-62 RB just sold at Bowers & Merena’s Baltimore Auction for $2,070) and two 1999 Wide AM reverse cents. Photo courtesy of the Billers.

David Winn reports finding a neat looking major die break on the reverse of a 1943 zinc-coated steel cent. A major die break is often affectionately referred to as a cud, a nickname born in the early days of the error hobby that is one of the few that has stuck to this day. He found it while searching an original roll. Photos courtesy of Winn.

A Michigan collector who wants to be known only as Ken P. (no relation) submitted a beautiful example of a dateless copper plated zinc cent with a heavily distorted mirror image of the Memorial reverse stuck into its obverse.

This error type is known as a brockage. The coin is also broadstruck error, meaning that it was struck without the aid of the collar, that would normally restrain the spread of the coin to its normal 19 millimeter diameter. It’s also split in two places due to excessive striking pressure caused by two or more coins being broadstruck together.

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 61 cents to Ken Potter, P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076-0232. Contact him via e-mail at:, or visit his Educational Image Gallery located at:


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