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Readers report Colorado cuds

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

Numismatic Newsreaders are finding major die breaks on the newly released 2006-P Colorado state quarters.

So far, two different ones have been reported. Pat O?Regan of Tennessee reported the first one, with a die break that is located at about 3 o?clock, while B. Jones of Illinois found a second variety located at about 9 o?clock.

Their finds are on the reverse of the coins and represent the first two major die breaks to be reported to me on the Colorado quarter. To date, this author is only aware of other major die breaks on the states quarter series as being found on the 2001-P Kentucky and 2005-P West Virginia quarters, though others might exist.

According to O?Regan, he originally found a single example out of two rolls he obtained from the Bank of McCreary in Pine Knot, Ky. Because the bank limits customers to two rolls of new quarters per visit, he then went back nine more times and found 19 more examples of the variety before he finally decided he had enough to satisfy himself and the friends. He suggested that there were undoubtedly many more left behind that are now circulating in the area, or still in rolls that other collectors obtained from that bank.

Jones noted that he found his major die breaks in original rolls obtained from a bank in the Chicago area. He said that he was only able to obtain a few rolls, so he only found a few of the errors. Jones also found two different die-break varieties that are located between the rim and the design at about 3 o?clock on one coin and at about 9:30 o?clock on the other coin. Specialists consider this class of die break to be of lesser significance than major die breaks, but they are still interesting.

Major die breaks are often referred to as ?cuds,? a slang holdover 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. The void created by the cud allows excessive metal to flow in the direction of the cud instead of filling both sides of the coin design.

On O?Regan?s coin, that area is well struck because the cud is not particularly large, while on Jones? coin, which bears a slightly larger cud, there is a bit of weakness on the obverse opposite the cud (as pointed out by our arrows).

The 2005-P West Virginia cuds, of which there are many different of about the same size as these, have been seen selling on eBay and by error dealers at an average price of $40. If these Colorado cuds remain the only cuds found for this state, they could be worth more. The lesser die-break coins that Jones found are probably worth between $2 to $5 each.

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 indepth discussion on die breaks, chips, etc.).

Remember that a cud always, without exception, affects both the shank and face of the die.

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 address

An educational image gallery may be viewed on his Web site at