In my last installment of this series on doubled die finds on the District of Columbia quarters, I reported that Rick LaJoie of New Hampshire had spotted three new varieties on the Philadelphia issue. This brought us up to one variety for the Denver issue and six for Philadelphia.
Now LaJoie has found one other for our Philadelphia listings plus a couple other interesting aberrations for the issue.
His newest doubled die reverse submission is restricted to showing fairly strong doubling to the west of the “E” of ELLINGTON. It is now listed in my files for the date, Mintmark, denomination and type as VCR#7/DDR#7. A small horizontal die break in the field below the piano bench helps to identify this die.
It is interesting to note here that as strong as the doubling on the Denver issue is, I still have fewer than two dozen reported found. It also still remains the only doubled die variety reported to me for Denver. Additionally, unlike many of the other issues where a number of doubled dies were found on business strikes, I still have no reports of doubled dies on the DC quarters from proof sets. If anybody has heard of any in proof I’d like to see them.
LaJoie and Charles Cataldo independently sent in 2009-P DC quarters with evidence of relatively strong clashed die marks on the reverse of the coin showing as “extensions” trailing down below the first “L” of ELLINGTON and as deformities with in the keys of the piano. Both specialists correctly noted that they were clash marks that could be easily mistaken as hub doubling (doubled dies), so I’ve included a shot of one of them here for educational purposes.
The die clash occurs when the planchet delivery system fails to deposit a planchet within the dies and they cycle and smash or clash into each other. When this occurs the design of one or both dies may impart outlines or other deformities on each other. Coins stuck with these clashed (damaged) dies will of course show these aberrations until they are removed by the Mint or wear away.
LaJoie also sent a DC-P quarter that shows die scrapes in the central regions of the coin’s reverse design. Advanced error-variety coin researchers feel the most probable cause for these scrapes is from a malfunctioning feeder/ejector mechanism that scrapes against the die. Because the face of the die is actually slightly convex, if the geometry of the design allows for there to be high spots in that area, such as the field area we see here, the feeder can actually scrape across these areas leaving behind these marks. We see scrapes running in the same direction on one coin design to the next most commonly on the states quarters and Presidential dollars simply because many of those designs allow for this to occur and because folks are looking at these coins closer.
Interestingly, I’ve been getting reports from collectors that these marks are evidence of an attempt by the Mint to remove hub doubling. Such is not the case. These are simply die scrapes as LaJoie correctly attributed them. If the facts were known, the Mint probably couldn’t care less about most of the hub doubling we see. In fact they still deny that it even exists despite the fact that more doubled dies have been pouring out of the mints in the past decade than at any other time in the Mint’s history.
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. He is a regular columnist in Numismatic News’ sister publication, World Coin News, where he pens the Visiting Varieties column. 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 KPotter256@aol.com. An educational image gallery may be viewed on his Web site at www.koinpro.com.