Two interesting die clash errors showed up at the Detroit Coin Show Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The clashes appear on a 2011-P Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential dollar and a 2011-P Olympic quarter.
The Hayes dollar displays spectacularly strong clash marks on both the obverse and reverse. This is one of those coins where there is no reason for me to add arrows to the images to point out the anomalies – they just reach out and grab you on both the obverse and reverse.
The Olympic quarter is perhaps less spectacular because the clash marks are restricted to the obverse of the coin, but here too there is no need to point them. You can see clash marks all over the obverse in the fields and throughout Washington’s portrait that represent many of the low points of the reverse motif that “clashed” into the obverse with the strongest marks below Washington’s chin and ear. What is perhaps educational about this coin is that the reverse shows no signs of a clash, which demonstrates that sometimes clash marks do not transfer to both dies during a clash due to the geometry of one or the other die’s design, or the fact that sometimes the Mint catches the clash on just one die, replaces it and lets the other continue in use.
Die clashes are the result of a failure of a feeder system to deposit a planchet between the dies during a press cycle. When this occurs, the dies clash or smash into each other imparting some of each die’s design into the opposing die to a greater or lesser degree.
In general, clashed die varieties do not attract the same kind of interest on modern coins that Doubled Dies, Repunched Mintmarks, Overdates, etc., do. However they are a lot of fun to find and collect even if they aren’t as heavily promoted and cataloged. Nonetheless, that could be changing. Interest does seem to be growing slowly in this area. One group of collectors who may eventually put the stronger and more radical die clashes on the map are the folks that run a relatively new website dedicated to clashed dies here:
Both coins were submitted by Bill Gladden of Michigan who found several of each of them in original rolls.
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I’d like to thank Chuck Sharp, the promoter of the Detroit show for giving CONECA four tables this year, not only for my work but so that CONECA members Mike Howard and James Motley could exhibit several cases of error coins along with giving seven PowerPoint presentations spanning two days on an introduction to error-variety coins.