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No reeding on off-center Anthony $1

 (Image courtesy

(Image courtesy

I’m concerned that my Anthony dollar might be a counterfeit. It looks like it’s off center, but it has no reeding.

Your 1979-P SBA dollar is a normal off-center strike, about 3 percent off. Since it would have to be struck out of the collar to be off center, there is no reeding on the edge of the coin because there was no contact with the collar, which imparts the reeding as the coin is struck. If instead it were a case of a misaligned die, then it would have been struck in the collar and would show reeding.

I recently purchased 1958 and 1958-D overdate cents, as listed in Breen’s Encyclopedia. Will you authenticate them?

Since the publication of Breen’s book, we have determined that the varieties of the 1958 and 1958-D cents are not overdates. Del Romines did some very extensive research on a large number of the coins and was able to prove that the markings are the result of spiral ridges left by the cutter in the Janvier reducing lathe when the hubs were made.

Years ago you ran a story on a bubbled copper-plated zinc cent that sold for a substantial sum. Could you find the information, please?

Apparently you have something confused with the bubbled cents because the bubbles on the copper-plated zinc cents struck since 1982 are completely worthless. They have absolutely no value because the bubbles are a very frequent occurrence. Bubbling of any kind on any coin, especially the clad coins, has no value because the effect can be readily faked with the sudden application of heat, as with a welding torch. On the zinc cents, the bubbles are the result of contamination on the planchet under the plating that causes the zinc to corrode. If you open one of the bubbles, you will find a whitish zinc oxide pushing the copper up.

Can you tell me the story behind the “STATESOFAMERICA” varieties of 1814 and 1820 dimes, with the three words run together?

Walter Breen described the coins of both years as being from a single die that later was sold for scrap. Coin dealer Robert Bashlow used the die in Scotland to strike some 536 impressions, some uniface and some with a fantasy obverse with “GOD PRESERVE PHILADELPHIA AND THE LORDS PROPRIETORS.” A wide variety of metals were used, from platinum to lead. These pieces were seized by U.S. Customs and destroyed, and Treasury agents seized the dies in Scotland. The agents destroyed the historic die, assuming that it was as “counterfeit” as the fantasy obverse, despite frantic efforts by Dr. Clain-Stefanelli to obtain the die for the Smithsonian collection.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

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