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Is a Wire Rim a Manufacturing Defect? What is your opinion?

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JTO

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When describing the diagnostic wire rim on a 1911-D $2.5 Indian I was told that it was just a manufacturing defect (See bought a pig in a poke)

In a previous thread about my purchase of a set of gold $2.5 gold Indian coins a pithy comment was made that the "wire rim on a coin is a manufacturing defect". With due respect to RWB, a wire rim is not, in my opinion, a manufacturing defect. First, if it were it should be listed as a Mint Error, it is not. The most well-known example of a coin catalogued not only with this trait in the red book but it is listed separately based on the presence or absence of a wire rim. The coin is, of course, the 1907 $20 High Relief gold piece by Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

The wire rim occurs when a new die is used with a full planchet. The amount of gold, silver or whatever metal used in the planchet fills all of the devices and body of the coin with enough additional metal to have a small amount flow (under pressure the metal becomes fluid) out around the collar. A wire rim is created. It is found it usually occurs in very early die states or some proof coins. Sure, you could call it a manufacturing defect, but it is most often seen as a desirable trait. The wire rim may disappear over time with wear (the coin had it but it wore off or as the dies wear and as the metal flows there is no longer more metal than the dies can hold.

To the original point: the vast majority of the 1911-D gold $2.5, strong D coins have a wire rim. I have never seen a 1911-D gold $2.5, strong D without it. This is also a difficult attribute to counterfeit accurately. And so my comment that it is a diagnostic to look for. Yes, if it is not there it does not automatically mean that the coin is bad, but if it is there it is a good sign. That's all...

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