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1970D BU Jefferson Error???

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I purchased a roll of 1970-D Jeffs at a coin show today, of course looking for FS but i came across three coins with the same "Errors" They all three have raised metal behind the I in Liberty and some raised metal in his Hair as well.

PICS: www.wwmwd.com/1970D


Any Insight into this would be a big help.



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Yes, those are die cracks and some people find them interesting to collect. They typically add little or no premium monetary value, unless found in proof sets where they can bring a few extra bucks. The type of die crack that you've found is called a "spiked head" and is more common among post-1967 Jefferson nickels than those prior, and I'm not sure if anyone knows the reasons for that, but there were many hub changes for making Jefferson nickel dies in the period of 1968-2003.


Die cracks, in the most common sense, represent a state of the die (early, middle, late) and are associated with fatigue of the die metal. However, dies may crack at any stage of wear and do not represent very well the true die state (which is better assessed by the deterioration of device and field features due to metal flow). Thus, die cracks are often associated with particular die states, but do not directly represent wear of the die. They do not represent machining or directly ascribable human-caused errors (thus why most people do not call them errors), but they may (and often do) represent errors in die manufacture or press operation. So, die cracks, in a very broad sense, might be considered errors, but more often fall between the cracks (so to speak) for categorization.


It's interesting to note that in yesteryear, when die steel was hard to get a hold of or manufacture, coin presses were often operated knowingly with dies that were in advanced stages of cracking, even to the point of shattering. (This sometimes occurred so early on [even before the dies were put into the press] that no specimens of certain varieties are know without die cracks!) Again, the advance of die cracks is often correlated with the advance of die states, although the reasoning is incorrect. Even more incorrect is the consideration that die cracks represent varieties (though they may be strongly correlated with them), which are unique marriages of obverse and reverse dies. So again, categorization of die cracks is left wanting.


Good luck hunting and hold on to your spiked head Jeffs!



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