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Rusty Dies, Pretty Penny posted by Electric Peak Collection

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

I finally took pictures of a bunch of recent acquisitions.


I've been behind with posting photos of recent registry additions. Saturday night I got the camera out and got a few dozen done. Only the freebie state quarters from paid membership a few years back and several modern proof commemoratives remain without mug shots.


The attached photo is the obverse of one of my acquisitions from the recent Baltimore show. I obtained an 1853 No Arrows half dime, and this 1828 N-6 large cent.


During the early years of the U.S. Mint, when a die broke or was worn out and needed to be replaced, there were occasions when the replacement die had been sitting around for awhile and developed rust pits. In some cases, a die rusted during the course of its use. The latter case applies to the obverse die used to strike this cent.


According to "The Cent Book" by John Wright, early N-7 strikes show that the obverse die had little or no rust pitting, while later strikes have evidence of die rust scattered all over. This die remained in use after the N-7 reverse die was retired. The N-6 variety is a mating of this used obverse die and a new reverse die. Apparently nothing was done to reduce the effect of the rust, and Write says of the N-6 variety that "high grade examples do look really impressive with the rust lumps all over the obverse."


I would imagine that there was at least one gap in the production of N-7 cents during which the rusting occurred. According to Wright, the N-7 reverse die showed evidence of rusting along with the obverse die, supporting that supposition. It seems implausible to me that it could have occurred during a continuous run of cent production. In any case, here's my newest copper baby, lumps and all.



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