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old cent die on ebay (1939?)

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I have been watching this for a couple weeks and think it is rather interesting


it is on wood with a couple cents - the one showing date seems to be 1939

and the other shows wheat reverse


most of the die head is ground down



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It is hard to say what it is. The serial numbers around the base of the die might be the best clue. The serial numbers on a set of 1968-S nickel dies that I have on the body of the die, not the base.


I don't know about the general shape of U.S. mint coin dies through the years. Many of the 1968-S Proof coin dies that were issued had some details left on them. Others were totally effaced, and I don't place much stock in those. Many years ago I bought I a 1968-S dime die on a fancier little plaque for $20. I think that New England Rare Coin Galleries, which was Jim Halprin's company before he moved on to Heritage, sold the plaque and die set for close to $100. When I was dealer I sold a farily large number of 1968-S nickel, dime and quarter dies for $60 apiece. I also had access to the collars at the same price.


At any rate this die looks to be from older vintage than the 1968 dies I handled. The base is different, and I am not aware that the U.S. mint has issued canceled cent that were later than 1968. But these are just guess on my part.

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Is that a "flat" on the back of the die, the side by the two cents being the front? If so that would date it to the era when they started striking two pairs of dies at the same time. The two obverses and the two reverses had flat spots that nestled together in the die holder to keep the dies from rotating. Think it started during WW2, but not sure.

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See discussion here:


Old Lincoln Wheat Penny US Mint Coin Die


D3 = Denver Mint 1993 per Fred Weinberg via Charmy Harker


but as Condor101 mentions in the thread:


"How would you know it means 1993 and not 13, 23, 33, 43, 53, 63, 73, 83, or 03? I know there have been different shank styles to the dies over the years but I have no idea what style was used when. "

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The die in the OP is very similar to a Roosevelt dime die that I have.



The serial number (or what I'm assuming is the serial number) also begins with a D.



Even though the marking on the top is red, it appears to be very similar to the markings on the die in the OP



Close-up of the markings on the top



Close up of the bottom



The die in the OP also has this flat spot, which I'm assuming acted as a guide.



Just showing that it is dime-sized.


I don't know when this die was used. I need to get up to the NARA in Philadelphia to learn more about it.

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I contacted Mr. Fred Weinberg today asking if he knew how to date the die in the OP, as well as the one I posted, without trekking up to the NARA in Philadelphia. He said:

On the San Francisco "Torched Dies" from the late '60's, there is

usually this: S1234P (on the side of the die)


The first S is for San Francisco, the last P is for Proof (coin die), and

the four numbers in the middle are unique numbers for that particular die.


There were many of these dies, sold by the SF Mint at the end of the

decade, that had design on either the reverse or the obverse; those that

had dates showing were always 1968-S Dies, with a very few 1969-S Dies.


Some of these Dies do not have anything on the side of the base.


There is no way that I'm aware of, to tell if a die is from 1968 or 1969

unless the date shows on any design left from being torched.


I call them Torched because an acetelene (sp) torch was taken to the

die face to destroy the design; the effect looks like Lava.


For the Denver Mint Dies that I bought in 1996, directly from the Denver Mint,

those Dies are 'planed' - grinded off, smooth die face (except those that still show

a bit of design!)


On those Denver Mint Dies, there is this:



The first D is for Denver, the second 3 is for 1993 (some are dated 1994), and

then six unique serial numbers for that particular die.


For current Dies, at least those from 2006 to 2010 that I have from the Denver Mint,

the same information is Lazar etched onto the neck of the die.


Seeing as the die in the OP, as well as the one I posted, has a ground off face (not a torched face) and given his information on the serial numbers, I would guess that the die in the OP was used in Denver in 1993 and the one I posted at the same Mint in 1994.


Mr. Weinberg actually has two 1968-S Proof dies for 50C pieces currently listed on eBay:


Here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1968-S-PROOF-50-OBV-COIN-DIE-/391041764109?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5b0be7cb0d


And here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1968-S-PROOF-50-REV-COIN-DIE-/381141095411?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item58bdc793f3


These are both pretty cool because they still have some of the 50C design showing on the face.


From his eBay photos:








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Nice sleuthing. I asked the seller for better photos of the face, but all he provided were the numbers.

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