• When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

1925 standing liberty quarter - potential mirror brockage
1 1

44 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Hi all, 

Long time casual collector here, new to the forums because I've stumbled across an interesting piece and I'd like to hear thoughts from the community.

It appears to be a full mirror brockage of a 1925 standing liberty quarter. The coin is a perfect mirror of the obverse design on one side, but (and this is the source of my confusion) completely blank on the other side. Typical examples of these mirror brockages seem to have been struck by a die on one side and a coin on the other, but this seems to have been struck on the opposite face with something flat (another blank?). It also lacks the reeded edge of a typical standing liberty quarter.

Very interested in hearing your thoughts on authenticity. Is this something worth sending to be authenticated? It appears to be the same weight, diameter, and thickness of a standard period quarter, so everything seems potentially real to me, but I'm definitely not an expert.IMG_20230708_073439__01.thumb.jpg.eaef87f1b2fae921e5b3a75857f1dffa.jpgIMG_20230708_073655__01.thumb.jpg.24cac1b71577f69847c165deeabe7fb0.jpgIMG_20230708_082644__01.thumb.jpg.0e334c0ae32d2c3a3a7b02ba795a7e42.jpg

Edge comparison under the scope. EDIT Right hand is a circulated SLQ for comparison, left is the unknown coin:IMG_20230708_084205.jpg

Edited by Arrowhm
Clarity on one caption
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello!

The weight for a SLQ in 1925 should be 6.25g so at 5.9g the coin is definitely underweight. Despite what happens strike wise, the planchet weight should be more. The lack of a reeded edge bothers me. There are invisible strike errors which would possibly be part of die spacing adjustment, but I can't see how this could happen in a mirror brockage situation.

I can't really explain what you have, but there are too many error factors at play here for this to be something legit. If it were, you would be luckier than someone who played the Powerball. Starting with an underweight planchet from the end of a roll going into the blanking machine, it missed going through the upsetting mill and getting a low partial rim, then the coin was somehow part of a die adjustment strike but also got a mirror brockage at the same time, and then somehow missed passing through the rollers to give it the reeded edge, and then made it out of the mint.....I'm not buying it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/8/2023 at 10:10 AM, Sandon said:

   Welcome to the NGC chat board.

    The standard weight for a Standing Liberty or other silver quarter made from 1873 to 1964 is 6.25 grams, not 5.9 grams. This piece also has rough, dark surfaces with ill-defined features that suggest that it is a casting made from the obverse of a 1925 Standing Liberty quarter, not a product of the U.S. Mint.  A search on error-ref.com turned up no form of "brockage" that looks like this. It may have been someone's crude effort to create a counterfeit oin or to fake a mint error.

Thanks for the response!

The weight is a good clue. All I did for comparison was weigh a circulated one:

IMG_20230708_084317__01.thumb.jpg.d5dcc8cbba127d30cbd8c07bb7a9ba2c.jpg

My assumption was that if the regular guy weighed 6g circulated then the worn brockage might be around the same.

I'm not sure about it being cast though. I'm fairly experienced with jewelry making (and do some casting myself) and this lacks the characteristics of a cast piece. There's no sprew or evidence of its removal, and under the scope this looks pressed to me.  I agree with the skepticism though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/8/2023 at 10:08 AM, powermad5000 said:

Hello!

The weight for a SLQ in 1925 should be 6.25g so at 5.9g the coin is definitely underweight. Despite what happens strike wise, the planchet weight should be more. The lack of a reeded edge bothers me. There are invisible strike errors which would possibly be part of die spacing adjustment, but I can't see how this could happen in a mirror brockage situation.

I can't really explain what you have, but there are too many error factors at play here for this to be something legit. If it were, you would be luckier than someone who played the Powerball. Starting with an underweight planchet from the end of a roll going into the blanking machine, it missed going through the upsetting mill and getting a low partial rim, then the coin was somehow part of a die adjustment strike but also got a mirror brockage at the same time, and then somehow missed passing through the rollers to give it the reeded edge, and then made it out of the mint.....I'm not buying it.

The missing reeded edge bugs me too, but I didn't know enough about the production process to understand where that gets added. Thanks for that! 

Guess I'll hold on to it as a fun novelty 😁

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Even if it was a genuine brockage there would usually be some portions of the rev design showing, as there are none I can only come to the same conclusion as the others that this is something created in an attempt to fake a real error, how, why, or who we will never know.

Edited by Coinbuf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with others that it's not a legit error coin, and the blank second side is a dead give away.  Looks to me like half of a home brewed vice job attempt at an error coin on a planchet that is likely not silver, with something similar to the attached non-silver zinc alloy blanks from China.

Due to the weight difference (s/b about 6.250g +/- 0.194g for a 1925 25C) I doubt the coin is 90% silver, which it should have been for a period correct quarter.  If there was a question on authenticity did you measure the size of the coin and try getting a specific gravity, which is fairly simple to do with an accurate scale, cup of water and some thread?

Counterfeits - Non-Silver Coin Blank AliBaba.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/8/2023 at 7:04 PM, EagleRJO said:

I agree with others that it's not a legit error coin, and the blank second side is a dead give away.  Looks to me like half of a home brewed vice job attempt at an error coin on a planchet that is likely not silver, with something similar to the attached non-silver zinc alloy blanks from China.

Due to the weight difference (s/b about 6.250g +/- 0.194g for a 1925 25C) I doubt the coin is 90% silver, which it should have been for a period correct quarter.  If there was a question on authenticity did you measure the size of the coin and try getting a specific gravity, which is fairly simple to do with an accurate scale, cup of water and some thread?

Counterfeits - Non-Silver Coin Blank AliBaba.jpg

Fortunately I'm a chemist by day and I may be able to do that 😁. I'll try to get a better picture on that this week and perhaps I can update for the curious among us....

EDIT: I did this on my home digital scale on both g and gn settings. Weighed a real SLQ, then zeroed on a cup of water, suspended the SLQ by a thread, dunked and re-measured. Divided the first by the second. On g settings density was 10.2, on gn it was 10.3. my scale does not go below 0.1g or 1gn. 

The impression piece? 9.8 on g settings and 10.3 using gn.

I'll have to repeat with the better MT balances we have in the lab next week, because they're accurate to 0.0001g, not 0.1. my assumption is I'm looking for a density around 10.3 given the 90% composition of silver (10.45) and 10% copper (8.96). 

If it's a home brewed version of the thing, I'm impressed. To me, It looked cleaner than a hacked vice would manage. I have some limited hobbyist level experience with silver jewelry making (casting, engraving, stone setting, stamping with a press etc.) and I don't think I could make this. If it's some Chinese knock off I think they'd be better suited making more of them 😂

If nothing else I'll try to get an answer on composition and density. I agree with the consensus but definitely interested in understanding more about it.

For added context this passed to me through a friend - it was mixed in with an old (and otherwise legit) collection that belonged to their grandfather, and nothing in the box dates after the 1980s...

Edited by Arrowhm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/8/2023 at 8:11 PM, RWB said:

Check out a copy of From Mine to Mint for explanations of how edge collars were made.

[Disclaimer: I wrote the book.]

Wow, not to mention you also wrote this book. Guess my post reached its intended audience. Good to know!

Thanks to everyone who's weighed in thus far 🙂

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't want to create false hope, but is there any chance that this could be a uniface hub trial?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/8/2023 at 8:52 PM, Just Bob said:

I don't want to create false hope, but is there any chance that this could be a uniface hub trial?

Posible perhaps, but why would the mint need to do such an operation on this coin at that time?   I am not super familiar with the SLQ series but as far as I know the only change that year was recessing the date, I would not think that a die trial would be needed for that minor a change given that it was a return to the style of 1917.

Edited by Coinbuf
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/8/2023 at 11:06 PM, Coinbuf said:

Posible perhaps, but why would the mint need to do such an operation on this coin at that time?   I am not super familiar with the SLQ series but as far as I know the only change that year was recessing the date, I would not think that a die trial would be needed for that minor a change given that it was a return to the style of 1917.

The fact that they would have created a new master hub that year to recess the date was what gave me the idea that this might be a trial. But as I said, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, because you are probably right about trial strikes not being necessary. Someone familiar with mint practices at the time would be better able to answer that question than I am.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It may also be a transfer die made from a worn coin. Transfer dies are used to create counterfeits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/9/2023 at 12:20 AM, VKurtB said:

It may also be a transfer die made from a worn coin. Transfer dies are used to create counterfeits.

Wouldn't the transfer be from a host coin directly to the counterfeit working die, and not to some intermediate strike coin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/9/2023 at 12:27 AM, EagleRJO said:

Wouldn't the transfer be from a host coin directly to the counterfeit working die, and not to some intermediate strike coin.

That is why I asked the OP about the design. The first pic made it look incuse to my eyes, but if it is raised, then this can't be a hub trial or a transfer die. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2023 at 1:40 AM, Just Bob said:

That is why I asked the OP about the design. The first pic made it look incuse to my eyes, but if it is raised, then this can't be a hub trial or a transfer die. 

It doesn't appear to be raised or a positive image, as it would be on a hub or struck coin, but instead appears to be incuse or a negative image as it would be on a die (see attached side-by-side comparison).

Plus the date and lettering are backwards, so it should logically be an incuse or negative image.  How would you even get a coin with raised backwards letters and numbers.

Regardless, to much detail would be lost counterfeiting using it as an intermediate coin and then creating hubs and/or dies.  However, maybe Kurt is onto something, and it's one half or the obverse part of a home brewed counterfeit die set.  Next step is to use a home brewed reverse die and put them both in a piped shop vice with a blank in between ... and voila.  😆 

Also, I thought test strikes were always done with working dies for the obverse and reverse.  I have never heard of test strikes with hubs, particularly with just a hub of only one side.

Screenshot_20230709-031807_Samsung Internet.jpg

Edited by EagleRJO
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/9/2023 at 4:50 AM, EagleRJO said:

It doesn't appear to be raised or a positive image, as it would be on a hub or struck coin, but instead appears to be incuse or a negative image as it would be on a die (see attached side-by-side comparison).

Plus the date and lettering are backwards, so it should logically be an incuse or negative image.  How would you even get a coin with raised backwards letters and numbers.

Regardless, to much detail would be lost counterfeiting using it as an intermediate coin and then creating hubs and/or dies.  However, maybe Kurt is onto something, and it's one half or the obverse part of a home brewed counterfeit die set.  Next step is to use a home brewed reverse die and put them both in a piped shop vice with a blank in between ... and voila.  😆 

Also, I thought test strikes were always done with working dies for both the obverse and reverse.  I have never heard of test strikes with hubs, particularly with just a hub of only one side.

Screenshot_20230709-031807_Samsung Internet.jpg

This was my first thought actually, before I learned about mirror brockages. But the metal is far too soft (and rough density reads are in the copper to silver range) for that to be the case. 

Not getting hopes up, but perhaps It's possible it's just really worn or poorly struck on one side. Either because it was treated roughly, or because something was up with the die it sat against. I'm going to look at it more thoroughly under the scope and see if I can find us better images of the "blank"side.

 

Just bob, the design is definitely incuse and inverse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok if and I am saying if it was a big mess up the only way this could happen is if it was a capped die and two planchets went into the press. One side would show the reversed image and the other would be blank. Because there were two planchets in one press. Any extra metal would get pushed away possibly making the remaining struck coin we see with a little less metal. This is the only way it I can see it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2023 at 6:54 AM, J P M said:

Ok if and I am saying if it was a big mess up the only way this could happen is if it was a capped die and two planchets went into the press. One side would show the reversed image and the other would be blank. Because there were two planchets in one press. Any extra metal would get pushed away possibly making the remaining struck coin we see with a little less metal. This is the only way it I can see it.

The chances of this seem astronomically low to me.  No idea if or how an NGC expert could even verify or justify this either. 

I'd be more inclined to lean towards the destruction of the raised obverse, at some point in the past. A child with a file can do a lot of damage.  

Looking under the scope there's virtually no descernable detail. Maybe some evidence of a raised edge.... And clear evidence of scratching along it. 

IMG_20230709_070815.thumb.jpg.69d30c17539850b39f9015c0dcee2f56.jpg

There may be some remaining detail but it's wayyyy too difficult for me to call. the highlights below almost look like stars but this could 100% be my own bias at play.

IMG_20230709_070154__01.thumb.jpg.f6e867b3da892cdae022b88c6a8bcb2e.jpg

Meanwhile the clear side continues to strike me as interesting. Here's some impressions from reeding above liberty's head:IMG_20230709_072811__01.thumb.jpg.04143e985b03cde86d30ee4483b36294.jpg

If the density checks out under more intense scrutiny in the lab, all it'll tell me is that this is coin silver. That doesn't seem like enough to prove its validity.  What else could I possibly do to investigate?  What would an authenticator look for? Perhaps there's just too much unknown to ultimately verify anything....

 

Edited by Arrowhm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2023 at 6:54 AM, J P M said:

Ok if and I am saying if it was a big mess up the only way this could happen is if it was a capped die and two planchets went into the press. One side would show the reversed image and the other would be blank. Because there were two planchets in one press. Any extra metal would get pushed away possibly making the remaining struck coin we see with a little less metal. This is the only way it I can see it.

Okay, so there is a struck coin that isn't ejected stuck to reverse anvil die and the feeder finger malfunctions and pushes two blank planchets stuck together over the capped reverse anvil die to accurately place the two planchets stuck together directly over the struck coin, with all 3 aligned and staying in place.

Then the mint press strikes all 3 coins creating the op's middle coin, which magically isn't a broadstrike, with the lower side a brockage having a negative image of the obverse from the capped reverse anvil die, and the upper side blank from being stuck to another planchet.

And in addition, the retaining collar somehow raises up to not only keep the middle coin from being broadstruck, but also imparts a reeded edge to the op's middle coin as all 3 are struck.

Then the malfunctioning feeder finger and retaining collar magically starts working normally again, and the feeder finger ejects all 3 coins as a new planchet is normally feed into the press, so that a mint worker doesn't have to check out a problem and notice several improperly struck coins.

Plus, it's significantly underweight, for a period correct 90% Ag coin, since there is also a coil roll with a significantly thinner end that would be way off mint tolerances, with a planchet that becomes the middle of a coin sandwich punched out of that significantly thinner end.  Then decades later the coin magically expands, so that when the op takes measurements it the correct diameter and thickness.

Yea, I'm not buying it.  This is not the Twilight Zone.  (:

Twilight Zone.jpg

Edited by EagleRJO
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2023 at 9:36 AM, Just Bob said:

Was that a mistake, or does the mint routinely strike those?

[Check that, I just saw the links with multiples of hub trials.  You learn something new every day.  Is that something the mint still does, as the mint's webpage on the coin production process only talks about test strikes of the dies?  Now if it was only the correct weight, then maybe ...]

Edited by EagleRJO
Link to comment
Share on other sites

   When I first saw the posted item, I thought of a type of uniface die trial called a "splasher", but these have a positive image and are surrounded by excess metal. The hub trials shown in the links have negative images and lack the excess metal but are much more finely detailed and smoother than this item. I still believe that the item posted in this topic is an impression made from the obverse of a struck 1925 quarter outside the mint and probably made of lead or other base metal. It is missing most of the fine details of the coin, but Liberty's breast appears to have been enhanced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/9/2023 at 9:51 AM, Sandon said:

   I still believe that the item posted in this topic is an impression made from the obverse of a struck 1925 quarter outside the mint and probably made of lead or other base metal. 

That is the most likely explanation, which usually turns out to be the correct one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2023 at 9:07 AM, EagleRJO said:

Okay, so there is a struck coin that isn't ejected stuck to reverse anvil die and the feeder finger malfunctions and pushes two blank planchets stuck together over the capped reverse anvil die to accurately place the two planchets stuck together directly over the struck coin, with all 3 aligned and staying in place.

Then the mint press strikes all 3 coins creating the op's middle coin, which magically isn't a broadstrike, with the lower side a brockage having a negative image of the obverse from the capped reverse anvil die, and the upper side blank from being stuck to another planchet.

And in addition, the retaining collar somehow raises up to not only keep the middle coin from being broadstruck, but also imparts a reeded edge to the op's middle coin as all 3 are struck.

Then the malfunctioning feeder finger and retaining collar magically starts working normally again, and the feeder finger ejects all 3 coins as a new planchet is normally feed into the press, so that a mint worker doesn't have to check out a problem and notice several improperly struck coins.

Plus, it's significantly underweight, for a period correct 90% Ag coin, since there is also a coil roll with a significantly thinner end that would be way off mint tolerances, with a planchet that becomes the middle of a coin sandwich punched out of that significantly thinner end.

Then decades later the coin magically expands, so that when the op takes measurements it the correct diameter and thickness.

Yea, I'm not buying it.  This is not the Twilight Zone.  (:

 I have a PhD in chemistry, not sorcery😂

So I just popped in the lab with 2x circulated SLQs and the piece of interest. Don't tell my boss 😂. Repeated the density measurements. The results are below:

SLQ 1Mass 6.0509g, immersed mass 0.6019g, calculated density ~10.05

SLQ 2 Mass 5.992g, immersed mass 0.6012g, calculated density ~9.967.

POI Mass 5.9241g, immersed mass 602.2g, calculated density ~9.837.

So the mass is low, but not significantly lower than the mass of either SLQ (within 2%). The density is also lower, but again, only slightly. 

Definitely not lead (density is 11.29), and again within about 2% of the two SLQs.

Measuring the immersed weight like this isn't easy - try tying a thread to a coin and holding it still in a cup of water some time😂 so I'm not as confident in the immersed weights. They never settled (the Mettler balance will beep when it's confident things aren't jumping around, and it only did this on the fixed masses), and jumped around+/- 30mg when suspending the coins by a thread.

I think I'm pretty confident this isn't base metal. I'll check it chemically for silver content too. Of course, the metallic composition doesn't tell us anything about it's origins unfortunately.  I agree the wear on the impression certainly points away from the theory that it's a test strike, unless the previous owners had a bad habit of really wearing on it.

thanks again for all the input 🙂

Edited by Arrowhm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
1 1