A coin improperly restored through mechanical means is described as having some form of repair. Many older coins, particularly Bust type silver dollars and gold dollars, were worn as jewelry generations ago. This often caused them to be holed for suspension on a chain or soldered to mountings. Other coins simply became damaged through the normal mishaps of general circulation. Years later, having achieved numismatic value, these coins were repaired through various means. Though this work is often skillfully performed, most experts will spot the repair, and such coins cannot be graded numerically.
CHOPMARK REPAIR reveals that a chopmark (see MECHANICAL DAMAGE) has been fully or partially effaced through tooling or filling.
MOUNT REMOVED indicates that the coin was formerly mounted to a ring or bezel and that this attachment has left evidence of its one-time presence. Most modern bezels are designed to secure a coin without doing any harm, but some older ones resulted in a crimping effect.
PLUGGED coins are ones that were previously holed, typically for suspension as jewelry, and have had their holes filled in to conceal the damage. As the affected area usually includes design features, these will show evidence of re-engraving.
RE-ENGRAVED describes a coin that has had worn or damaged details replaced through the use of engraving or chasing. This may be narrowed down by stating OBV RE-ENGRAVED or REV RE-ENGRAVED. A related repair is ETCHED STARS, these peripheral features being among the first to wear down on older coins.
REMOVED FROM JEWELRY is more or less self-explanatory but is used when the more specific damage descriptors are not enough to fully describe the effect.
RIM FILING is done to coins to remove irregular metal or to even out their rims. It may be used to obscure normal circulation damage or signs of jewelry use. OBV RIM FILED and REV RIM FILED are used to identify the specific area affected.
RIM REPAIR describes work performed to obscure either naturally occurring or intentionally inflicted damage. A common cause of such damage was the attachment of coins to pins or rings, as well as encasement of a coin within a bezel or “lucky coin” frame.
SMOOTHING is akin to Tooling (see below), but it is used when the exact means of achieving the described effect is unknown.
TOOLED refers to either the smoothing of a coin’s fields to remove scratches, corrosion and other forms of damage or to the restoration of lost details through use of a graver or knife. When a single side of the coin is affected, the terms OBV TOOLED and REV TOOLED are used.
This Bust type silver half dollar from 1810 has been plugged.