Since I am starting a new NGC Collectors Society custom set based on the Spanish Provisional Government coins of 1870, I thought to re-image all the coins in the set. It’s funny how when you give your coins another look that you notice new things about them. Or, is it that you haven’t looked in a long time and simply forgot. Either way its part of what makes this hobby fun for me.
One of the coins I re-imaged is an NGC 1870 MS-65 Red 1 Centimo coin. This coin represents the lowest denominated copper coin of the series. It only weighs 1 gram and measures 15.5 mm in diameter. I was already fully aware of a couple of major die cracks and a few other smaller ones on the reverse of this coin. However, it only recently dawned on me that several of the marks in the field of the reverse were in fact die clash marks.
Die clashes occur when the hammer die strikes an anvil die without a planchet in the collar and the dies leave their impressions on the opposite dies. The fields of the coin are typically incuse meaning that the fields on the die are relief. This is why the impression occurs in the fields because the devices on the die are incuse. Subsequently, that impression is transferred to every coin struck thereafter with that die pair. This can happen with any size dies but I have found it most prevalent on very small coins. Still, many of the Morgan Dollar VAMs are indeed die clashes. I have also found that the heaviest clash marks occur on the anvil die which is typically the coins reverse. That said I have a few coins with clash marks clearly visible on both sides of the coin.
Having just noticed the clashing on my Spanish coin, I thought to do an overlay of the obverse on the reverse. There is a slight die rotation that you can see in my overlay picture. A side by comparison of my overlay and without overlay pictures clearly show how the clash marks line up with an outline of the main obverse device.
In my pictures I have also pointed out a few of the major die cracks as if they needed pointing out. The other arrows point to the reverse clash marks. Maybe some of those cracks occurred as a result of the clashing. Interesting stuff to ponder. Gary