1959 Franklin 50c with "Goatee" or "Goiter" die break
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I recently sent in a 1959-P Franklin 50c to ANACS that came back graded MS-65 "Goatee" die break. There is an obvious spur under Franklin's chin that looks like a Goiter growing on the neck. I emailed ANACS and they said they have only seen 2 coins like this submitted for grading. Mine and one other. They said they have no accurate information on this variety, but that it is not a common die break seen in the Franklin series as a whole. They have not seen it listed or photographed in any standard reference. I personally saw it referenced in a book on the Franklin series written by Rick Tomaska who shows it as being a variety documented by Stanton and Fivaz for a 1959-D Franklin. My coin is a 1959-P. No mention is made however of the frequency of this variety and what it is worth to the collector community. Any ideas?

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The lack of information on this variety reveals the truth that most collectors don't care about this sort of phenomenon. A chipped die is interesting, but there's little market demand for it.

 

The die steel used by the U.S. Mint during the 1950s was either of poor quality or inadequately hardened by the mint. As a consequence, chipped and partially filled dies became quite common. A good case in point is the 1954-S "San Jose" cent, so-called because a die break in the shape of letter J extends from the bottom of the S mintmark. Another example is the "BIE" variety common to many cents from the 1950s and early '60s. A roughly vertical die break formed between letters BE of LIBERTY, creating the illusion of an additional letter I. These varieties were highly promoted during the 1960s, at the beginning of the error/variety hobby, but they are little sought today.

 

I suspect that should a demand for these arise again, they will be added to the Cherrypickers' Guide and other popular references.

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