What, exactly, happened to my 1902 Indian Cent?
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No one 'across the street' was willing to venture a guess, awhile back. It's a complicated coin, with even more going on than seen at first glance.  (It's not damaged, btw.)

348617587_IMG_20200920_1407153.thumb.jpg.4eb823159b168eed90017edcf618d364.jpg

IMG_20200920_140938~2.jpg

IMG_20200920_142333~2.jpg

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I'm sorry. There are some things we cannot discuss in polite company.

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I could tell you exactly what happened to it, but then I would have to kill you, and I just do not have the energy for that tonight, Suffice it to say it involved two brothers who owned a certain bicycle shop, ghosts, aliens, and a deep government cover-up. 

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I can't think of any way that could happen during the striking of the coin so the only answer is damage. Exactly what happened I don't know as I wasn't present when it got damaged either intentionally or accidentally.

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You say there is no damage, what is your explanation as to what happened to this coin?  Some areas look like damage, others like a vise job imo, but I don't see this happening in the normal course of mint operations without some human intervention.

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I'm with the others, I just didn't want to start the argument! Lol

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Looks like damage to me. There is no way to be sure what was done to cause the damage. 

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Looks like cleaned environmental damage.

 

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My dear Prof. Hill:  If I may be so bold as to ask, Was this coin returned to you and, if so, what was the explanation provided by the gentlemen who graded or refused to grade it, which acompanied its return?  The only Good News here is it is a common date with a  common grade.  I have an identical coin with lovely toning (minus the scar left by inguinal hernia surgery) which I estimate to be worth thirty-seven cents, exclusive of the money clip it was unceremoniously glued to.

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14 hours ago, Quintus Arrius said:

My dear Prof. Hill:  If I may be so bold as to ask, Was this coin returned to you and, if so, what was the explanation provided by the gentlemen who graded or refused to grade it, which acompanied its return?  The only Good News here is it is a common date with a  common grade.  I have an identical coin with lovely toning (minus the scar left by inguinal hernia surgery) which I estimate to be worth thirty-seven cents, exclusive of the money clip it was unceremoniously glued to.

No, I got it for 75 cents from a dealer's bulk bin of Indian Cents.

 Rest assured, that your three bit coin is nothing like the one pictured above.

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Would you mind showing closer pictures of the upper three headdress feathers, and the obverse rim from about 2:00 to 5:00?

Edited by Just Bob
clarify which side

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4 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

Would you mind showing closer pictures of the upper three headdress feathers, and the obverse rim from about 2:00 to 5:00?

Not a problem. I'll get some posted in a bit. My working theory is that a severe die clash forced the collar partially out of place. The anomalies in the digits of the date are incuse to the surface, as are the markings at various other places in that area and elsewhere on the obverse.

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1 hour ago, Just Bob said:

Would you mind showing closer pictures of the upper three headdress feathers, and the obverse rim from about 2:00 to 5:00?

Using a handheld smart phone, these are about the best I'll be able to get.

 

IMG_20200921_111140~3.jpg

IMG_20200921_111156~3.jpg

IMG_20200921_111140~2.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

How is the diameter, compared to a normal cent?

Slightly larger in diameter. Weight is within the normal range, at 3.00 grams.

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4 hours ago, ProfHaroldHill said:

Using a handheld smart phone, these are about the best I'll be able to get.

 

IMG_20200921_111140~3.jpg

IMG_20200921_111156~3.jpg

Look just below the"S". See the shield? Just to its right, exactly where it should be, is the beginning of the wreath. You can see it in the feathers and continuing into the field.

Look down at the 2 in the date and the A in America. See the bottom of the wreath and bow details?

When the die clash occurred, the hammer die was rotated significantly. Perhaps as the die loosens it is thereby closer to the anvil die, leading to a greater severity of clashing. 

Yet by the time this coin was struck, the dies were properly opposing each other, producing the proper US coin alignment front to back. 

Or... Maybe it was...? The above is my best guesstimate of how the piece came to be formed as it is. 

Edited by ProfHaroldHill
Add last paragraph.

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When I first saw this piece, I thought perhaps it had been in an encasement, but the edge isn't deformed and half the obverse rim is normal. 

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I can see the outline of the shield and part of the wreath in the headdress, and what appears to be the arrows and bow in and around the date. The problem that I have with the die clash theory is that the devices are the deepest part of the die, and in order for the dies to come together with enough force to show designs from the "bottom" of two deep parts, there should be very deep clash marks all over the fields, and not just parts of it. The marks could not have been polished off, otherwise there would not be marks left on some of the field and not other parts. Plus, it would have required so much polishing that much of the lowest parts of the devices would have been polished away.  No, it looks like the reverse of another cent was hammered or pressed into your obverse, transferring the high points of its design onto the high points of your coin. It is what Coinbuf called a "vise job."

Now, about the rim and denticles - I don't know. My guess would be pressed into an encasement, as you first thought.

Edited by Just Bob

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28 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

I can see the outline of the shield and part of the wreath in the headdress, and what appears to be the arrows and bow in and around the date. The problem that I have with the die clash theory is that the devices are the deepest part of the die, and in order for the dies to come together with enough force to show designs from the "bottom" of two deep parts, there should be very deep clash marks all over the fields, and not just parts of it. The marks could not have been polished off, otherwise there would not be marks left on some of the field and not other parts. Plus, it would have required so much polishing that much of the lowest parts of the devices would have been polished away.  No, it looks like the reverse of another cent was hammered or pressed into your obverse, transferring the high points of its design onto the high points of your coin. It is what Coinbuf called a "vise job."

Now, about the rim and denticles - I don't know. My guess would be pressed into an encasement, as you first thought.

Perhaps it was in the process of being encased and another cent was accidentally inserted on top of it, and the encasing device pressed the two together, thus simultaneously marking this coin and making it no longer encasable, so to speak. 

So they spent it.

But how does the reverse escape unharmed and unmarked, when there is enough pressure to drive one coin into the other to the extent it deeply impressed the design upon this coin? And would the rest of the coins obverse be unscarred... Why is the cheek not flattened, it being the high point of the design... Surely it would also show design elements from the coin pressed against it, or at the least, obvious flattening/damage.

Are the "unfinished denticles" simply that, there as struck, but not fully formed... Or do you believe the original rim area was deformed and the 'apparently not fully formed denticles', were actually created by the encasing device?

 

 

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19 hours ago, ProfHaroldHill said:

Look just below the"S". See the shield? Just to its right, exactly where it should be, is the beginning of the wreath. You can see it in the feathers and continuing into the field.

Look down at the 2 in the date and the A in America. See the bottom of the wreath and bow details?

When the die clash occurred, the hammer die was rotated significantly. Perhaps as the die loosens it is thereby closer to the anvil die, leading to a greater severity of clashing. 

Yet by the time this coin was struck, the dies were properly opposing each other, producing the proper US coin alignment front to back. 

Or... Maybe it was...? The above is my best guesstimate of how the piece came to be formed as it is. 

IMO, the shield design looks nothing like the mark on your coin.  Additionally, die clashes don't come on the relief - the deep part of the die.   I still think it is a damaged coin,; HOWEVER, I've never seen denticals on an Indian head as show from 2 - 6.  They look like they have dots close to the edge above some of the teeth. 

Looking again, I do see the top of the wreath.  I vote "Squeeze Job."

Edited by Insider

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14 hours ago, ProfHaroldHill said:

But how does the reverse escape unharmed and unmarked, when there is enough pressure to drive one coin into the other to the extent it deeply impressed the design upon this coin? And would the rest of the coins obverse be unscarred... Why is the cheek not flattened, it being the high point of the design... Surely it would also show design elements from the coin pressed against it, or at the least, obvious flattening/damage.

 

It 'escaped unharmed and unmarked', I realized this a.m,... because the encasing machine is specifically designed to preserve the surfaces of the coin being encased. Rather than a 'hammer and anvil' blow, it must have been more like the machines that put new car tires on the rim... the force is applied in a rotary fashion, along the edges only. The coin that was on top of this one was pressed into this one along the periphery only.

That would explain why the depth of relief of what looks like clashing, is slightly greater in the bottom of Liberty's hair, than in the adjacent field. The incusing was done into the existing coin surface, not at the instant of striking.

The idea of the dies rotation and the depth of the 'clashing', made this a bit too complicated. The simple explanation rules the day. Sir Wilhelm of Occam would concur.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Insider said:

IMO, the shield design looks nothing like the mark on your coin.  Additionally, die clashes don't come on the relief - the deep part of the die.   I still think it is a damaged coin,; HOWEVER, I've never seen denticals on an Indian head as show from 2 - 6.  They look like they have dots close to the edge above some of the teeth. 

Looking again, I do see the top of the wreath.  I vote "Squeeze Job."

No, it is the design of the reverse, but as seems quite clear now, it was caused by another coin, not the die.

Edited by ProfHaroldHill
So yes, it's a 'squeeze job', but most likely unintentional.

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On 9/22/2020 at 11:23 AM, Insider said:

HOWEVER, I've never seen denticals on an Indian head as show from 2 - 6.  They look like they have dots close to the edge above some of the teeth.

Those 'dots' have been a mystery to me from day one. At first I thought perhaps it was a coin struck on a foreign coin, the dots being 'residual' design elements of the 'original coin', (preserved due to the collar's seeming malfunction.)

The 'apparent clashing', (squeeze job,) and the denticle issue, may actually be from entirely separate events. I suppose I should count the 'denticles' and see if the numbers are correct for this issue. Maybe they are actual 'pre-denticles'.

Edited by ProfHaroldHill
clarify ending and change 'planchet' to 'coin'

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On 9/22/2020 at 12:55 PM, Insider said:

The dots made me consider an overstrike also.

I just learned that encased coins were/are made in a hammer and anvil type coinage-style press!  The blank aluminum holder, (in the shape of a circle, a horseshoe, kettle, 4-leaf clover, etc,) is fed into the press and a coin is placed in the hole in the blank. When the hammer die strikes, it stamps the advertising message into the aluminum and simultaneously forces the aluminum around the coin to seize the coin all the way around it's circumference. The hammer die has an empty recess to prevent contact with the coin as it strikes the aluminum holder. The only force that affects the coin is the compressive force as the aluminum clenches hold of it. The surfaces of the coin are never contacted by the hammer die.

Based on that, I'd wager that a coin, instead of being encased, got jammed in the hammer die and when it struck the next blank encased coin, the die drove the coin stuck to it down onto the other (this) coin as it stamped the aluminum holder with its message. It was wedged in the hammer die at a slight angle, so the imprint, (false die clash) only appears on the one side of the obverse. That area is also where the odd denticals and the dots appear.

The coins were almost in alignment when they were forced together, so the rim of the coin in the hammer die sliced into the rim area of this coin. (These were clean, BU coins at the time.) The denticals on the coin in the hammer die slammed into the denticles on this coin, and in that small area, the metal flowed in weird ways. It narrowed the denticles, by 'squeezing' some of the denticle metal back toward the center of the coin. (The dots may simply be a fluke of the metal flow as well.)

The reverse of the coin was protected the whole time because it was face down in the holder, held flush to the surface of the anvil dies base, with only its rims actually touching the metal.

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I like my version better.  Unfortunately, an official autopsy conducted by an oversight committee of Congress held in Executive session was ordered kept under wraps in the National Archives for a period of thirty-seven years. As the story was related to me, the damage resulted as a result of an accident involving Victor David Brenner's daughter, an [unnamed] friend and a tricycle she had received for her seventh birthday. The physical injuries sustained by both victims far outweighed the minor damage incurred by the coins which were not discovered or the subject of speculation until 1949.]

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I have not seen an encasement transfer design into the mid-parts of a coin.  It's interesting to speculate the cause.  It's just a damaged coin to me.  :) 

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On 9/22/2020 at 12:23 PM, Insider said:

Additionally, die clashes don't come on the relief - the deep part of the die. 

It may not be common, but it does happen. I have an 1892 10c with O from ONE clashed behind Liberty's ear, and there are numerous Canadian George VI "hearing aid" varieties with clashes inside George's ear, among other examples.

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34 minutes ago, kbbpll said:

It may not be common, but it does happen. I have an 1892 10c with O from ONE clashed behind Liberty's ear, and there are numerous Canadian George VI "hearing aid" varieties with clashes inside George's ear, among other examples.

''...'and what exactly is the ENCASEMET that the "O" and other marks came from?   "Clash Marks" can occur all over the place. 

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