The Top Ten Coin Error Collection Must Have's

February 2, 2013

If you're a collector of coins then chances are you know what to look out for in an error coin or know if a coin just doesn't look right or doesn't conform to the usual standard. Error coins are those that have had a mishap in the manufacturing process, either a deformation with the blank planchet or a mechanical error in the coin press.

Collecting these error coins can be very exciting and fulfilling to watch you achieve that rarer error type and add it to your collection. We've written a top ten list of the error types that are must have's in your error collection. It's fun to write a list when you first begin your collection and look back years later to see if you've fulfilled your desires. Some errors are easily found and some will take time and a lot of money to secure. Here's the list.

1. The Cud

Probably the easiest and cheapest coin error the coin cud is simply a chipped die which appears as a lump on the coin surface. Quite often they are found on the rim but can find their way onto a weak part of a coins design and can be quite small or very large. These can commonly be found in change or when searching bulk coin lots.

2. Coin Blank

Another reasonably cheap error coin is not really an error at all but an unstruck coin planchet is where every coin starts off. It's a fitting inclusion to an error collection. Make sure that your coin blank meets the exact specifications of the intended struck coin and ideally a coin blank planchet that has already been though the upsetting mill or rimming machine is more desirable as a collector piece.

3. Clipped Coin

The clipped error is a coin with a piece missing! The blanking press cutting out the planchets may have overlapped the edge of the metal coin strip, overlapped an already cut piece or an already cut coin, the resulting coin struck on an incomplete planchet can be a cool coin to have. Look out for key factors to help you determine a genuine ciip such as the Blakesley Effect and fishtailed lettering. It's very easy to be caught out buying worthless post mint damage thinking it's a genuine clip.

Cud (left) Clip (right)

4. The Partial Collar Strike

Occasionally a coin blank will fall into the coining chamber and won't be sitting in there straight. It will result in a coin struck with a partial straight or partial tilted collar, remembering the collar die is the third die that strikes the edge of the coin. If you're lucky you can find one of these in change, they are most commonly seen on dollars and the 5c. It's another must have in the ultimate error collectors collection.

5. A Ramstrike 50c

A ramstrike is a spectacular error that can take many forms but when it happens on an Australian 50c it's ultra cool and will take pride of place in your collection. The coin blank rotated slightly in the press and metal was forced upwards during the strike producing high metal lugs only seen because of the dodecagonal shape of the 50c. You'll aspire to own one of these interesting pieces.

Australian 50c Ramstrike

6. The Off-Centre Strike

Off-centre or broadstrike errors again can occur at a smaller or larger % of the coin. You may have an expensive error that is more blank than coin or a budget option of say just 5% off centre.

7. The Double Strike

This error can take on a couple of different forms, either a rotated double strike within the collar or a deformed planchet extra strike on the edge of the coin, the latter being the most spectacular type. It's interesting to examine these errors closely to see the design under the second strike and also how the design can be misshaped by the overlaying strike.

8. The Split Planchet

The ultimate split planchet is two coin halves that fit neatly together and display the planchet striations in the middle. You may only have half of the split coin and be searching for it's long lost mate or maybe your coin has only a split piece revealing those striations underneath.

9. The Wrong Planchet Coin

This is very much a right place wrong time planchet error. The wrong type or sized planchet has gotten mixed up in the barrel and been struck not as it was intended. An off-metal type or a planchet from another country or even a bi-metal planchet struck with the wrong design is a special addition and a worthy inclusion in this list. Be prepared to pay big bucks for one of these errors though.

10. The Brockage

Probably the ultimate coin error and the last on the list as it may take you some time to save up for this one. They are not too hard to find generally at least a couple available in every public coin auction but can be very pricey indeed. With either a double reverse (reverse brockage) or double obverse (obverse brockage) the second side is a mirror incused image of the other side of the coin.

Note: With long hard thinking we haven't included the double obverse or double reverse coin errors as their appearance can only be described as "mint sport". There's no possible way for a coin to be struck with two heads or two tails unless the completely wrong die was put in the press and a couple of coins struck for the amusement of mint staff. Their scarcity implies that no more than just a few dozen of these coins exist in all denominations, again indicating they were struck on purpose and with intent, not the lotto winning luck of the other top ten coin errors listed.

Australian Half Penny Full Obverse Brockage

Posted by harrisk at February 2, 2013 6:09 PM
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