As originally published in Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine August 2021
What Went Wrong -error coins that escaped the mint
As error collectors the authors of this article are always on the lookout for the best examples of a particular error type, even the common and less interesting ones. One of these humble error types is the ‘cud’ error, which, according to well-known US error expert, Ken Potter, is a die break error that involves the rim or shank of the coin die. Coins struck with such a broken die show missing design elements usually as blobs of metal where the die has broken. Cuds are often small and not that interesting. However, in the case of the 1943I Penny shown here you can clearly see that the cud extends around nearly a quarter of the reverse rim and protrudes well into the coin design itself.
You’ll note that the surface of the cud is smooth and flowing, which (and one of the authors is falling back onto his long past engineering degree here) is typical of a brittle fracture of the die. Close examination of the obverse design opposite the reverse cud clearly demonstrates the size and thickness of the error. The area around REX F:D: has not been struck up properly because so much of the coin metal has flowed into the missing area of the reverse die. The especially keen collector of cuds might keep an eye on each and every 1943I Penny they see looking for the same cud error. Not necessarily to find identical errors, but to find if the die break was progressive rather than a one-off-event. This could lead to a lovely group of related cud errors from the same reverse die!
In summing up the error collector should always be on the lookout for scarcity, even among common error types. If you’re looking for one cud error for your collection make sure it’s a superb example, focus on grade, size of the die break, and if possible, one that affects the strike of the coin on the side opposite the cud.
Mark Nemtsas and Kathryn Harris own and run The Purple Penny coin shop in Adelaide and are passionate about error coins.