More Shifted Inscription Dollars Found
by Ken Potter
Special to NN
8/10/2008

            In the July 29 issue of Numismatic News I reported on a shifted edge inscription error found on a George Washington Presidential dollar.  According to U.S. Mint spokesman, Michael White, shifted edge inscriptions or what he referred to as a “slippage problem” were a condition that was seen on the 2007 issues of the Presidential dollars caused by the absence of a dot between the Mintmark and E PLURIBUS UNUM (EPU) where a wide space sans any inscription occurs.  According to White, a third dot was added between the Mintmark and EPU on the 2008 issues to correct this problem (these delimiter dots can also be found after EPU and TRUST on both the 2007 and 2008 issues). 

Nonetheless, in spite of the addition of this dot, we are still seeing slippage errors on the 2008 issues that are of a prominence equal to those we saw in 2007.  In the last few weeks alone we have seen two on the James Madison dollar with a shift great enough to skip so much of EPU that it resulted in nearly 50% of the edge being “plain.” 

Jim Alverson of North Carolina reported the first one I examined on a Philadelphia minted Madison dollar.  It exhibits an edge where we see a slippage caused rim scrape that obliterates the tops of 08 of the date, followed by a normal P Mintmark, a dot, and E PL of EPU.  At this point we see anther rim scrape, inside of which we see what appears to be an INI but which is actually just an N from IN.  This is followed by GOD WE and a severely scraped TRUST.  In this case so much of EPU was skipped over that nearly 50% of the edge is plain with the exception of yet another edge scrape.


Obverse and reverse of Alverson's Monroe dollar



Here is the rim on Alverson's Madison dollar sequenced in the order that it'd be viewed starting with the date and ending at the date.

Ed Majzlik of Michigan reported finding a very interesting shifted edge inscription on a 2007-P John Adams dollar that is like none other I've seen.  In this case the slippage caused a space of “plain edge” following the date and Mintmark so great that when the edge lettering machine finally began impressing the mottos, E PLURIBUS UNUM and IN GOD WE TRUST into the edge they wrapped completely around the circumference of the coin and ended with the last T of TRUST right on top of the first 2 of the date.


A look at the obverse and reverse of  Majzlik's find




Two views of the date area on Majzlik's coin


Here is a portion of the large area of "plain edge" that follows the word TRUST on Majzlik's coin

   Mike Bozynski of Michigan found a 2007-D Washington dollar that was struck through what I like to call “Mint Goop.”  Mint goop is a combination of grease, oil, dust and metal filings that sometimes collects around the tooling of a press and works its way into the dies.  In this case we can see that the entire obverse was affected by this goop (along with a lesser amount of the reverse) imparting tiny marks into the obverse where small metal filing were indented into the coin by the strike and where the goop obliterated some of the design details.  Most of  “1st” and “PRES” of PRESIDENT is missing while there is weakness in GEORGE WASHINGTON and some areas of his portrait.  Strike-through errors of this type (often referred to as filled dies or clogged dies) can range from the very minor that affect small areas of the design and carry little value to ones that are very extensive wiping out nearly all of the designs on both sides of the coin and of which can be worth up into the three figures.  One like this is just a bit better than typical and would carry a moderate premium of perhaps $20.00 to $30.00 if that, though one never really knows what some Presidential dollar errors may bring in venues like eBay.



A look at the obverse and  reverse of Bozynski's strike-through error

            Rob Fischer of OH was also busy searching Washington dollars and reports finding a Philadelphia emission missing a clad layer from the reverse.  We just reported upon one of these discovered by a trio from OH on a John Quincy Adams dollar in the June 3 issue of Numismatic News, while yet another was found by 12-year-old, Nadine Hall, on a Madison dollar (as reported on the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors (www.conecaonline.org) webpage on June 25).  According to error dealer, Mike Byers of Byers Numismatic Corporation, San Clemente, Calif., “All missing outer layers on Presidential Dollars are rare. I would estimate that there are several known for each Presidential Dollar in the series so far.”  Value of this error type was quoted in our earlier article as obtained from a panel of error experts, ranging widely mostly into the four figures for ones involving the obverse.  Byers indicated that the obverse missing clad layers are, understandably, more desirable and as such one involving the reverse would probably fall into the three figures range for value.

            Improper bonding of clad layers on our modern clad 10-cents, 25-cents, half dollar and dollar coins makes it is possible for a clad layer from the obverse or reverse (or both) to split partially or completely away from the copper core.  The dollar featured here boasts a 100 percent missing clad layer on the reverse exposing the copper core and is a perfect example of this type.  Clad layers can fall away before or after a coin is struck. In this case, the presence of design on the reverse shows that the outer Manganese-Brass clad layer fell away from the copper core before this coin was struck.  If it had fallen away after the strike, all that would be seen is an area of striated metal devoid of design detail.

Missing Clad Layer (or what are also referred to as “Split Off Clad Layer” errors are, of course, thinner than usual and most often do not strike up fully.  On most examples of this error type, the weakness of strike is best viewed on the characters and/or designs about the rims and the rims themselves. On this one we can actually seem some roughness or striations around the rim in the areas where the clad layer was partially attached to the core and eventually broke away.  The normal weight of the coin is 8.1 grams while this one weighs 6 grams.  

Ken Potter is the official attributer of world doubled dies for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America and for the National Collectors Association of Die Doubling.  He also privately lists other collectable variety types on both U.S. and world coins in the Variety Coin Register.  More information on either of the clubs or how to get a coin listed in the Variety Coin Register may be obtained by sending a long self addressed envelope with 58c postage to P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076 or by contacting him via email at KPotter256@aol.com.   An educational image gallery may be viewed on his web site at www.koinpro.com