An Overview of Misaligned Dies - MAD coins

Discussion in 'Error Coins' started by physics-fan3.14, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 Senior Member

    Misaligned dies, usually abbreviated MAD :headbang:, are somewhat common, but many beginners mistake these error coins for the less common true off center coin. This post is intended to be a reference for you, a detailed guide you can refer to when people ask questions. :loud:

    These somewhat common errors occur when the hammer die is off centered, but the coin sits correctly in the chamber. The anvil die strikes a normal strike (centered), but the hammer die comes down off-centered. This is especially common on dimes, for some reason. The unusual affect is that only one side of the coin is off centered. On US coins, this is usually the obverse. There is also vertical misalignment, where the hammer die is tilted such that one side of the dies comes together closer (and thus has a stronger strike than) the other side of the die. I recently saw a three center that exhibited this less common misalignment.

    Misaligned die errors are not worth much of a premium, although in extreme cases they are worth something. They don't really have much value until parts of the design are missing - most MADs are so small that the entire design is still present, but the rim is noticeably thicker on one side. I have sold a couple of MAD quarters on Ebay for $1 each.

    An interesting effect of a MAD is that while the misaligned side will be fully struck, the centered side usually has weak details opposite the off-centered portion of the coin. You can see this particularly well on the quarter I will post.

    I have several MADs, but these are my three best examples. As I mentioned, dimes are the most common coin to find misaligned. The small size of the dime and cent is a contributing factor in the plentitude of MAD's on these coins. Nickels are the second most common, although my nickel is further off-centered than most. The design is cut off at the bottom left, albeit slightly. The quarter shows the weakness on the reverse opposite the off-centered portion of the obverse, even though it is centered.

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  3. jcuve

    jcuve Lincoln variety fanatic

    Until some pictures are up, here are two standard MADs: a 1971 and a 1991 (the '71 is incidental DDO-001). You can see the appearance of a doubled rim and the reverses are normal.

    Below that, a collage of a 1999 5-10% off-center, again pretty standard. You can see it is equally off on both sides and there are strong die flow lines near the edge by AMERICA.


    tomfiggy likes this.
  4. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 Senior Member

    Can you not see pics? That's weird, they all show up for me. Here, let me try something different and let me know if you see them.
  5. jcuve

    jcuve Lincoln variety fanatic

    I see them now. Nice examples, especially that nickel!

    Should I leave my pics up or take them down?
  6. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 Senior Member

    By all means, leave them up! I want as many people to post their MADs as can, so that anyone who views this will get a very good idea of what they look like. Plus, I don't have any cents posted.
  7. foundinrolls

    foundinrolls Roll Searching Enthusiast

    Hi Folks!

    This is a very educational thread!

  8. Cheyenne parker

    Cheyenne parker New Member

    I have a 1995 penny the front and back side of it are slightly off center what is it called?
  9. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    One comment. Although it is unusual, and not as noticeable, it IS possible for the anvil die to be misaligned. It can never be far off though because the anvil die is enclosed within the collar. This means that it is possible for both sides of the coin to show misaligned dies. Usually when this happens the dies are misaligned in different directions.
  10. tomfiggy

    tomfiggy Well-Known Member

    I found a cent roll searching last night with MAD on the reverse, and the obverse is normal. It's the first one I've seen like that. I'll post it this evening.
  11. Patrick M

    Patrick M Member

    I would love to hear your input on this one.

    Attached Files:

  12. JustinCB

    JustinCB New Member

    Another example of misaligned die. Notice that there is no rim on the right side, and double rim on the left.
  13. Sula86

    Sula86 Active Member

    IMG_1421.JPG IMG_1422.JPG

    I didn't see any larger coins on here so I figured I'd throw one up as an example. I like the misaligned die morgans or peace dollars and usually keep them if I run across them.
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