Die Cracks

Discussion in 'Error Coins' started by Sam Stone, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    I'm having a couple of questions. If I suspect a die crack/break, wouldn't there have to be a bunch of them? I don't expect the mint would be able to catch one and "stop the presses" before several are released into the wild. Therefore, I should be able to find lists but I've never been able to match up with one, even when I'm as certain as I can be that I'm looking at one.

    Secondly, I still have a LOT of learning to do but my time has become severely limited because of family responsibilities related to the virus. Meaning I have to look for crash course learning whenever possible. The problem is I continue to confuse myself with conflicting information, specifically on the error coins I enjoy searching for. I certainly can't afford the expensive cherry picker books, so I need advice on reliable online resources so I can compare what I think I find with reality.

    Finally, is it awful if I post a bunch of pics in one post asking opinions? I've been told I should only post a few at a time, and that's OK, but I have many, many things I can't understand or the conflicting information dragon interferes with. I don't want to flood the forum with too many posts, but I want to follow the advice I've been so conscientiously given.

    Thanks for any help.
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  3. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    Welcome, Sam.

    Die cracks can be minor (milimmeters) or extreme.

    Post maybe 4 photos. Make sure they are nicely cropped and clear.

    Plenty of helpful people here. Ask me anything any time.
    Brina and Sam Stone like this.
  4. rascal

    rascal Well-Known Member

    If there are things you would like to know about you could send me a message and I will try to help you for a while. I will be too busy a little later if this virus goes away.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  5. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    I speak for every member here when i say avoid any analysis or advice from "Avery G" and "Rascal."
    frankjg, PlanoSteve, ldhair and 4 others like this.
  6. paddyman98

    paddyman98 I'm a professional expert in specializing! Supporter

    One picture at a time. Both sides. We will do our best to help you.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  7. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    Yes. This is important. The better the images the better the answers. If the images are out of focus, it becomes a guessing game. This is a good example of what is best. Both sides and maybe even a crop of the area in question.
    Image_0154.jpg Image_0155.jpg Image_0154crack.jpg
    Nathan401, Sam Stone, Mike185 and 4 others like this.
  8. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Yes if a die cracks there does tend to be a good number of pieces made before the die is retired. The reason you don't find lists of them is one beuase dies tend to crack in the same general areas so you can have many dies with very similar cracks, and twodie cracks are considered to be very common and a relatively minor flaw. (technically they aren't and error they are just a natural result of an aging overused die). Generally the only time a die crack gets listed somewhere is when it is used as a die marker for some other more impressive error/variety.
    Sam Stone likes this.
  9. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    I guess there are 2 camps on the premise as to whether die cracks and cuds are errors.

    For me, I think that a crack can come from a poorly prepared or annealed die. Dozens of tons of pressure compromises it and it cracks. In this respect, I feel cracks, splits, and cuds are actually Mint errors in the "die stage" category. The crack wasn't there to start with before the first coin was struck, and was instead the result of some mishap in preparation and split as a result of the striking process as it rammed planchets hundreds or thousands of times over.

    In my opinion, this is different than just a worn die from repeated strikes (die state).

    Not saying which is correct - just my take on it.
  10. Spark1951

    Spark1951 Accomplishment, not Activity Supporter

    @Sam Stone ...I, too, thought that die cracks were the most sought after until I learned better here on Coin Talk. It’s just that they are so common in business strikes.

    The break would have to interrupt a large portion of the design to become desirable/valuable (common thinking). Otherwise, as mentioned earlier, it helps to identify a die as a die marker

    For example, Shield Zincolns abound with die cracks on both sides. The true challenge with this series is to find coins that do not have die cracks.

    As others have said, ask away with your questions. You can rely on Coin Talk to provide you accurate information...Spark
    Sam Stone likes this.
  11. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    Sam, love your current avatar...just stay on your side of the metroplex...:D:p:joyful:

    You've had some great responses already, but I'll add my "2 cents":

    Actually, once you see enough, you'll be able to recognize it instantly, you won't have to suspect. Think of how it occurs - a die, under immense pressure eventually (& for whatever reason) cracks. This allows metal to be squeezed into the crack on the die, resulting in a "raised" line on the coin. They will always be raised lines. ;)

    Think of a die crack as a "fluid" condition - with each squeeze the crack is changing, however so slightly.

    For example, years ago I opened several rolls of late '50's cents (the same year, of course). Within 2 rolls, I found a total of 18 coins with the same, progressive die crack, & I managed to line them up in the order of the progression of the crack.

    So, because of the "fluid" dynamics involved, you're not going to find "lists" per se, but you may find cracks (as previously mentioned by @Spark1951 ) used as die markers to help identify other coin anomalies/errors.

    See my answer above. Also, they will vary by type of coin, because there are many factors involved:
    - the metal used
    - size/thickness of coin
    - pressure needed to squeeze the coin
    - the design of the coin
    - age/use of the die
    - etc., etc.

    I don't believe this has ever been a problem on CT! :D
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  12. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    I would say no more than 4-5 coins per post. One coin per post would require too much time on both parts.
    Cheech9712 and Sam Stone like this.
  13. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Working on getting coin photos worth posting. Family has rightfully taken priority at our home so I'm only getting a fraction of the time I used to that I can dedicate to my learning. I'm also re-reading some great advice from when I asked for tips on better pics, so thanks for the answers and when I can, I will put up some if my million questions.

    Thanks again.
  14. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    If you don't have a professional camera with a macro lens and are using a phone camera, I highly recommend the following:

    For better photos, use natural light. I recommend placing coins on a window sill with a white sheet of paper underneath.

    But do so on an East-facing window in the early morning on a cloudy day, like before 10 a.m. (or West-facing windows after 3 pm, but the a.m. is best). I say this because direct sunlight creates too much glare and will produce shadows on your coins as you hold your camera. This way you can hold your camera directly about the coin with no shadows. Using the sunlight is called diffused lighting, which means light is spread around. Using a light source light under a light fixture can create shadowing just like a sun at high noon.

    Also, rotate the coin and take several photos after each rotation. I start with the coin facing upright, then rotate it clockwise until it gets back to the normal positioning. This can also make a huge difference in making sure you get the best shot as different designs will be more prominent.

    I am known for taking great photos of coins. I say, try my method out. Here are a couple of my photos. Notice how they are cropped and sharp.

    FB_IMG_1585776373238.jpg FB_IMG_1585267580757.jpg FB_IMG_1581891314890.jpg Screenshot_20200401-171119~2.png 0227200939_HDR.jpg 1212191935a_HDR.jpg 1221191845a_HDR.jpg
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  15. paddyman98

    paddyman98 I'm a professional expert in specializing! Supporter

    Looks like you nailed this picture! ;)
  16. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

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  17. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    Thanks for the details. I obviously didn't know that, but I probably should have. At least I know now, until I forget. Whatever it was we were talking about.
    Cheech9712 likes this.
  18. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    You've always been good to me. I hope I can sit still long enough to get some posts soon.

    Thanks again, and did you see my stoopid story about Patty (rhymes with Paddy)?
  19. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    I do know this much. I need at least one generation upgrade in software and hardware before I can think about the quality I see here. But isn't that kind of the point? You guys are so kind and generous with your time it gives me more encouragement. That's why I can always say how much I genuinely appreciate it.
    Cheech9712 and ldhair like this.
  20. Sam Stone

    Sam Stone Old, fat, bald, gray, ugly, lazy, and married

    I have found I like finding stuph that's unique. If die cracks/errors are different from "normal", or what the original was intended to be I seem to enjoy that. I may have had my feelings hurt a little when I realized I will probably never own a true mint state coin. I had some that impressed me, but I'm finding that's not so difficult. I doubt I'll ever understand grading, though. Across the forum and on the internet I've seen enough people with incredible coins that get sent back to them a grade or two lower than expected and it gets expensive. So, if there's a specific error with a low population, it seems less likely the real serious collectors will be disappointed. Is that logical?
  21. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    There are three main problems/concerns that arise when people send coins in for authentication, attribution, and grading to grading companies:

    1. People are not happy with the grade or that it got designated as a damaged or "Details' coin.

    2. The grading companies did not accurately describe the coin on the label.

    3. Grading is not consistent from not only one grading company to the next, but even among graders at the same grading service.

    I seldom send coins in for grading because (1) I am pretty decent at finding altered and totally counterfeit error coins and (2) I am not spending $50-$80 to have them tell me what I already know.

    All I can say is, as far as grading goes, eye appeal is much more important than a coin's grade. An attractive AU-55 will almost always sell more quickly and possibly for more money than an ugly MS-63 (depending on rarity and series).
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