Unusual Silver Strip - For U.S. Mint Planchets??

Discussion in 'Error Coins' started by StevenHarden, Jan 18, 2022.

  1. StevenHarden

    StevenHarden Well-Known Member

    Hello All.

    I recently purchased a collection that included the items shown in the photos below. The metal strips all test using a Sigma Metalytics "Precious Metal Verifier" as 90% silver (Pre-1945). The strip shown with Washington 25c measures 2"x6.125"x1.75mm and weighs 139.7 grams. I would like to know what the members on here have to say about the items shown and provide any guesses on what these items might be for, etc.

    I have seen another post by @JCro57 regarding copper cent webbing. @Fred Weinberg mentioned within that post the existence of U.S. Mint silver planchet strips. The link for that post is https://www.cointalk.com/threads/rare-webbing-planchet-strip.327831/

    I have also found an interesting video on YouTube titled "Making Coins 1940 Department of the Treasury Bureau of the Mint". At 3:06 of the video, the narrator discusses the Blanking Press and shows two men hand-feeding the press with planchet strips to cut the blank coins out of the strips. This video illustrates the process for copper 1c, but I assume a similar process was done for 90% silver coinage as well. The link for that video is

    Any information regarding the items shown below is appreciated and encouraged.

    Now to the Photos:









    #10 IMG_8224.jpg

    Thank You.
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  3. dwhiz

    dwhiz Collector Supporter

    Wow, I don't know what to think.
    I must say that's one heck of a find.
    Question items #9 & #10 are the all silver also?
    StevenHarden likes this.
  4. paddyman98

    paddyman98 I'm a professional expert in specializing! Supporter

    Very interesting.
    How about if you can give us more information?
    Where you purchased it from? Or from who?
    How much? :hungry:
    StevenHarden likes this.
  5. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Looks like some substantial silver there. I can offer some insight on photo #9. Those are female end posts. There is a male side that threads into them. Back in the days when we used paper plans in construction, those male/female posts held our plans together. I seem to recall that they were made of aluminum. They were very soft and if you slightly crossthreaded one it would destroy the threads. Pretty sure those aren't silver unless they are made for some other special purpose.
    dwhiz and StevenHarden like this.
  6. Eric the Red

    Eric the Red Supporter! Supporter

    Awesome! Congrats. You don't see that everyday:)
    StevenHarden likes this.
  7. Fred Weinberg

    Fred Weinberg Well-Known Member

    Although I have not handled any silver planchet strips or webbing,
    the photos of the strips, and the chopped webbing do not appear to
    be what I would expect from US Planchet strips or webbing pieces.

    There's a lot of photos of things that are not part of the US Mint,
    such as # 8, 9 and 10. # 7 doesn't look like US Mint webbing, and
    they don't look silver, but that could be the lighting, etc.

    Might be from a world mint, or a private mint, but I'm fairly certain
    the photos do not show US Mint material - and as usual, I'm saying
    that based on the photos provided only.

    By the way, can the OP post a photo or two of the edge/side of some
    of the strips and webbing ?
    Kentucky, paddyman98, dwhiz and 2 others like this.
  8. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    Could it be from someone that worked in a factory that made blanks and other devises? Possibly for a foreign mint?
    You said the strips tested 90% silver, were you able to test any of the trimmed pieces and other items?
    Be sure to post what you find out. Thanks for the post.
    StevenHarden likes this.
  9. StevenHarden

    StevenHarden Well-Known Member

    A big thank you to everyone and all of the replies/information you have provided so far. While some items may not seem to go along with other items shown above, I wanted to include an image with all the items that came from this part of the collection for clarity on any potential links between items.

    It appears that the posts/pins in photo #9 fit into the finger-like items in photo #8. I am not sure of the purpose of the finger-like items.

    This lot was purchased from an individual in Indiana about 4 months ago. His father had passed away about a year prior to that and he was settling the estate. His father was born in 1932 and spent his career as a partner of a machine shop near Indianapolis, Indiana. Along with this lot were several other items you would typically find in a coin collection. The son had some hand-written notes that said the larger strips were "coin silver", but did not provide any further details.

    In the past when we buy unidentifiable silver items like this, we typically send them in to be melted/assayed. The main reason I posted these items was because of the similarity to webbing strips/etc. that I have seen posted before. Along with the fact that these test as 90% silver, I wanted to see if there is any numismatic value to these prior to just melting them down as junk.

    Interestingly, the dime-sized strip and the smaller trimmed pieces test as .999 silver. The four large strips all test as 90% silver. I don't believe the finger-like items and the posts/pins are silver at all - They do not register when testing for .999 or .900 silver. The small circular-items in photo #10 test as 90% silver.

    The idea that this could be from a private/world mint is an interesting thought. I am trying not to make too many assumptions and travel too far down the rabbit hole on this. I have considered the idea these items might have been from someone trying to replicate the minting process, or maybe just someone creating their own items privately. I cannot readily find any literature about the exact minting processes at the U.S. mint and specifications on silver planchet strips/etc.

    I photographed the edges of the four larger strips. From the original Photo #1, I will label the four larger strips from left to right as A, B, C, D.
    Strip A, Front End
    Strip A, Front End Corner
    Strip A, Back End
    Strip A, Back End Corner
    Strip B, Front End
    Strip B, Back End
    Strip B, Back End with Top Side View
    Strip C, Front End
    Strip C, Back End

    Thank You.

    Attached Files:

  10. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    The rivet like Ferrils, I thought went well with the feeder finger looking strip. I would think that those type of attachments would be secured by s threaded screw. As Fred thinks an unpunched strip of Washington Quarters is gonna be pretty rare.
  11. Fred Weinberg

    Fred Weinberg Well-Known Member

    Nice photos of the edge of the strip, which
    shows the 'cut & tear' marks on the edge
    from the punching operation.

    Not US strips, but very interesting and educational.
  12. JCro57

    JCro57 Making Errors Great Again

    Strips like this are not hard to produce by an experienced jeweler.

    These could be private issues, which I believe @Fred Weinberg suggested.

    However, it is still a super neat find. Very, very cool stuff!
    StevenHarden and paddyman98 like this.
  13. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    Maybe you could find the shop or the partner and ask? A little detective work might be fun to find out what you have, especially if you plan on just melting them down. The strips may be worth more with an interesting history. Let us know what you find.
    StevenHarden likes this.
  14. StevenHarden

    StevenHarden Well-Known Member

    Another thank you to everyone that has responded to his post. I appreciate all of the information received on this and will try to do some more research on the origin of these. If I find out anything I will post it.

    If anyone else reading this has any other information they would like to add, please feel free to do so. This post will remain open for any future comments. Any information is greatly appreciated. Thank you to everyone for your knowledge and expertise.
    john65999 likes this.
  15. CaptHenway

    CaptHenway Survivor

    Are you sure that your machine can tell the difference between 0.900 fine silver and 0.925 fine? Or does it just tell you that it is at least 0.900 fine?

    When I was working in Chicago at Harlan Berk's I had a gentleman come in with his jeweler father's working stock. Several sheets of sterling that looked like the larger pieces here. A few other sizes and a few cut pieces.

    I suspect that this is some independent jeweler's sterling silver raw materials, plus other odds and ends like the aluminum screws and those "fingers," whatever they are. Some people never throw away anything. It might be useful someday.

    All I know for sure is that the various plates are too small to be useful for a commercial mint. Planchet strips are a lot bigger.
  16. john65999

    john65999 Well-Known Member

    how did you get all that, did you work at the mint, wink wink??
    StevenHarden likes this.
  17. StevenHarden

    StevenHarden Well-Known Member

    The Sigma Metalytics Precious Metal Verifier I am using indicates 0.900 Fine (Pre-1945) when testing the four large strips. The strips test outside of the pre-defined testing parameters when testing for 0.925 fineness. The smaller strip pieces actually test as 0.999 Fine. I can see that the only way to get a truly accurate measurement would be to use XRF technology or some other higher-end tester that would better distinguish the fineness and any alloying agents.

    I wish those kinds of opportunities were still available and that the U.S. Mint would allow something like that. Unfortunately, that is not the case here. These items were purchased from an individual whose deceased father had made his career as a partner in a machine shop.
  18. CaptHenway

    CaptHenway Survivor

    Still looks like Jeweler supplies to me. The small .999 bars would have been handy if he had to melt up an alloy other than .925. Simplifies the math when weighing out copper to alloy with it.

    How far outside the parameters for sterling on the larger bars? You could do a very careful specific gravity on some of the clippings to see if they are sterling.
    Burton Strauss III likes this.
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