Deciphering Mint Errors Versus Post-Mint Damage

The 1999 Georgia Quarter with shows post-mint damage, while the 1980-P Jefferson Nickel struck on a cent planchet exhibits pre-strike damage. This type of damage is common on off-metals and occurs prior to strike, making it “part of the error.” Courtesy of Jon Sullivan.

Click images to enlarge.

Inside the walls of a batch facility, both mint errors and post-mint damage ( PMD ) can occur. The question that frequently follows is, “ but if it happened at the mint, it ‘s an erroneousness, right ? ” The answer is “ sometimes. ” The deviation between an error and PMD is found in when the “ damage ” occurred .
A mint erroneousness is defined as a coin made falsely at the batch and encompasses anything that happens to the mint up until the final fall of the dies. vitamin a soon as the death strike occurs on a coin, anything after that is defined as PMD. This can occur in many ways within the mint ‘s facility. While the strike coin is making its room through riddlers, the count machine, or other processes at the mint, it could be gouged, scraped, stamped by automatize machinery ( many robots are immediately used in the mints ), or could be scraped or differently mutilated. Any of these things, if they occur after the last strike of the dies to the coin, are considered PMD.

Some are confused by this, since they might find a coin in the original mint packaging with a number of gouges or other forms of damage on it, and so they logically assume it occurred at the mint – and, yes, it did ! But the deviation is found in if the defect on the mint occurred before the final strike of the dies or after. This is a critical thing to determine in order to know if a coin is a mint error or just PMD .
The alone direction to be able to tell the difference between PMD and a mint error is to understand the mint process and, particularly, to understand what occurs to a coin when it is struck. The fall will impart many diagnostics and characteristics upon a mint ‘s surfaces, which will effectively prove the defect on a coin to be pre-strike ( and so a mint error ) or post-strike ( simply damage. )
Take the time to learn the mint work and then study the surfaces of coins under a magnifier. Get a good feel for how the metallic flows across a coin ‘s surfaces and count at the flush and relatively “ flat ” nature of the fields. PMD imparts interruptions to flow lines and will cause the fields to be mismatched or distorted. Look at a many coins as you are able, and it will become easier and easier to tell a genuine mint error from PMD .

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