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Guidelines for Die Varieties
GUIDELINES FOR THINGS LISTED AS DIE VARIETIES
By Leroy Van Allen
on the devices, letters stars and date digits have to be readily visible using a 7X or 10X hand magnifying glass that the average collector uses at coin shows and shops when searching for die varieties. A 20X or 30X stereo microscope is useful to check die doubling but not reason enough to list doubling unless visible with hand magnifying glass.
Slight die doubling
on a few
few reverse wreath leaves
are generally too minor to list by themselves as they are fairly common. Doubling has to be on
left or right stars to list or on
of left or right wreath leaf
Die chips, breaks, scratches & gouges
have to be
readily visible to the naked eye
to list. Tiny die chips are very common as dies wore out from use. Likewise, die breaks to be listed have to
wide & high chunks
out of the die and
visible to the naked eye
and not just thin shallow die cracks. Thin, shallow die cracks are
as dies wore out & we don't list them.
. They have to be long enough to be readily visible to the naked eye.
are generally not listed because they are well hidden and not visible to the naked eye.
Denticles, date and stars
that have shiny edges that have been
occur when the coin was struck and then pushed out of the collar, or die slid sideways during striking of a coin. A striking error that we don't list -
we only list die varieties
Flat, shiny, top doubling on edges
of obverse or reverse motto or legend letters or date and stars is from
. It occurs when there is looseness in the coin press mechanism and dies bounce slightly during the striking of the coin. It is most common on the reverse for the Morgan dollar and on the obverse for the Peace dollar. Machine doubling tends to
the original design. Die doubling has
the original design. Machine doubling isn't listed since it isn't a die variety.
Tiny thin, short raised lines
on the device not visible to the naked eye aren't something listed separately. They might be useful as a die marker however, if needed.
Fine thin polishing lines
in Liberty's head, on the eagle, or wreaths are
on Morgan dollars and are generally not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, they aren't something that is listed. Only list those that are unusually heavy & thick. Sometimes used as die markers however.
have to be over
visible to the naked eye
in the device to list. Isolated die polishing lines in fields aren't listed as die varieties by themselves. Can be used as die markers if needed.
in wreath bow & leaves is also very common and generally not visible to the naked eye as they are well hidden. So it isn't listed. Polishing roughness can occur around the legend letters causing a rough outline and parts of the letters that don't follow the letters exactly. It isn't die doubling, which follows the letter shape exactly. Generally, the polishing roughness around the letters is not listed unless it is very severe.
Rim cud die breaks
that don't extend through the denticles into the field aren't listed. Retained cuds can be listed and are formed when a die crack extends
rim to rim
of the field.
displaced field die break
can be listed if a die crack has the adjacent field raised or tilted to form a
of the flat field visible to the naked eye.
Missing design elements
can be listed from over polishing if visible to the naked eye.
die clash marks
that aren't letters aren't listed (
clash marks with no letter transfer
). Only clashed
on obverse and reverse are listed. An exception is on Peace dollars that can have a
up from the eagles' right shoulder from the obverse back of Liberty's head and neck.
spikes aren't listed unless they are
long enough to reach UN
triple clashed spikes
Updated December 8, 2017
January 1, 2018
, the fee for the first three coins is a flat $15, with additional coins being $5 each. No more than 10 coins per submitter per month will be accepted for any reason. Return postage and insurance is still required as under the previous submission guidelines.
Updated January 15, 2009
that potential new varieties be vetted through the VAMWorld discussion board before submission to Leroy Van Allen. This process will make Leroy's task much easier and will save everyone time and money in the process. Following is an update to Leroy's submission policy that was mailed out on January 15, 2009.
It is with some regret that there is a change of policy for submitting coins for examination.
After over 40 yrs of not charging a fee for examination of possible new varieties, it is changed to
$5 per coin
effective 1 Feb 2009. Many of you have already been sending that equivalent amount for a number of years, which I thank you.
A low percentage of the coins submitted in recent years have been new varieties. New varieties listed for 2008 were less than 2007 which was less than 2006. Most coins have been known varieties or had features pointed out that were too minor to list. It takes longer to actually prepare a new listing with a description & photos to be made than to attribute known varieties. Those submitting a new variety will still receive the description & photos(s). The examination fee will be $5 per coin for any coin submitted no matter if it turns out to be a known variety, features too minor to list or a new variety.
is still also required. A limit is requested of a
maximum of 10 coins per package
or in one month, unless special permission is granted for a larger submittal, so as to not delay too much the examination of other packages.
for your understanding.
Leroy Van Allen
PO Box 196
Sidney, OH 45365
Updated August 26, 2008
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