A die is a machine tool used to form or cut metal into different shapes. Different types of dies are used for different jobs. For example, custom aluminum die castings Ontario are used in the manufacture of automotive embellishments and home goods. Dies are also used in the minting of coins to imprint images on either side of a blank metal disk, making it legal tender.
Hundreds of coins are minted every day, and in most cases, everything goes according to plan, and the end result is a brand new batch of uniform coins. However, sometimes something in the process goes wrong, then you have error coins that look different from the others. Sometimes the difference is mild, while other times it is significant.
1. Fold-Over Strikes
Planchets, which are the blank metal disks that are struck with dies to make coins, are supposed to be fed into the coining press horizontally. However, sometimes they go in vertically so that, when the dies strike them, they hit the edges. This causes the planchet to fold in on itself.
2. Clipped Planchet
A clipped planchet occurs when something goes wrong with the process of punching coin material out of a sheet of metal. Sometimes the punches overlap one another and a portion of the planchet gets sliced off as a result. The coin struck from a clipped planchet looks as though it has a bite taken out of it as a result.
3. Struck Fragments
Struck fragments are sort of the opposite of a clipped planchet. Instead of a portion of the coin going missing, fragments of metal from various sources end up inside the coining press. This results in oddly shaped metal fragments bearing the designs of a coin.
Error coins are sometimes overlooked and end up in circulation. This is more likely if the defect is subtle. If you find an error coin, hold onto it. Their uniqueness can make them very valuable to collectors.