Die States

Liberty Seated Dollar dies seem to have held up very nicely over their lifetimes. Major die cracks, significant clashes, cuds, or other major signs of deterioration are seen infrequently. However, they do exist. In a few cases dies were used for as many as 6 die marriages. We’ve chosen a methodology that tracks the state of a die throughout its lifetime, and thus across multiple die marriages, and even across multiple years for dies that we’ve found to be transitional.

The prime die state for a die is defined as the perfect die state. In the prime state coins minted from the die will show no signs of die cracks, clash marks, cuds, or any other sign of progressive die wear. We designate that die state as state a. Subsequently, as the die shows signs of progressive wear, we designate the states as b, c, d, etc. An example is shown below for 1846 Reverse A. This die exhibits more states than any other die in the series seen to date.

Die State Description
State a Perfect.
State b A faint die cracks crosses the top of STATES.
State c Additional reverse die cracks: A very faint crack from the rim below U across the top of UNITED; the crack across the top of STATES now begins on the rim above D1 and extends across the top of STATES OF to the rim above A2; a third crack across the top of AMERICA to the rim below A3; a fourth from the upper arrow tip to the denticles below A3, crossing the previous crack.
State d The reverse cracks are now heavier. The crack from the rim above D1 is clearly visible crossing the rim.
State e The die above D1 shows two distinct levels, nearing a retained cud status.
State f The two distinct die levels now stretch across ST.
State g There is now a retained cud above D_ST. This die state has not been confirmed with a high grade example. If found it would be extremely rare.

Die states for 1846 Reverse A





Copyright © 2015, by Dick Osburn and Brian Cushing, All rights reserved.