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Definitive Test for Henning Nickel?

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 Posted 09/16/2009  8:04 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

With all the excitement here recently about two Henning finds ..... I'm wondering if I might have stashed one of them away as 'just another old and worn coin' during my roll searches.

Help me if you can by describing the 'definitive test' to know if a 1939, 1946, 1947 or 1953 is indeed a Henning. I can figure out the infamous 1944 'no-P' without any help.

I see the photos posted by wheezydog of the hole in the 'R' .... that's one test ....... I now have the tools to look for that indicator.

But pyrbob writes in another thread that he prefers to collect Hennings without the hole ..... how does he know these are Hennings?

I just counted up my 'potential' Henning from 88,000 raw coins searched .... I have stashed away 187 total '39, '46, '47 and '53 Jefferson's.

I am fired up to dig them out and look ...... but ..... besides the hole in the 'R' ...... what else can I use to know for sure?

Any and all help would be appreciated.

Best

David

Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.finewoodcrafter.com
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 09/16/2009  8:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coppernickeldaddy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
nickelsearcher,

I had the exact same question myself! I'll be looking forward to the answer!
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 Posted 09/16/2009  9:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheNickelGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well, You might have a lightly worn AU/UNC fake with only VF/XF details.
These dies were made from circulated coins.
The wear on those circulated coins used to create these coins account for worn looking Hennings.
Where there is a possibility that there is actually very little circulation wear.
All of the Hennings I have seen have a dull odd look to them, as if they never had any mint lustre whatsoever.

That hole in the R is probably the only best way to spot them, although there are 1944 No mint mark nickels without the hole in the R too. Anything that might resemble the color and strike of the 1944 and 1939 we have shown, I would certainly set aside, and tag for when we do know more down the road.

I have heard that a Henning weighs 5.2 grams and a regular nickel weighs 5.0 grams. I very well might be wrong about that. Maybe somebody can validate that or set me straight.
Edited by TheNickelGuy
09/16/2009 9:09 pm
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 Posted 09/16/2009  9:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add still lookin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
About the weight:

I thought that the mint took Henning's blank planchets and actually used them to mint official nickels. If that is the case wouldn't the planchets have to have the same weight. If not then some mint production coins would also weight the same as the Henning's at the higher weight.
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 Posted 09/17/2009  02:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kabiye_Lady to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
OK. I guess I'll be the first to comment.

Now we're worried about how to detect if we REALLY have a counterfeit.

Priceless.
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 Posted 09/17/2009  09:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AGCoinHunter to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
But the counterfiet is worth a whole lot more than the real thing! :)
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 Posted 09/17/2009  10:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheNickelGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I appreciate that still lookin
Quote:
About the weight:

I thought that the mint took Henning's blank planchets and actually used them to mint official nickels. If that is the case wouldn't the planchets have to have the same weight. If not then some mint production coins would also weight the same as the Henning's at the higher weight.

Yes, now that you mention it, I think you are correct that some planchets were used by the mint. I read that someplace so I guess the weight is right for the counterfeit. Thanks.
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 Posted 09/17/2009  10:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not sure if the Mint used the Henning planchets or not but even if they did since the planchets cost them nothing they probably wouldn't have cared much if they were slightly overweight. And secondly any nickels the Mint would have produced from the Henning planchets would have been dated later than the dates Henning used so that would not be a concern either.
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 Posted 09/17/2009  8:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A few thoughts ....

For Kabiye_Lady .... indeed .... these are a piece of American coinage history and I would truly be proud to find one in circulation today. I admit that with all the debate about Chinese fakes ... well .... trying to find fakes may seem a little odd.

Conder101 comment leads me to wonder if there is actually a sub-set of legal coins out there made from overweight Henning blanks ..... if the Henning blanks were overweight to begin with. How cool would that be ...... documenting a legal US coin made from a fake blank?

Still have not heard from pyrbob ....

Anyways ..... we do have two verified 'hole in the R' Henning's ..... do you owners have the tools to accurately measure the weight and make a report back to us?

That might resolve the 5.2 grams (Henning) vs 5.0 grams (Legal) issue ..... and give the rest of us a valid tool to use.

Let us know

David



Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.finewoodcrafter.com
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 09/17/2009  8:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Siuol to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
On this site: http://www.numismaticenquirer.com/T...0Nickel.html it lists 5.4 grams as being the weight of the Henning Nickle. I don't know if it was for one specific coin or if all weigh that much.
Edited by Siuol
09/18/2009 1:08 pm
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 Posted 09/17/2009  8:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheNickelGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Now nickelsearcher, I may have made a boo boo on the 5.2 weight. So we are not sure of that. I'd hate to see you weighing nickels for nothing.
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 Posted 09/17/2009  9:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No worries wheezydog .... we're all trying to figure this out.

Everyone please keep the information flowing in. We should know how to positively ID these things.

BTW wheezydog .... I sent you a PM .....

Best

David
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.finewoodcrafter.com
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 09/18/2009  2:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pyrbob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is a great thread! Here is what I can contribute so far. The hole in the R is the best way to spot the other dates but Henning claimed to have made 6 reverse dies and 6 obverse dies. Not all of the reverse dies had this hole. The hole is a good diagnostic but not the only one. All Henning nickels I have seen look worn and the surfaces are very rough. Typically, they don't even have full rims. When I check other dates for Henning nickels I first look at the R. Finding the hole is the easiest way to discover one. Next I look for rough almost porous surfaces and a softness in the detail. Even the couple of Hennings I have with full rims have soft details. I have heard other people mention this and say they suspect Henning used worn nickels to make his dies. I agree with this. Another thing I notice on my Hennings is the occasional tiny raised dot or pimple. On the coins with the hole in the R I have seen this inside the M of UNUM. So if I have a coin I suspect of being a Henning I look for these pimples. US Mint nickels will not have them.

His planchets were very close to the correct alloy but not exact. As far as weight, the best I can do is give you the weights of the Henning nickels I have so far. I have 13 nickels dated 1944 with the hole in the R and the weights range from 5.2 - 5.4 grams. I have 12 nickels dated 1944 without the hole in the R and the weights range from 4.7 - 5.1 grams. I also have one nickel dated 1939 with the hole in the R and it weighs 5.3 grams. So it looks like Henning used a group of over weight planchets when he was striking nickels with the hole in the R. But he did strike nickels using planchets of the correct weight. Unfortunately, these were with the reverse without the hole which would make dates other than the 1944 harder to find. I am still studying my nickels trying to find clues to overcome this. So far I only have the clues I listed earlier.

The dates 1939, 1944, 1946, 1947, 1953 are known for Henning nickels. While being interviewed after his arrest Henning claimed to have made six nickel reverse dies and six nickel obverse dies giving the impression there is another Henning date floating around. Some dates suspected in the past for the last die are 1943, 1945 and 1951. But I am not aware of any being confirmed yet.

As far as finding regular mint produced coins on Henning nickel planchets, I don't think this will happen. According to a letter by Superintendent of the Mint Mrs. Rae V. Biester, All of the confiscated planchets (and coins found in the Cooper Creek) were turned over to the US Mint by the Secret Service and the mint melted them down to convert the metal into the proper nickel specifications then produced coinage ingots with it. So Hennings planchets were used by the Mint but in an indirect way.

The historical information I have came out of the book "The Counterfeit 1944 Jefferson nickel" by Dwight H. Stuckey. This is a 32 page card cover book copyrighted in 1982. It is hard to find (I bought mine in a Kolbe sale).

The only other thing I would like to address is the comment about counterfeits. I completely understand this because of the current problem with the Chinese counterfeits. But my feelings on this are the contemporary counterfeits are a part of our country's monetary history. The historical aspect of our coins and paper money is one of the attractions of coin collecting for me. These counterfeits were made to be used in commerce with our regular coinage. Not to deceive collectors as with the Chinese counterfeits. The fact that Henning was so successful in circulating his nickels and more importantly yet, that they still circulate makes me feel the Henning Nickel deserves a chapter in any US Jefferson nickel story.

Well I've gone on long enough. Like I said, this is a great thread and let's keep adding more questions and observations to it so we can maybe solve the mystery of the sixth date.
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 Posted 09/18/2009  7:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheNickelGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
pyrbob
Awesome information. Thank you. I have looked for a 1944 counterfeit ever since I first saw an early RedBook with the asterisk footnote. I found one. A 1944 without the hole in the R.



Edited by TheNickelGuy
09/18/2009 7:53 pm
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 Posted 09/18/2009  8:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add coppernickeldaddy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
nickelsearcher,

Been pretty much offline for a few days; was eager to get back and check out this thread! I don't have an accurate enough scale to weigh my Henning. But I really want to find a copy of that Dwight Stuckey book. Checked all over, with no luck.
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 Posted 09/19/2009  12:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add morgans dad to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is quote from a post on this topic,

"As far as finding regular mint produced coins on Henning nickel planchets, I don't think this will happen. According to a letter by Superintendent of the Mint Mrs. Rae V. Biester, All of the confiscated planchets (and coins found in the Cooper Creek) were turned over to the US Mint by the Secret Service and the mint melted them down to convert the metal into the proper nickel specifications then produced coinage ingots with it. So Hennings planchets were used by the Mint but in an indirect way "

Just a thought, stranger things have happened, let's say those planchets were used as they were, ( we all know the Mint does what it can to save a buck ), with that picture this, if that was true, you could say some of the nickels out there were produced with overweight planchets and were struck with the Mints own dies.

This is IMO, a more than probable possibility, so when looking for these nickels, you might find some very well struck pieces, could be,we know NO cents were struck on bronze planchets, it was also written. We all know things are not always what is written or factually true when it comes to the Mint, acually most anything is possible when the Mint is involved, this is just my opinion....
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