Does anyone have information on the number of dies used to make 1873-H and 1873 Newfoundland 5 Cent coins? I have a well worn 1873 Newfoundland 5 Cent piece with a lump where the H mintmark would be, but NGC sent it back in a body bag as Unable To Determine Mintmark.
I have some high-res pictures of both the 1873-H and an 1873 5 Cent coins and they have very distinct differences in their letters and spacing compared to the dentils. I'd like to prove my coin is an 1873-H, it has the characteristics and lettering of the 1873-H, but the 3rd Party graders wither do not know the differences in die markings or don't care to look that closely,
I can't give a definite reply, but can offer the following:
There were at least two obverse dies used in 1873, as both obverse 1 and obverse 2 are known.
From the book: The Currency and Medals of Newfoundland: In 1872, when the coins were made by the Heaton Mint, there were 4 dies used to mint the 40000 five cents ordered. It is not recorded if these are obverse or reverse.
The book also speculates that the 1873H was made using a die that the Heaton mint had returned after the 1872 mintage was struck. The mint was known for reusing old dies.
My guess, and that is all it is, is that the mint used 1 or 2 new obverse dies, plus at least 2, and maybe more, old obverse dies.