I am curious about the two cracks I observed on this Lincoln cent, and whether they were produced by impurities in the planchet material. I initially thought they were created by an object striking the coin, but the very edge of at least one of the cracks comes up instead of going down. Like the force causing the crack came from below the surface. The more I look at it the more I imagine that I can see the connection between the two smaller cracks creating a larger single crack. Your opinions are appreciated. Thank you in advance.
The mark between N and T in CENT on the reverse look incuse and looks more like a deep scratch or gouge to me (Same goes with the gouge under Unum too). On the obverse above the head, that one looks like a die crack to me.
Looks like coin damage. The marks are incuse on the coin. If they were die cracks they would be raised and irregular in shape. These appear incuse (below the surface of the coin) and not raised. But a closer view might show that is could be something else. If the trench is rounded, it could be struck through something. If the trench flat and squared, it could be damage to the coin. (Also there will be a wall on each side of the scratch where the metal moved like a wave?)
That would be post strike damage.
Note the plating rise above the surface and the trench is squared on the bottom of the trench? While a struck through wire will be rounded in the trench:
Depending on the shape of what it was struck through? Still waiting for better images.