This 1930 Indian Head nickel was a gift from pop-pop, and has been in my coin collection since the mid-1980s.
The metal on the coin is gouged and thin at the area of damage. I always assumed it was post-strike, and just got stuck in a machine or intentionally cut into a screwdriver or something. Now when I look at it, I can see that the coin details are struck into the slope as the metal gets thinner, and the edge diameter is perfectly circular. If the nickel had been smashed with something, the design would be deformed and the edge would be uneven.
Maybe ground on a machine?
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Definitely a possibility. Maybe the artist was clearing metal around the head, and accidentally clipped the nose tip, then discarded the coin. It does seem unlikely that a damaged planchet could magically land in the machine so that the missing material was so close to the face without actually touching it.