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2009 Silver Proof Quarter Die Error

 
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Pillar of the Community
United States
1027 Posts
 Posted 01/25/2011  6:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add clairhardesty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Mike Diamond has concluded (and at this point I agree with him) that the die that created my coin suffered some sort of accident during final polishing of the mirror field. It is the only thing that we can come up with that explains what we see without resorting to exotic and/or far fetched ideas. The arc, in my opinion, can be accounted for by an accident that occurred in a die polishing machine, most likely by a die that was not properly secured and/or a machine that was jolted/bumped while the die was being polished. It is really the only thing that we can imagine that could have so cleanly removed the material from the die face, leaving a mirror surface on the portion of the field that is raised on the coin. His article should be in next week's Coin World magazine. I am going to continue to seek information, this time directly from the mint via an FOIA request to access the DIS (Die Information System) to see if they can find the record of the die being retired early. Hopefully that record will contain a reason for the retirement and an account (however brief) of what happened to the die.
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United States
40194 Posts
 Posted 01/25/2011  8:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There are probably several examples to search for on this proof quarter. The die could have even been polished and used again. But probably not unless they didn't notice the problem.
Richard S. Cooper
Some have asked about my images I use and I'm glad to say, you can now you can see the DVD in sections on youtube:
1. Intro, older coins, toned coins 2. Doubled dies 3. Die events, One of a kind errors 4. So called errors, Coin information 5. Coin information Types and Varieties, Overlays
Jefferson nickel doubled dies Wexler/Rebar complete listings

trail dies:http://www.traildies.com/
Pillar of the Community
United States
1027 Posts
 Posted 01/26/2011  4:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add clairhardesty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It is pretty clear from the coin that it was minted in the initial use of the die, that the damage was done when the mirror finish was first applied to the die. The lettering and other devices are at full depth and there is no indication of die wear at all anywhere on the coin. It is most likely one of a very few coins ever minted with the die. If true, that should make finding it in the DIS that much easier but only time will tell on that.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1027 Posts
 Posted 01/29/2011  10:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add clairhardesty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Mike Diamond's article on the coin will appear in this coming Monday's Coin World.
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United States
1027 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2011  10:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add clairhardesty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The article is on page 74 of today's issue of Coin World Magazine. Very nice article and nice pictures (OK, I took them).
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United States
1823 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2011  10:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mikediamond to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Actually, I took the photos (although yours were just as nice). -- Mike
Error coin writer and researcher.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1027 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2011  12:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add clairhardesty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My apologies, Mike. The photos are excellent and looked so much like a few of the ones I took that I made an invalid assumption. What kind of setup do you have? My best quality photos were made with a new Canon T2i and a 30 year old Canon FD 35-105mm F3.5 zoom turned around backwards to achieve about 2.5um per pixel. My new Canon 18-135mm F3.5-3.6 used in this mode achieves 1um per pixel but the image quality is just not quite as good as that large, old glass puts out. I used the built in flash in combination with a pair of 3.5W LED flashlights to get my best images. I did discover during the 18 months of trying to image this coin well that lighting is everything and having the ability to adjust the lighting easily is key. My scanner produces great archive images at a known, fixed scale but the camera beats it hands down for investigative work. The new camera has a great software bundle and can be computer controlled over a USB2 cable for fantastic control. In this mode images do not even have to be stored on the flash drive in the camera, they can go directly to the computer so you never run out of room. Of course, with the average picture being about 8 MB, you can put a few thousand on a 32GB card. The T21 is an 18MP camera, producing images that are 5184x3456 pixels (so actually 17.9MP). I love the article and have already printed a copy on heavy photo stock that I will frame and keep with the coin. Thanks once again for you hard work and outstanding results.
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United States
1823 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2011  2:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mikediamond to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Actually, my setup is pretty crude. Just a photostand and a Nikon Coolpix 5000 for the whole-coin shots, and camera adapter on a stereozoom microscope for the tight shots. I really need a better lighting setup, especially to avoid glare on slabbed coins.
Error coin writer and researcher.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1027 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2011  3:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add clairhardesty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That actually makes a lot of sense. The image quality is a major function of the quality of the optics. In your case it is a stereo microscope and in my case an old but high quality lens. From my experience, the lighting isn't so much a science or even an art as much as it is trial and error. You find what works and go with it. To avoid glare (and shadows) I use lots of small lights coming from different angles and add the flash, either bounced or diffused through a simple sheet of waxed paper. Small, inexpensive LED flashlights on modelling clay stands (totally adjustable and will stick anywhere) are a great source of light, you can put waxed paper over the flashlights with a rubber band ...

Edited by clairhardesty
01/31/2011 3:30 pm
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United States
1027 Posts
 Posted 08/15/2016  3:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add clairhardesty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well. it has been over five years since Mike Diamond published the article in Coin World and I still haven't seen another report of this particular error coin. It is at least possible that I received the only one to make it's way out of the mint. If true, that would be way cool. Mint errors of this type are certainly rare, it is not a die crack or a clash, this error was built into the die during manufacture and was not discovered until after the die was put into use. While it is highly unlikely that this was the first coin struck with the die, it may be the only one that was missed when the error was discovered and all (but one?) of the defective coins were prevented from being packaged.
Pillar of the Community
United States
1027 Posts
 Posted 09/30/2019  2:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add clairhardesty to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Well, it's been 10 years now since I got this coin from the mint and still no others have shown up as far as I have been able to tell. I decided to ask the mint, via an FOIA request if they had any information on the die that struck the coin and their response was vague but basically they said no, they have no information (maybe just too long ago).


Edited by clairhardesty
09/30/2019 5:39 pm
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