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US Pennys with striations


Russel
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As I was placing pennys in a Lincoln Momorial Cents coin folder, I notice a number of pennys have strange looking striations on them. The photograph is one of the pennys (from my pocket change) with the most noticable striations. Does anyone know anything about this? When I noticed it on several pennys, I began to wonder if it has something to do with the penny, rather than what the penny has been exposed to.

 

1981-dpennyobverse.jpg

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I think there was a discussion that this was formed due to improper mixture of metals or while during the rolling the strips of metal.

 

Reminds me of my knife that I used for work. Damascus steel - pretty neat if you are into this kind of stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus_steel

 

Think I made a post while ago mentioning what could happen if you strike coins on damascus or mokume gane planchets. Really wicked.

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After examining several dollars of pennies that I have collected from pocket change, I have noticed tha quite a few have striations. Not only in color or toning, but in texture as well. Both in copper pennies and zinc with copper plating. It is really interesting what you can observe if you really look at something. I found a handfull of pennies with interesting flaws. Nothing spectacular, but still interesting. Flaws in the zinc planchet, pennies formed with what appears to be worn dies, slightly off center strikes. I'll post some photographs later.

 

I have always loved Damascus steel! The stuff is expensive! Here is a photo of my favorate knife.

Knife.jpg

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The 80's are a real mess when it comes to pennies (cents for the sensitive)

Note on that 87 the lumpy appearance running through the letters on the obverse. I've heard about a zillion explanations, slight exageration, for that one but not sure what really caused it. You see that on many of the ones from the 80's and some are really pronounced. Almost always runs through In God We Trust. Seldom if ever on the Reverse. Missing lettering on the reverse is as common as good lettering on ones minted in the 2000's. Not sure what was going on in the 80's with cents but sure are messed up a lot.

I'm sort of a error collector and I used to pull those out of change until I realized I could fill boxes full of the exact same errors and mostly not worth more than a regular coin. Actually if your a collector wanting good quality, those are worth even less.

As to that streaky mixture of metals, it goes back as far as our Mint has been making Copper Coins. Remember that they don't make the metal sheets they use for making coins, they buy them. If the manufacturer is sloppy, so goes the product. I've seen those streaks on many coins from the early teens and even the 09's. Got myself an 09S VDB for a real cheap price once due to that streakyness.

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Wow, ScottO, those are some great examples!

 

I wonder if these variations in copper alloy used to mint coins are not given too much concern by the mints because the result is not altogether undesirable. It may be that the effort to eliminate all variations in the metal reaches a point of diminishing returns. As I understand it, these days anyway, the metal for coins minted in the US is a private, for profit, company.

 

In any event, it definitely give coins character. After looking through several hundred pennies that I have collected from pocket change, I find that I like pennies with a good patina rather than shiny.

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The more of those I see the more I like that effect. I wonder if the Mint would start making those more if they knew people would like that effect.

Interesting point. I wonder if enough messages were sent to the USMint about adding those, it could or would be a new type of issue. Right now the Mint is just about making a coin for anything and everthing. So why not streaking effects?

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  • 2 weeks later...

it was common in the early 20th century, pops up in europe in the 20's

it comes up in cupro nickel as well (...)

 

At first I thought it was harshly cleaned, but looking at the pictures side-by-side it is obvious that the streaks must be in the metal:

 

Buffalo_Nickel_1935_S_obv.thumb.jpgBuffalo_Nickel_1935_S_rev.thumb.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took several photographs of a cent with different aperture settings in an attempt to determine what f-stop produced the sharpest photograph. I placed the cent at an angle to eliminate focus; depth of field would cover is entire range from close to far, the center of which should be in good focus.

 

Anyway, to get to the subject of striations, I noticed that sometimes the lines are a quite subtle. In this photograph you can see the "flow" markings on the surface of the field to the left, but also notice the vertical striations on the right at Lincoln's collar.

 

Striations.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

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