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1922 Australia Threepence with dramatic die gouge


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Here is an Australian threepence with an interesting mark on the coat of arms. At first, I thought it might be a die crack or chip until I looked more closely.

The main mark (dark arrows) crosses the shield in several places higher than the normal design.

This means the mark was recessed into the inverse shield design on the die. However, at the periphery of this mark are areas depressed below the coin's design (white arrows).

If struck this way, it means that around this depression in the die, there were areas raised above the normal design.


Which makes me wonder which circumstances best explain both the raised mark and the depressions struck into the coin? Here are 3 possible scenarios I considered:


  • If the mark is a die chip, that would not make a raised area on the die (white arrows).
  • Deep file marks I've seen usually remove metal, creating a sharp transition between the raised mark and the normal design.
  • If an object were struck into a die, I would expect displaced metal around the object that pushes upward, resulting in a recessed area struck into the coin.


Of these three options, I think a hard object striking the die best explains all the details on the coin.

The story gets more interesting, when I found a second example of this coin at a show: :grin:



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Looks like whatever impacted the die hit it hard enough to cause metal flow, which is why you see raised areas **on the die** adjacent to the gouge.


Great detective work and great pics! I'd love to see more detective work like that here on CP!

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