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Negative impressions or development of details on the opposite side of a coin


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I can't see here anything but a die clash. The copper planchets were practically pure copper (of the time), homogeneous all over with no softer or harder areas. But with steel it was different. Hardening steel was not yet mastered sufficiently. One and the same steel die could present some softer area. As empty strikes happened (=with no planchet inserted), one of the 2 dies could "mint" into some softer area of its counterpart. As a result that trace appeared on all the coins minted thereafter as a negative impression.

Admire my most spectacular die clash with the "8" of 1778 showing on the opposite side :crazy:












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Thank you for your examples! Very nice. I like the name in English for the positive impression - mysterious die damage. :) The negative one looks like Buddha's pulm technique impression (if you watched Kung-Fu Hassle)... I haven't read the whole topic in Russian, it goes for 11 pages, and I didn't have time yet. Did they get to the consensus on, or do you guys know what causes positive impression (when opposite image sticks out)?

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I think there were several theories. Basically to get this 'Positive' and Mirrored artifact of the reverse side of the coin, the die has to have a negative impression on it. So there has to be contact and some form of interaction between the 2 dies. The 2 theories that I liked and thus remembered are as follows:


1) There is a dies clash, and one of the dies is heavily damaged, there is an are with 'Positive' impression of the opposite die on the damaged die. The damaged die is filed down to remove this damage. The metal in the filed down are is softened, and over time indentations develop from heavy use, that end up producing 'Positive' impressions on coins. I'm not a metallurgist so can't tell if this is likely.


2) The other theory had to do with rust. Let's say that dies are in place, but the press is not used. So the two dies are just sitting there in contact with each other. Over time rust sets in, rust in the contact areas is more aggressive (not sure why). After some time, the press is prepared to be in use, the workers scrub the rust off, but now there are indentations in the places of die contact that cause Positive impressions on coins.

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Thank you for your answer Alex. I only read the first page so far and will read further. Before doing that I thought about it for a while, as I got across this topic before, and also read only the first page but my windows crashed and I couldn't find it again until yesterday.


My idea was as you described in theory #1. Theory #2 is far fetched, I think, and not as realistic, given that we know that die clashes are a fact and once they start producing negative impression coins, it would make sense to to try and fix them...


There was also a little question raised there about why these images sometimes moved and don't match completely with a "mirrored" image on the other side of the coin. That can also be explained within the first theory, I think, when dies are removed for repair they mixed with other dies that have a slightly different image that may as well be positioned somewhat to a side... It's an interesting topic...

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