Capped Die Strike Errors

Brockage and capped die strikes:
If a newly struck coin sticks to the surface of one of the dies, it acts as a die itself - called a die cap - and produces images on succeeding coins. The image produced by any die is the direct opposite on a coin.

Since the image is raised on the coin adhering to the die, the image on the brockage is incused and reversed - a true mirror image. The first brockage strikes, perfect mirror images and undistorted, are most prized. As additional coins are struck from the capped die, the die cap begins to spread and thin under the pressures of striking, distorting its image. At some point, as the die cap becomes more distorted, the coins struck cease to be brockages and are known as capped die strikes.

Capped die strike
While a brockage image is undistorted or relatively so, images on capped die strikes are increasingly malformed. Although the image is recognizable, the design expands, producing an image that can be several times the normal size. Finally, the die cap breaks off or is pounded so thin it ceases to affect succeeding strikes. Sometimes, the die caps fall off early and in a relatively undistorted state.

Die caps resemble bottle caps, with the metal wrapping around the surface of the die. Die caps are very rare and collectible, much more so than capped die strikes.


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