RuralRon's Blog

26 Jul 2020

What makes a variety? Is this one?

Coins | RuralRon

What exactly is a variety? How do they differ from errors? Why are some coins that are obviously different considered neither.As a fairly new collector these are areas of great confusion to me. This was compounded by receiving a couple of rolls of Kennedys in a lot purchase.It included two rolls of 1996's. When opening the package I noticed one of the rolls had broken open. Picking up the first loose coin I saw what looked like a large scratch. Needless to say I wasn't happy. Upon examining the coins I have two rolls of coins just like the one in the picture. It appears to be a scratch in the die but I am not sure. Any ideas of what I have here would be greatly appreciated. I bow to your great knowledge!



Level 5

It sounds like you have done some nice research! Nice work! Cheers, NM


Level 4

Well I spent most of the day yesterday watching the ANA two hour presentation on varieties and errors, Going though the Coneca and Varietvista sites and others. Have seen other coins with the same line that they are calling a "speared head". It doesnt show up in any of the guides but they are out there. Looks like the same thing happened in 1997 and 1998. Enough of these floating around I am surprised they arent acknowledged as a error or variety somewhere. Your comments were invaluable in my understanding in this subject, Thanks for sharing.


Level 5

Hope you have something like a die crack. Having a die crack error would be nice. Good luck and let us know the final outcome, once you find out.

An error is a one-time happening, and a variety was "meant" to be on the coin so it was repeatedly done. If that line is raised, it's a die break and you have found a nice error coin.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Well if its repeated on all the examples, then definitely a mint error die crack. The difference between an error and a variety. A variety is already in the die before it even strikes the first coin. It is a result of the hubbing and some error that occurred during that process, like a double die or a over date. An error occurs to the die after the minting process begins and the die is damaged in some manner causing crack or similar issue with the coin. An error can also occur with a problematic planchet. Hope this helps.


Level 6

Looks like a die break to me. Is it raised? Go to CONECA to get the scoop on variety vs. error. Basically a variety is a mistake in the hub or die that is repeated in all strikes. An error is not repeated and is not part of the hub/die. Check it out. That is a super simple definition. Here is what VarietVista.com says: Mint-made errors are errors in a coin made by the mint during the minting process. Groups of coins with distinctive characteristics are known as varieties. The term variety applies to coins with both intended and unintended differences while the term error refers only to coins with unintended differences. There is an ANA webinar on varieties Tuesday.:https://info.money.org/elearning Thanks.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Thanks that is very informative and you helped me add to my knowledge

I. R. Bama

Level 5

That doesn't look like a scratch. A scratch would be incused and this is clearly raised. Interesting how straight it is. I agree with Mike. Also it would not detract from the grade, thus the value of the coin, So what exactly does make for a variety? I would like to learn that for myself!


Level 7

It could be a die break. . That happens with a broken die. As the coin goes thru the process when it gets to be stamped the broken die comes down and leaves a crack in the coin. Remember the die is hardened steel. And it will leave it's mark. When they find it they change the die with a new one.

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