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Two different 1987 D cents

I had gotten a couple 1987 D cents in change in NYC months back, though probably from different purchases. But there's something different about them; the D mintmark's size seems different on both, like a small one and a large one. I have some images attached (hopefully it works), though a few aren't the sharpest (since my older camera couldn't focus on them properly, I had to use my ipod touch's camera). Can mintmark differences happen once in a while, or do I have something newsworthy, or am I hallucinating?

6 years ago

According to Dr. James Wiles and the Variety Vista website, there was only ONE style of "D" punch used on 1987 cents from Denver; Mintmark Style #11. Although a bit tough to see in your photos, these do appear to be the same MM, but with some slightly different locations - but all within tolerances for the Mint, so no premiums are attached to these coins. Perhaps they appear different in person due to the depth of the punch on them? Check the areas immediately surrounding the mintmarks to see if there are deeper/lower depressions on some of those coins. Some folks at the Mint had a bit heavier hand than others when it came to applying these mintmarks to coins by hand back then.

6 years ago

It looks the same to me, but you have them and you caulk closer, soI'm believing you on this one! :)

6 years ago

Yeah, the D's look the same in size; its probably the locations that are throwing me off, which I don't understand; how could they be in different spots? The mintmark wasn't part of the actual die?

6 years ago

@user_8826
Yeah, the D's look the same in size; its probably the locations that are throwing me off, which I don't understand; how could they be in different spots? The mintmark wasn't part of the actual die?
Before the 1990's, mint marks were punched separately into dies, but ever since, they are added as part of the master design. This is the main reason we don't have all those fun, RPM's coming out of the Mint anymore - but at least there are billions of older US coins that we can still search through to find these.

6 years ago

So someone would have had to manually punch the mintmark onto the coin? Sounds like backbreaking work. What's strange is that today I was reading an old article from an older Numismatist issue called "A Study of Lincoln Cents" by Louis I. Kane (its pages10-11 in the January 1941 issue), and the author mentions the different locations of mintmarks and says its different die varieties. He uses 1928 as an example, saying he found 16 dies from San Francisco and Denver twelve, followed with illustration on the next page. Is it a similar case here, where its just manually punched but he thinks it's a different variety? Also, what's RPM?

6 years ago

6 years ago

I agree with you. The Denver mint is known for it's variations. I have seen just about everything from Denver so I'm with you

6 years ago

6 years ago

Numinerd knows what he is talking about

6 years ago
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