[The following excerpt is published courtesy of DLRC Press and its author, Bruce Fox. This information was originally published in 1993 in The Complete Guide to Walking Liberty Half Dollars]
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COMPOSITE VARIETY LISTINGS
Appendix C is a concise listing of all the varieties in Chapter 5.
The column identified as “Source” refers to the publications in which an identification number has been assigned. The cross-reference from the source column number to actual source is listed below. A source code “8″ indicates the variety was reported to the author, but is not listed in any other source listed below.
1. Register of Numismatic Errors by CONE (Collectors of Numismatic Errors, Inc.) 1966, Identified by CONE designation (CONE merged with NECA in 1983 to form CONECA).
2. Variety of listings from Alan Herbert’s Files, identified by CONECA (Combined Organisation of Numismatic Error Collectors of America) and old CONE designations.
3. Walter Breen’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Coins, identified by Breen number.
4. Encyclopedia of Doubled Dies, Volume 2, identified by Wexler designation.
5. RPM (Recpunched Mint Mark) Book, identified by Wexler RPM number.
6. Cherrypickers Guide to Rare Die Varieties, identified by guide reference numbers.
7. Major Variety-Oddity Guide of U .S . Coins, identified by Index number.
8. A non-listed variety. (Presently not known to be listed in any publication or data base).
9. Illustrated Error Coin Pricing Guide, identified by guide identification.
See Appendix B (Glossary) for definitions used and the bibliography for more information regarding the sources above.
CONE DESIGNATIONS are a letter followed by a dash and a sequential number i.e. E-01. The letter designators are as follows:
A = First digit of the date (or an error affecting the entire dare)
B = Second digit of the date (or an error affecting the last 3 digits)
C = Third digit of the date (or an error affecting the last 2 digits)
D = Fourth digit of the date
E = Mintmark
F = Profile, Hair & Ear of the Obverse Portrait
G = Face & Neck of the Obverse Portrait
H = Remainder of Obverse Portrait
I = L in”Liberty” (or error affecting the entire word)
J = I in “Liberty’ (or error affecting iberty)
K = B in “Liberty (or error affecting berty)
L = E in “Liberty” (or error affecting erty)
M = R in “Liberty” (or error affecting rty)
N = T in “Liberty” (or error affecting ty)
O = Y in “Liberty”
P = “In God” (or error affecting entire motto)
Q =”We Trust”
R = Reverse design (Wheat ears, Memorial, Torch, Eagle, Bell, etc.)
S = First word of the denomination (or error affecting entire denomination)
T = Second word of the denomination.
U = “United States of America”
V = “E Pluribus Unum”
W = Obverse Field (errors that cannot be associated with any of the above)
X = Reverse Field (“”"”"”"”"”")
Y = Misc. (Clashed dies, etc.)
Z = One-of-a-Kind errors (clips, lamination. etc.)
Other designations using roman numerals and western number and letters are briefly addressed below.
• A western numeral as a prefix indicates a die number assigned sequentially as discovered.
• A western numeral as a suffix indicates a class number within a section. See example below.
• A roman numeral as a prefix indicates a major division. I is for planchet varieties and errors; II is for die varieties; III is for strike varieties and errors; IV is for official mint modifications and V is for alterations.
• A roman numeral as a suffix indicates a doubled die class. I- rotated; II-distorted; III – design; IV – offset; V – pivoted; VI – distended; VII modified, and VIII – tilted hub doubling.
• Western letters indicate a section within a major division. For example, division II (die varieties) has nine sections. A – engraving varieties; B – hub doubling varieties; C – mintmark varieties; D – die, collar and hub cracks; E – die, collar and hub breaks; F – “BIE” die varieties; G – worn and damaged dies, collars and hubs; H – die progressions and I – die scratches, polished and abraded dies. Each of these sections have sub-classes further defining the variety. For example, Section B is for hub doubling varieties. It is broken into eight classes. I – rotated hub doubling; II – distorted hub doubling; III – design hub doubling; IV – offset hub doubling; V – pivoted hub doubling; VI – distended hub doubling; VII – modified hub doubling; VIII – tilted hub doubling.
Note: Section B is the only section using roman numerals. The other sections of Division II use western numerals.
Designation II-B-2 would indicate a die variety (II) which specifically is a hubbing variety (B) and more specifically is a distorted hub doubling example (2).
Other abbreviations you may see are as follows:
MD = Master Die Doubling
U = Multiple Doubling under one another
T = Triple Hubbing
Q or (4) = Quadruple Hubbing
QT or (5) = Quintuple Hubbing
M (or suffix) = Microscopic Doubling
K = Pivot Clock positions
CW = Clockwise Spread
CCW = Counter-Clockwise Spread
For those interested in searching for varieties related to doubling, i.e. doubled dies, RPM’s, etc. an explanation is in order to describe the difference between die doubling and strike (machine) doubling. Strike doubling is common and is mistaken quite frequently by novices to be die doubling. The most common cause of strike doubling is the result of one of the dies being loose which twists somewhat when striking the planchet causing some of the metal to move. The coin takes on a shelf like, flat type of doubling effect. Die doubling most always has rounded secondary images and/or distinctive splits in the serifs.
It is not the intent of this book to be a tutorial in variety designations and the associated research and history. This alone is a very complex topic and the subject of many books. The above information is intended as a primer only to give a general meaning to the listings herein.
For a detailed study of these designations as well as in depth explanations, discussions, photographic examples, etc. it is recommended you read “The Official identification and Price Guide to Minting Varieties and Errors” by Alan Herbert (fifth edition). Alan writes a regular column for Numismatic News and is quite knowledgeable and a gentleman with years of dedicated research and experience in this area under his belt. Another recommended reading is “The CherryPickers Guide” by Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton (second edition). This book is equally informative. Alan, Bill and J.T. supplied many photographs for this book and much needed opinions and advice. If you wish to subscribe to newsletters/magazines related to varieties/errors, contact the sources listed below:
Lonesome John’s Error-Variety News, or copies of other numismatic titles, write 3481 Old Conejo Rd, #104, Newbury Park, CA 91320.
Jeff Noe’s Illustrated Error Coin Pricing Guide (down to $25 from $45), write P.O. Box 890665, Oklahoma City, OK 73189-0665.
Arnold Margolis’ Error Trends Coin Magazine, his 1991 award-winning book The Error Coin Encyclopedia, or other titles, write P.O. Box 158, Oceanside, NY 11572-0158.
¹These varieties are the same listings according to Alan Herbert.
²Author has not seen positional varieties. Breen lists two as positional variations, but does not elaborate on difference.
³Some sources report these as same variety with two interpretations.
⁴These pairs (1943 V102 & V103; 1943-D V101 & V 102; 1943-S V102 & V103) are believed to be the same, but the author has viewed examples with a repunched date lacking the other doubling characteristics described.
⁵Some experts believe these to be same specimen.
⁶These are old listings. They could be the same as noted in footnote 4 and have not been seen by the author.