The challenge undertaken by the Royal Canadian Mint to produce twenty-four different circulating Twenty-Five Cent coins in a two year period provides a special opportunity for numismatists to focus in on the problems faced by modern mints, associated with the design of a die and the life span of those dies when they are put to use.
Not since the late forties and up until the late sixties -have so many coins with so many different types of distinct Die Varieties (Mostly due to Die wear) been released on such a large scale into general circulation.
Numismatist must know that the regular Caribou Twenty-Five Cents Reverse is a design used since 1937, and that the mint has had over sixty years to become familiar with and to refine the design subtly to prolong die use.
The average Die life of the Caribou Reverse -after the Mints experience of over sixty years of practice, can be fairly reasonably predicted to deteriorated at a regular interval. (After so many strikes)
The original design of the Caribou reverse was conceived by an artist well versed in the needs of minters -to have designs on Dies that will evenly take the force of the metal when it is forced to flow. This also applies to the regular type Obverse and to any denomination the Mint has worked with for over a period of several years.
A different Twenty-Five Cents coin with a new design produced each month does not allow the personnel of the Mint to reasonably predict at what point, or where, the die will become to deteriorate. Also remember that these coins are design by people who are not versed in the fine points of coinage design, adding greatly to the challenge of the Royal Canadian Mint.
A new Obverse is also used with this series, which again requires a new projected Die life assessment to insure coins of the usual quality produced in other years and denominations. In the past year and few months that they have been using the new Obverse, they seem to be honing in on the average Die life more accurately. Evidence from the monthly issues, as they are released, show a tightening of the quality as each month goes by.
These are "ballpark" figures that we believe to be currently valid. The base value we put on any variety is $2.00. This may be perceived as more of a handling charge rather than its actual value. For example -Coins showing the result of a Pitted Die in the form of Dots that are noted here -are quite common and easily found. If you want to buy a Dot coin, you will have to pay for someone else’s time to make it available to you. New collectors should know that experienced collectors regard most types of Dot collecting as quite questionable. Dots are best as used Die markers and to help distinguish different Die states.
One or two coins to illustrate the variety may be best, and you can easily find your very own dot coins. The same can be said for small Die Cracks.
-How to contribute to this list-
We are currently listing all Planchet Varieties -such as all forms of Clips, Laminations and etc. Please let me know what you have found, We may request a scan. Please do not send scans of any item without prior consent. (It can be a real problem here!)
Please do not any send information regarding Dot coins or small Die Cracks.
We have listed enough of these to give a general idea. Some may be added as the new months come up and we can find enough of these without any assistance.
Please send details regarding coins with Plugged lettering or Plugged crowns not currently listed. Also all types of Tool Damaged Dies, not listed -are most welcomed.
Die Rotations and many other types of Die Varieties are also sought, please drop us a line if you think you have something special. (Remember no Dots and Die Cracks please)
Please note that all features of Die Deterioration and wear found on any coin listed here are NOT fully described. We have listed just enough information to identify the Die.
Before you send any information please compare your coin to the descriptions we have used. You may find that we have not used what you are seeing as a Die marker in this list, but the coin is listed and that point is not mentioned.
Most specialists do not consider most forms of Die Deterioration and wear as "Error Coins". Coins that show Die Deterioration and wear -merely reflect the natural decay of working Die pairs and in no sense of the word can they be considered Errors of any sort. These stages are best described as Die Varieties -and not as Error coins. In our opinion, its best to regard all errors and varieties of coins, collectively as "Minting Varieties". The term "Mint Error" is deeply ingrained in the hobby and will always be a valid description, particularly in regards to Planchet and Striking Varieties.
We are currently not interested in receiving information regarding coins Struck through Grease or those Struck through Filled Dies. Some may be added as the new months come up and we can find enough of these without any assistance.
All other information regarding any Strike Varieties in this series is most welcomed.
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Changes last made on: 02/11/04