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NNP Blog

Jan 11 2022

Cracked Dies? No, Cracked Presses

Most collectors, especially of earlier American coinage, are quite familiar with die cracks as evident on many examples. Die cracks are often the key to die attribution and reveal a constant struggle with die preparation and usage in the early days of the U.S. Mint. An 1882 letter, recently transcribed by Newman Portal, indicates that cracks might also be found in the Mint presses.  Philadelphia Mint Coiner O. C. Bosbyshell reported on July 25 to the Director A. Louden Snowden that cracks were present in the arch of press no. 10 in at least two places, and recommended a replacement. Bosbyshell went on to note that the damage to the massive cast iron frame was not repairable. Such simply represented the cost of coining, and there was nothing more to do than scrap the tons of metal that formed the press arch.

Link to Bosbyshell letter regarding cracked presses: https://archive.org/details/press10crackedtwoplaces18820725/mode/2up


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