Nonsense Die. A die, with design purposely of no particular meaning, used to test production equipment where the use of any other die would not be feasible. Nonsense dies used at the Philadelphia Mint bear a girl’s portrait and lettering from the center of the alphabet. They are employed, for example, during set-up of a new press run, eliminating the possibility of ruining production run dies, or of creating mint errors of regular coins. Nonsense dies are occasionally used to make test coins. A similar instance is the Martha Washington Test Coin created at the Philadelphia Mint in 1965 by mint engraver Edward R. Grove. It was used in similar cases.
excerpted with permission from
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON