State. Minute differences in struck pieces between earlier and later issues on the same design from the same die (as first, second, etc. state of the die). A stage which can be distinguished from another by a greater or lesser amount of work on the die as a result of re-engraving the die, the hub, or even of reworking the model from which a new die would be made. Often the difference is quite minute (as a touchup or die polishing after some wearing of the die); or a reissue or later copy would sometimes exhibit greater wear or deterioration (as rusting) of the die.A careful study of a number of specimens is required to determine the separate stages, and the order in which the die progressed. When discernible, these different stages of the die are, of course, of great interest to the serious numismatist and makes for one of the more interesting studies in the numismatic field.
excerpted with permission from
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON
Roger W. Burdette, Editor