Worn Die. A die whose sharpness of detail has been dulled by much use. The wear of constant striking rounds off the sharp angles of detail and lettering; in the later stages of die life the wear is greatly exhibited and dies deteriorate rapidly, until a point is reached when such dies must be retired. Before this is reached, however, some re-engraving may be done to add additional striking ability to prolong die life. Generally worn dies have begun to sink (see sunken die), contain one or more areas of stress and are susceptible of diecracks ultimately leading to diechips and broken dies. Also weak strikes occur during setup, before the pressure has been correctly established, this results in pieces which look like they were struck from very worn dies (but obviously were not). See also die wear.
excerpted with permission from
An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON
Roger W. Burdette, Editor