Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

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RLD
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:05 am

Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by RLD » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:44 pm

While examining my 64 half dollars along with other years with the same design I came across the unicorn in the attached photo. (10X) The arrows point to the areas that caught my interest. Top arrow- there seems to be a wider space between the point on the banner and the nose. Left arrow- the ridge above the bottom jaw is missing. Right arrow- the impression under the bottom of jaw line is somewhat flat and pointed rather than crisp and rounded. There are also some other differences in the tail and the mane. The coin has little circulation, as it was a gift from my grandfather, likely in the year of minting or shortly thereafter. I cannot find any mention of this oddity on the sites I have checked. Since I have just recently developed an interest in coins, I was hoping that someone could examine the photos and give me their thoughts as to the possibly of this being a unique coin. I have attached photo of another 64 for easy comparison.
Attachments
unicorn oddities (3).jpg
unicorn with oddities
unicorn oddities (3).jpg (552.45 KiB) Viewed 736 times
IMG_1673 (2).JPG
comparison photo
IMG_1673 (2).JPG (890.25 KiB) Viewed 736 times

coinguy
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:03 am

Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by coinguy » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:02 pm

To me it just looks like an over polished die. There are other areas of the fine detail missing as well. Not really unique as there would be other coins minted from this die as well. Wouldn't find it on any site as it is not considered a variety. Would like to see a picture of the whole coin as well.

momomomo
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:59 pm

Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by momomomo » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:20 am

Mute unicorn :lol:

You got good eyrs :Lecture:

pginrh
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:21 am

Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by pginrh » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:38 pm

Some 1964 50c dies have been heavily refinished and details are lost.... this looks like one of these dies. Look at the ribbon under the shield... is there evidence of the detail being lost. As the dies are ground down, the details appear to move further apart when the coin is struck by these dies..

RLD
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:05 am

Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by RLD » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:55 pm

Sorry for delay in posting this, away for a couple days. Also I apologize for having to make a correction in the coin's date. Just prior to my original post I was looking at 1964 coins and had that date on my mind. As the close ups in the post didn't show a date I inadvertently typed 64 instead of 62. Attached is a photo of the whole coin. If this is a die issue it makes sense that there would be more. Could it be possible that this occurred near the end of production and there are very few coins missing the ridge in the unicorn's mouth. Referring to the coin as unique I can see that this may not be the case. Since a coin with these missing details does not appear in the list of known varieties and errors would I be honest by using the term rare or scarce if I list it on ebay?
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coinguy
Posts: 324
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Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by coinguy » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:28 pm

It is not a Variety or an Error, that's why there is no listing, it is caused by an over polished die. It is also not rare or scarce as there are probably many hundreds of dies (Especially in the US) that have been overpolished, all producing coins lacking in detail, so it would be dishonest stating that.
This does not add any premium to the coin, in fact some collectors treat them as damaged.

RLD
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:05 am

Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by RLD » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:33 pm

I am basically in coins 101and very much appreciate the replies. I reviewed this site for polishing and see that the nickel has had polishing issues for a number of years. I see the 1942 nickel had polishing listed in the errors and varieties. The 1978, 1995 and 1998 nickel had polishing listed under miscellaneous/unclassified. I did some random checking and didn't see any other mention of polishing but I did see that the nickel has had issues for decades. It appears that polishing issues have not been commented on for over 20 years, are they so frequent that no one mentions them? Thanks again for the information I'm going to try and do a little research on the subject.

Bill in Burl
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Location: Golden Horseshoe, ONT

Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by Bill in Burl » Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:14 am

You can take what pginrh posted in this thread to the bank. He is the Canadian 50 cent guru and wrote the variety section for Charlton. In addition, he has extensive research material and hundreds of varieties outlined in pages and pages of information on the halves.
Bill in Burl

RLD
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:05 am

Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by RLD » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:54 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments, I am doing a lot of reading. Bill I read your post of Sept4/08 on error vs variety, do I understand correctly that a variety is a number of coins minted the same and an error coin is a single coin with die chip, a dot or something of that nature?
Missing beads is listed under Miscellaneous / unclassified in only a few different years and coin denominations, would it be safe to say that there are a lot more years with missing beads that are not reported ?

GBELEC
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Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by GBELEC » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:29 am

I sure don’t know much about the dies that are used for making coins but if the die is polished would it not remove the die surface, that would leave more protrusion on the coin would it not. This coin looks to be missing protrusion ( by that I would mean the tongue or bit in the horses mouth , what ever it is suppose to be). Is it possible that the die is grease filled. Or is this just the idea of a silly old man :|

coinguy
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Re: Unicorn's head different on one of my 64 half dollars

Post by coinguy » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:29 pm

GBELEC-I'll try to explain.
A die is the opposite of a coin so a shallow incuse area on a die will produce a shallow raised area on a coin.
When polishing a die, (usually to remove clash marks) sometimes with overpolishing these shallow areas get removed. Then when a coin is struck these low areas on a coin have disappeared. That is what you see on this coin. This is really noticeable on many US coins. Think of the Three Legged Buffalo, Floating Roof, No Neck Lincoln etc.
as notable examples where the shallow part of the die has been polished off producing coins similar to as what you see in the fifty cent piece that was posted.

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