Die crack

A die crack occurs when a die tends to crack, that is, to slightly ruin without breaking.
From the moment the die structure begins to crack, cracks or fissures form along the design elements. Upon striking, the metal in the planchet will fill these fissures, thus revealing a raised line of metal in the newly minted coin.

Basically, the main cause derives from the production process of the die and in particular from the compression of the hub on the virgin die which makes the engraved areas more weak.
The prolonged use of the dies used to strike high circulation coins is another cause that affects the quality of the coins produced. In these cases, the mint tends to make the most of each coinage to strike as many coins as possible.

These cracks or fissures can also be caused by the interposition of a fairly solid foreign body between the coin and the round block during the striking phase. This foreign body tends to damage the coin at the time of die, generating further cracks or fissures that sometimes take the shape of the foreign object interposed.

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These 6 coins of 50 Lire 1993 II type come from three different rolls, personally extracted in progression. The illustrated specimens were all struck by the same cracked die. We can observe, in order of reading, the evolution from a simple die crack to a branch die crack.

Branched die crack: a crack runs through some design elements branching out into two or more distinct cracks that continue in different directions.

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