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Wrong-planchet Half Dollar Found

By Ken Potter for Numismaster

A wrong-planchet half dollar dated 1980-P with a four-digit value has been found. A Pennsylvania hobbyist reported it May 30.

“I found this 1980-P Kennedy half in a roll yesterday and I think it might be a wrong planchet error but I’m not sure. There is only a slight trace of reeding on the edge and the condition is probably about uncirculated (AU). It’s also smaller in diameter and a little thinner than a normal Kennedy half. I don’t have the proper equipment to weigh it. Any help in identifying it would be greatly appreciated,” RHM wrote.

Without an actual examination of the coin and without knowing its weight, it is impossible to conclusively attribute the planchet to a United States or other country’s coin (the U.S. Mint struck coins for other countries in 1980).

What we do know from the metal flow that shows on the characters closest to the rim is that it was struck on an undersized planchet. However, the finder was able to add a bit of information that helped immensely; he later confirmed my suspicion that he could see a copper core. This suggests that it is a clad planchet of the type used for dimes through dollars during that year.

In my opinion, the coin is too spread-out and fills too much of the collar for it to have been struck on a quarter planchet. This suggests that it was most probably struck on a Susan B. Anthony dollar planchet. If so, an estimation of its value from a panel of error coin experts is somewhere between $850 and $1,750 for an AU grade.

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