First off, if you haven’t read Noah’s Tuesday post about A Christmas Story, then please do so now. I’ll be waiting…
If you left, welcome back!
Speaking of things that are too small, I was cataloging coins for the upcoming December Houston U.S. Coin auction when I came across an intriguing error: a 1956-dated Franklin half dollar that was struck on a quarter planchet, which is indeed “one size too small.”
As with any error coin, the natural question is “What went wrong?”
Ordinarily, all of the planchets are of the same size and type: half dollar-sized planchets to strike half dollars, for example. Once in a while, though, Something Goes Wrong™.
The result is a slightly misshapen error coin, slightly broader than a quarter but not nearly so large as a half dollar, with considerable detail left off at the edges. Most error coins are caught, either mechanically or by visual inspection, but this piece must have dodged both the riddler (not the Batman Riddler but a series of metal grids with holes designed to catch off-size coins — if a coin falls through the wrong level or doesn’t fall through the right one, it’s destroyed) and human eyes to reach the outside world.
That’s how a wrong-planchet error is created!