Die crack - Errors and varieties
Die crack error is one of the most common errors on Canadian coins and can be found on most of the denominations and years. During striking, when a crack is present on the die, it is reproduced on the blank. It can be seen easily by the presence of broken lines in the field of a coin, on the legend or the effigy.
Most of the cracks on dies are the result of the extreme pressure used while striking. Furthermore, metals are susceptible to crack on weak places, particularly neat sharp edges. Subsequently, pressure and wear make the crack stronger on the die until an employee changes it for a new one.
When striking, the crack on the die is reproduced on the planchet like the rest of the design. If we could observe the surface of a die, we could see a concave crack that will be reproduced on the planchet in a convex shape.
Die cracks can be divided into several categories. Here are some :
Simple die crack
When the crack start at the rim and ends somewhere on the design or the field of a coin. Example: 25 cents 1996
When there are several cracks and they sometimes produce a network. These die cracks do not portend the imminent failure of the die. Example: 5 cents 1942
Retained broken die
When a crack reaches the rim in two different places on the coin. More information »
Die crack values
Only in very rare instances, like when the crack is big and easily visible to the naked eye, die cracks might worth a bit more than a regular coin.