U.S. Coins on Argentina 10c Planchets

Submitted by JonSullivan on Sat, 05/30/2015 - 13:46

U.S. Coins on Argentina 10C Planchets

by Jon P. Sullivan

In addition to striking our own coins, the U.S. mints have struck coins for numerous other countries since the 19th century, a situation which resulted in many different examples of U.S. coin designs struck on foreign coins and planchets. The U.S. mints took on these minting contracts because it was profitable to do so. Nations will sometimes outsource the minting of their coins, even if they have a mint of their own, and in fact, the United States has done so from time to time, because they did not want to invest in the equipment, infrastructure, etc. (although to my knowledge, only in the production of planchets, and not in the actual minting of the coins).

1919 buffalo nickel struck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet 1919 buffalo nickel struck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet 

1919 buffalo nickel struck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet. nickel struck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet. This is 1 of 3 known buffalo nickels struck on foreign planchets. 

Recently, I have had three different U.S. coins struck on Argentina 10 centavo planchets come through my inventory, and I thought I would share them with my fellow CONECA members. Two of them are 1920 wheat cents and one is a 1919 buffalo nickel. Although very scarce, the most commonly found U.S. coin struck on an Argentina 10c planchet is the 1920 wheat cent, although there are probably no more than 20-30 in existence, making it a very scarce error. The 1919 buffalo nickel is a truly amazing coin, as it is believed to be 1 of 3 buffalo nickel on foreign planchet errors known for the entire series. The coin was once part of a major buffalo nickel collection which was recently sold off, and I was fortunate enough to acquire the coin. The other known examples include a 1936 buffalo 5c struck on a Nicaragua cent planchet, and also an undated Buffalo P-mint 5c struck on a Peruvian 5 centavos planchet (the latter owned by Ken Hill). 1919 buffalo nickel struck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet. This is 1 of 3 known buffalo nickels struck on foreign planchets.

In 1919 the Philadelphia Mint was minting 10 centavo coins for Argentina, along with several other denominations of Argentinian coins. This buffalo nickel off-metal occurred when a 10 centavo planchet was accidentally fed into a press, which was striking buffalo nickels, resulting in a coin which is underweight and smaller than a normal nickel. The Argentina 10 centavo is the exact same alloy as a normal nickel at 75% copper and 25% nickel, and also weighs 46.29 grains/3.1 grams, which is approximately 3/5 the weight of a normal buffalo nickel. The coin is PCGS certified, and grades VF-30. 1920 wheat cent broadstruck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet.

1920 wheat cent broadstruck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet.

1920 wheat cent broadstruck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet. 

As in 1919, in 1920 the Philadelphia Mint was striking 10 centavos for Argentina. This coin is a 1920 wheat cent which is broadstruck on an Argentina 10 centavo planchet, making it not only a planchet error, but a striking error as well. The error occurred when an Argentina 10c planchet was fed into a press, which was set-up to strike 1920 wheat cents, but instead of being struck in-collar, it was struck out of collar, allowing the planchet to expand beyond its proper diameter. This is probably the only known 1920 cent on Argentina 10c planchet which has an error in addition to simply being an off-metal. The coin is certified by NGC, and grades MS-62.

The off-metal could have occurred when a minting press, which was striking 10 centavo coins, was switched over to striking wheat cents. In this scenario a few planchets could have been left in the feeder mechanism of the press, or in the striking chamber, and were then struck by cent dies, once the press had been refitted for striking cents. Another possibility is that an Argentina 10c planchet was accidentally left in a planchet bin (planchet bins were used to transport the planchets throughout the mint), and if the same planchet bin was then used to transport wheat cent planchets, the Argentina 10c planchet would then have been fed into the press along with all the other wheat cent planchets, and would be struck by wheat cent dies. 1920 wheat cent struck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet. This 1920 wheat cent is struck on an Argentina 10 centavo planchet. The coin is a typical example of the error type, with moderate wear (most of the cents on Argentina 10c planchets show signs of wear) and with the characteristic copper-colored streaks across the surfaces. These copper colored streaks of metal exist because the copper/nickel metals did not alloy correctly when the planchet material was being made. These typically sell for between $600-$900, and are only occasionally available for sell.

1920 wheat cent struck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet.1920 wheat cent struck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet.

1920 wheat cent broadstruck on an Argentina 10 centavos planchet. 

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