Die Cracks on Coins

Die cracks can probably be found on almost every die at its later state. The most extreme cracks can bisect the coin, become cuds, or form other types of cracks. These types can include shattered dies, bilateral, radial, or antipodal cracks, bi-level cracks, and retained interior die breaks. Indian cent dies were often used to produce 200,000 coins or more during their life. However, die life was highly variable before modern times. In the 19th and early 20th century, the dies were often used until they cracked for completely failed. Thus, die cracks are very common in the Indian Head Cent series because of the relatively large mintage numbers.

To view all the currently attributed cracked dies, please click here.

Rules for attribution of cracked dies:

  • All dies with bisecting cracks are attributable. Crack must be visible in the center, or very near center, of the die and extend rim-to-rim. Examples of bisecting cracks are the 1864 L CRK-001, CRK-002 and the 1864-L CRK-003.

  • Shattered” dies that exhibit several cracks over a substantial portion of the die.

  • “Round-a-bout” cracks often go from one side of a coin to the other, but not through the center. These are U-shaped or circular. Examples include arched rim-to-rim cracks and asymmetrical split dies.

  • Once a crack becomes a cud, it will be given a CUD listing number