A rotated obverse or reverse die can cause the images on either side of the coin to not be properly aligned. It can occur when the die is not properly inserted into the press, or if the die becomes loose and begins to turn as it is used. Coins struck from rotated dies might be worth a premium, depending on the degree of the rotation. When the images on either side of the coin are aligned in the same direction, it is called medallic orientation, or medal alignment. The images will appear right-side-up if you flip the coin to horizontally to the left or right. If the images are aligned in the opposite direction, it is called coin orientation or coin alignment. The images will appear right-side-up if you flip the coin vertically to the top or bottom.
Attributions of rotated dies are being spearheaded by David Poliquin. For attribution of these varieties, please send coins to Mr. Poliquin. Dies attributed by David will be cross-referenced on this website. However, I’ve ceased to list rotated dies in our index.
David’s site can be found at http://www.indiancentvarieties.com.
“During the course of cent production, obverse and reverse dies may rotate with respect to each other. This rotation may be observed when turning a coin over and noticing the reverse rotated either clockwise or counter clockwise in relation to the obverse. While writing this reference, I will indicate die rotations of 5 degrees or greater in the description of die pairs. However, die rotations of 20 degrees and greater will be listed in this index. The degree of die rotation and the rarity are factors in determining the premium for coins with degrees of rotation greater than 35 degrees.” – David Poliquin
Additional Resources on Rotated Dies