Silver Dollar Blog - What is a denticle?

Apr 11, 2012

What is a denticle?

Have you heard the word denticle used in coin conversation and wondered what are they talking about. A denticle is the tooth-like design that is around the perimeter of the coin.

 

Mispositioned Dates

Dates were hand punched into the Morgan dollar so of course you can find some examples of mispositioned dates through out the years. The date might be left or right or a little up or down.In the early years a dash was sometimes used to mark the die as a guide to get the date in the right place. The die engraver would have used this as a helpful tool when positioning the date. The end steps of polishing and such would have removed most of these marks, but there are still examples out there that you can find. The dash index mark can be found in the 1885 year coins and earlier after that they might have lined the date up by following the 3rd denticle.

Yes Mispositioned Mint Marks as well! The mint mark is also punched by hand. You will find the mint mark centered above the D and the O on the word Dollar,and below the wreath. Here is a n example:

As you start to look at all the different mint marks for different years you will note a normal position would be within the box. If you pictures a box around the the mint mark between the D and O in dollar and all the way back up to the wreath. If the mint mark seems to be right dab in the middle of the box or is it off to one side or perhaps set a little too high! Take a look at your coins and see! It is very common for them to be shifted or tilted just a little. 

The more you start to read about mint mark or date mispositioned dates the more likely you're to hear the term denticle used!



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