Brockage or Not? (Sandwich Coins)
by Ken Potter—NLG
Is It a Brockage Strike?
Photos courtesy of Joe Zemotel
April 02, 2004 / Installment #28—The coin featured in this installment of “Oh, No It Ain’t!!” is what we call a “sandwich coin.” A “sandwich coin” is an alteration produced by stacking two or more coins on top of each other and then hammering or pressing them together with a vise between two pieces of leather or wood or possibly other materials (to minimize damage to the coins).
Sometimes after the fakers have pressed them together as described above, they then restack the alterations yet again along with more normal coins for effects that are reversed from the first faked images, i.e., a faked image that was first sunk (incuse) into a normal coin will now bring up a raised image on a second coin. This type of alteration exhibits few of the characteristics we look for on a genuine error coin but does show all the effects found on the fakes typical of this process.
While the intention of the counterfeiter might be to produce items to market to unsuspecting collectors as valuable errors, it probably just as often to have fun making weird concoctions to put into circulation to fool other collectors for no other reason than jest.
Study the images above as there are many attributes about them that will not be found on the genuine “brockage” error types that this one is intended to mimic. One of the most common “faults” the fakes will display are bends and other forms of damage (smashed down flattened rims, etc.) on the coin that would not be present on a genuine brockage error coin. We’ve seen many of these on eBay and there are always a few in those boxes of odd-ball “treasures” that old-timers have accumulated over the decades so don’t get burned buying any of these! See what a Brockage is here: Brokage Errors
Image courtesy of Luis Astete
September 25, 2008—Coins that exhibit evidence of another coin pressed into them after they were released by the Mint are NOT genuine minting errors, yet they tend to be one of the more frequently encountered coin alterations found. They are often mistaken for “Brokage Errors.” Luis Astete send in a 1976-D Kennedy half-dollar that he found with the incuse mirror image of a dime that was pressed into the half-dollar. This may have been done by setting the dime on top of the half dollar and smacking the dime with a hammer or placing the pair of coins between leather and then forcing them together in a vise. These types of alterations are often referred to as “Sandwich Coins.”