Master List 
Variety Philosophy, Approach and Methodology

Jason Cuvelier, Lead Attributer

The CONECA Variety Philosophy:
CONECA, over the past several decades, with the assistance of numerous contributors, has created the CONECA Master Listing (CML). The CML is comprised of numismatic varieties and design changes found on 19th, 20th and 21st century coinage minted by the United States Mint. Varieties CONECA focuses on tend to fall into a subset of error numismatics that involves one or more mishaps on a die (though sometimes a working hub or punch) during the minting process, typically during pre-production, that impacts all coins minted with that particular die. CONECA catalogs these varieties, we call these “listings” and create additional entries that we would designate as “NEW listings”.

CONECA is committed to maintaining the CML for current and future generations of variety collectors. CONECA members receive a submission discount. CONECA has established criteria for what we consider listable” or “not listable”.  When applicable, listings will be listed by varying die stages or die states. Additionally, CONECA will note particular die markers or characteristics of a given variety and make them part of the listing.

The CONECA Variety Approach:
CONECA will host and disseminate the CML in well-illustrated formats that will assist in attributions. That format can be, but is not limited to, the CONECA Error Scope the bi-monthly publication, other periodicals, books, websites, DVDs and other sharable digital platforms. Going forward the primary location will be on a CML website run by CONECA.

CONECA will have one Lead Attributer (LA) who is appointed by the President and approved by the CONECA Board of Directors. The LA will work with the BOD and in particular the Publications and Webmaster seats as well as other attributers that the BOD has approved. The LA will create and maintain a method of testing potential attributers. The LA is in charge of approving all new listings brought to them by the CONECA team of attributers and examiners and then creating the new CML listings. The LA is in charge of approving all new listings brought to them by the CONECA team of attributers and examiners and then creating the new CML listings.

Any CONECA attributer must understand the minting process. Attributers must be able to diagnose varieties into specific categories, subsets as well as any types or classes that a variety would fall into. They must be able to properly identify current listings as well as potential NEW listings without creating duplicate listings. Attributers also must possess the needed photographic skills to properly articulate the variety and die markers to collectors. Ethically, attributers must not choose to list or refuse to list a variety based on their or anyone else’s possession of a given variety thereby by influencing how a variety is collected, coveted or valued.

The CONECA Variety Methodology: 
What is or is not listable? The date and denomination of a coin displaying a variety is going to impact whether said coin is listable vs not listable. The line between what is or is not listable will not be the same on an early 20th century vs a late 20th century coin. In the past, varieties’ observable with a 10x loupe have been listable by CONECA. Unfortunately, there is no reliable objective method that can be written out one can follow but the 10x is a starting point. A coin showing a wide, yet faint hub doubled spread may not be observable with a 10x loupe, but still could be listable. CONECA will acknowledge a difference between “major”, “significant” and “minor” varieties. One important factor is the number of listings by design on any given year and denomination already has. Something minor on a coin from 2009 will be viewed differently on a coin from 1915. All denominations of coins minted after 1940, only major and significant varieties will be numbered 001-099. Anything deemed minor will be listed as a 4 digit #1000 and higher.

The CML can be pruned by CONECA and varieties delisted. Varieties can be deemed non-varieties, or multiple listings can later be determined to be one in the same and consolidated. A variety can be considered too minor and be delisted, or due to a lack of supporting evidence, a listing can be removed. Sometimes several listings can be tied into a working hub and as a result, those listings will also be de-listed. When a listing has been removed, the old number will NOT be reused and instead it will say “unassigned” with a brief mention of what it was and why it was removed. These delisted varieties will remain on the CML site and serve as a cross reference for those coins already attributed incorrectly. Anything thought to be from a Master Die or Working Hub will be noted.

CONECA will maintain suitable means in which collectors, in particular CONECA members, who need to have a variety identified or considered as a NEW listing. CONECA prefers collectors use the online version of the CML to identify their variety. CONECA will provide a reliable platform where a collector can post (or share) images and a description of possible varieties. CONECA will then attempt to assist in identification and point the collector into one of several possible directions:

1) If a conclusion can be made from provided photos, the submitter will be informed digitally. This conclusion may mean that the coin is NOT approved to send to an attributer. There is no appeal process.

2) Upon PRE-APPROVAL, submitters will be contacted by an attributer who will attempt to identify the coin and send the coin back with an official letter in a timely manner.

3) If the submitted coin is a potential NEW listing, 3 CONECA attributers will examine the coin and the majority opinion of whether to list it will determine the final listing decision. The Lead attributer will send an official letter with a conclusion and the potential NEW listing number back to the submitter.

The Submission Guidelines are found on the website. and will include the proper method of sending coins in the mail, fees as well as return postage.

CONECA will NOT assign GRADES or VALUES to coins, categories or specific varieties. An attributer can, based on their experience, guess a ball park value when needed. Most varieties are hard to estimate a value on as the sales records are either nonexistent or sparse. Some varieties are in the Redbook and others can be assessed from auction sites. CONECA will also disband with population reports.

CONECA will note, when possible, who “first reported” a given variety for submission into the CML. This does not necessarily mean that this was the very first example of the variety found, it only means it was the first instance of that variety noted by a CONECA attributer. When possible, with new stage photos, we will credit the person who sent the coin in for attribution. CONECA will not designate coins as being “plate” or “discovery” coins, only “first reported.”

Please note we cannot credit previous entries prior to 2021 where stages photo credits were not documented properly.

CONECA reserves the right to note or not note cross listings noted for any given variety.

CONECA will include the following varieties in the CML:
• Doubled die obverses (DDOs)
• Doubled die reverses (DDRs)
• Re-punched mintmarks (RPMs)
• Over-mintmarks (OMMs)
• Inverted mintmarks (IMMs)
• Re-punched dates (RPDs)
• Misplaced dates (MPDs)
• Mismatched reverses: (MMRD) (new to CONECA as of 2021)
• Transitional reverses: (TRD) (new to CONECA as of 2021)

CONECA will catalog and note:
• Obverse Design Varieties (ODVs)
• Reverse Design Varieties (RDVs)
• Mintmark styles (MMS)

CONECA and die stages
Major and significant varieties will have seven (7) stages, they will be:
• B: EDS
• D: MDS
• F: LDS

Minor varieties will be capped at three (3) stages
• A: EDS (anything VEDS through EMDS)
• B: MDS
• C: LDS (anything LMDS through VLDS)

CONECA may document and list other varieties or related errors at a later date.

CONECA reserves the right to reduce stages on past variety listings if it is felt necessary.

Doubled Die files will be diagnosed by a “class”, which is a type of misalignment between or during the hubbing process and noted in the description. The direction is listed as lightest hubbing to the deepest (clearest) hubbing
They include:
Class 1 – Rotated hub doubling
Class 2 – Distorted hub doubling
Class 3 – Design hub doubling
Class 4 – Off-set hub doubling
Class 5 – Pivoted hub doubling
Class 6 – Distended hub doubling
Class 7 – Modified hub doubling
Class 8 – Tilted hub doubling
Class 9 – Single squeeze hub doubling (new to CONECA as of 2021)

RPM files are noted from strongest punching to weakest punching (opposite of doubled dies noted above):
West (W)
East (E)
North (N)
South (S)
Variants between these – (i.e., SW, NW, SE, NW)
Pivoted (REPLACES Tilted & new to CONECA as of 2021)

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