Obverse 5.2: Lapped Die
Reverse H.2: Lapped Die, Late Die State, Die Crack AM(E)RICA
Obverse 5.2 Reverse H.2
Obverse Diagnostic Point(s) Reverse Diagnostic Point(s)
Comments: Both obverse and reverse dies are severely lapped resulting in the loss of most device details. This set of dies continued to be used after the lapping as numerous examples of this variety have been seen over the past 15 years. How the New Orleans mint personnel could strike coins with these dies is a mystery. The reverse die shows additional metal fatigue with a significant die crack from rim through AM(E)RICA to wreath. Considering the reasonable striking quality of Variety 108 examples, the author has no explanation for the lapping of these dies.
Grading Variety 108 is difficult due to the excessive lapping. Remember the shallow relief of obverse and reverse details. The plate coin is the highest grade example located until a PCGS MS63 example surfaced in a Heritage auction during October 2014. . I consider the web-book plate coin to grade nearly AU as all device elements remain clear and fully detailed. The high rims also support the possibility of an AU grade. The PCGS MS63 examples is illustrated below; note the nearly flat reverse wreath and legend on a fully mint state specimen. (Click on image for higher resolution pictures.)
Plate Coin: G. Fortin Collection, EF45+
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