4 Types Of Clipped Planchet Error Coins & How Much They’re Worth [A Must-Read If You Have Coins With Straight- Or Crescent-Shaped Edges]

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If you’re wondering, “What is a clipped planchet and how much are clipped planchet error coins worth?…”

You’ve come to the right place!

Clipped planchets are types of error coins that exhibit flat or crescent-shaped bites taken out of the side of a coin.

A clipped planchet penny. One cent planchet error coin

While they aren’t necessarily rare coins of outstanding value, they’re still quite fascinating.

Read on to learn more about these crescent-shaped error coins, including:

  • The 4 types of clipped planchet error coins
  • How this weird error occurs at the U.S. Mint
  • What these error coins are worth
  • How to tell a clipped planchet from a damaged coin

Types Of Clipped Planchet Error Coins

Clipped planchets represent a separate type of error coin. But those who collect clipped planchets recognize these 4 distinct types:

  1. Straight-edge clips — There’s a straight edge on the coin where it was mis-cut.
  2. Curved clips — Due to a crescent-shaped area of missing metal, the coin has a concave curve-shaped edge.
  3. Irregular clips — The trailing edge of the metal strip appears ragged, giving the coin an irregular edge.
  4. Bowtie clips — There are 2 curved clips on opposite sides of the same clipped coin, creating the appearance of a bowtie… a most unusual type of error.

How Are Clipped Planchet Coins Made?

Millions of perfectly round coins are struck every day by the United States Mint. But sometimes the long strips of blank metal are mis-fed into the blanking press that cuts the strip into round pieces of metal (or blank planchets). If the metal sheets are misaligned with the cutting device, then the blanks cut from the sheet won’t be perfectly circular — resulting in a mint error coin:

  • If the punch is overlapping the leading edge of the metal, it makes a straight clip or irregular clip. Depending on whether the punch hits the side of the metal sheet or the trailing edge determines what type of clip is created in this erroneous punch.
  • When a punch hits an area of the strip of metal that overlaps a hole from a previous punch, it creates a curved clip or bowtie clip.

More specifically, these are the 4 possible outcomes — an explanation of each of the 4 types of clipped planchet error coins:

  1. Straight-edge clips — These feature a straight edge on one side of the coin.
  2. Curved clips — The error here is a crescent-shaped miscut on either one or two sides of the coin.
  3. Irregular clips — An irregular clip shows the straight-ish but ragged edge unfinished leading or trailing end of the sheet of metal from which the blank is cut.
  4. Bowtie clips — These boast 2 curved clips on opposite ends of the coin.

For a better understanding of how coins are made, check out this video that shows the blanking process at the U.S. Mint:

How Much Are Clipped Planchets Worth?

Values for clipped edge errors are all over the board. Most modern clips range in value from $5 to $10, but many are worth much more.

The value of clipped planchet error coins depends on these 3 things:

  1. How significant the clipped error is
  2. What coin the error is found on
  3. The overall condition of the error

While all error coins are scarce collectibles, some are more common than others.

Clipped planchets aren’t necessarily rare as a category, but they are very much sought after by collectors. And, as with other error coins, values for curved clips, irregular clips, straight clips, and bowtie clips vary — depending on the merits of each individual piece.

RELATED: Differences Between Rare Coins And Scarce Coins

The values listed below are approximate averages, regardless of whether an individual coin shows a curved, straight, or irregular edge:

  • Indian Head penny — $12 to $20
  • Lincoln Wheat penny — $3 to $10
  • Lincoln Memorial penny — $3 to $8
  • Buffalo nickel — $15 to $25
  • Jefferson nickel — $3 to $10
  • Mercury dime — $15 to $25
  • Silver Roosevelt dime — $7 to $12
  • Clad Roosevelt dime — $3 to $7
  • Silver Washington quarter — $15 to $25
  • Clad Washington quarter — $3 to $10
  • Bicentennial quarter — $30 to $50
  • 50 States quarter — $15 to $20
  • Franklin half dollar — $35 to $50
  • Kennedy half dollar — $20 to $30
  • Bicentennial half dollar — $40 to $50
  • Morgan or Peace dollar — $50 to $100
  • Eisenhower dollar — $30 to $40
  • Bicentennial dollar — $50 to $75
  • Susan B. Anthony dollar — $20 to $30
  • Sacagawea dollar — $75 to $100

* Values are for clipped planchet error coins in average circulated condition. 

How To Tell A Genuine Clipped Planchet Error From A Fake

While clipped planchets are fantastic errors, some damaged coins may take on the appearance of a clipped planchet.

So, how do you tell a legitimate clipped planchet from a damaged coin?

There are at least 4 things you should look for on a coin you believe to be a clipped planchet:

  1. “The Blakesley Effect”Weakness in the design near the rim and in the rim itself on the opposite side of the coin where the clip occurs is known as the Blakesley Effect. While not all clipped planchets exhibit the Blakesley Effect, it’s prominent on many such errors.
  2. Rim fadeout — The rim near the clip itself should gently fade into the clip. It shouldn’t just sharply stop where clip is, but rather taper into it.
  3. Design flow — Just as the rim tapers into the clip, the design elements near the clip will also appear to stretch into the missing area of the clipped planchet.
  4. Belly line — The belly line is seen on the exposed part of the clipped edge, and it’s where the breakaway occurred during the punching process. This part of the clipping process leaves one half of the clipped edge (upper or lower) smooth and the other half rougher in appearance.

In this video, you can see some cool clipped planchet error coins up close:

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9 thoughts on “4 Types Of Clipped Planchet Error Coins & How Much They’re Worth [A Must-Read If You Have Coins With Straight- Or Crescent-Shaped Edges]”

    • Hey, Justin —

      A clip is usually a clean straight or curved line that cuts across much of one side of the coin, with the rim fading into the clip itself. I’m afraid all four of these pennies show heavy corrosion, which is unfortunately quite common with the zinc cents.

      Keep searching!
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Vicki —

      The image is a little blurry upon zooming in but there is some post-mint toning and discoloration that has caused the coin to darken; that darkened line is also either from damage or alteration to the coin. It’s hard to say exactly what caused this but unfortunately there is no evidence of this here being an error. None of the issues stem back to anything that would’ve happened with the die or the strike itself.

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply
  1. Hey guys!

    I’m new to the sight but after reading over a lot of Dialog about Lincoln penny’s, I have a feeling that I have a very rare penny. ( well several but one unparticular I’d rather not show to the public just yet… Well, say this, it has two rare conditions according to what I was reading and observing. Can I have someone reach out to me that is a professional in this field? I have had local people look at it and they immediately did not want to have their fingers on it anymore, then recommend I keep it locked up safe as well as have it examined. Please feel free to contact me VIA email. In Fact, I’m rather certain I have multiple penny’s that are rare. Happy Holidays and I’m hoping that everyone is on Q with the information I’ve learned already. Looking forward to the outcome on these few precious coins.

    Kind regards,
    Steven T Nanke
    steven.nanke83@gmail.com

    Reply
    • Hi, Steven —

      We’d be glad to help as best we can. However, all of our correspondence occurs here in the public comments forum, with photos needed to help aid us in providing you with feedback on your coin.

      If you’d rather work privately via email, you might reach out to other coin dealers who specialize in the field of Lincoln cents. If you think your coin has errors or varieties, you could connect with CONECA (https://conecaonline.org/) or Variety Vista (http://varietyvista.com/) and see about submitting photos or info about your pieces there.

      Good luck,
      Josh

      Reply
    • Hi, Brad —

      Susan B. Anthony dollar clips tend to take some decent premiums. Many of similar magnitude trade for $50 to $75. Assuming this checked out as an authentic clip and not just post-mint damage I’d imagine yours would fetch a similar value.

      Best,
      Josh

      Reply

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