Two Dollar Die Varieties

Types that occur due to variations regarding the formation of dies and collars .


Two Dollar Collar Varieties - (The collar is a Die)

Since the two dollar coin was first used in 1996, it has always had what is known as "Segmented Reeding" on its edge. Segmented reeding is used by many countries on higher denominations as a security measure and also useful for the blind. On the Canadian Two Dollar coin there are 5 segments smooth with 5 segments of reeding. Each of the reeded segments have 16 serrations. The edge of any modern coin is formed by the collar during striking. Two different collars are involved with this variety.
Please note that the edge lettering on the 2012 issue is a separate process done prior to striking and has nothing to do with the collar or the forming of the serrations during the strike.

             2010 14 Serrations

Found on some coins dated 2010 in circulation. 
Rarity not yet determined. *Estimated value $20.00

    2011(+) 16 Serrations

This is normal type regularly used since 1996 and appears discontinued after 2011.

2012 14 Serrations

It now appears that this is the new standard.         

         It is evident that a collar used in 2010, with 14 serrations per segment, rather than the norm at that time of 16 serrations per segment of reeding. In 2012, along with other security features, the 14 serration collar type has been used. On close inspection and measurement of photos taken. The anomalous use of the 14 serration collar in 2010 has now become the standard in 2012. This collar variety reminds us all that there are three dies involved in the striking of any coin. The Obverse Die (Heads), the Reverse Die (Tails) and the Collar (Edge). This may coin may be a mule. The term "Mule" is often over used inappropriately. "Mules" are the result of dies that were not intended to be paired. In other words, they are mismatched dies. This variety also points out that "paired" may not be correct.
Three dies not make a pairing. I have amended the definition used by to:

"Mules" are the result of dies that were not intended to be used together.

I would also note that in the absence of an official explanation for this anomaly, it is regarded as unintentional.

14 Serrations

The top of the image no the left is a magnification of the edge of a 2010 Two dollar coin on top of a 2011 two dollar coin. The image demonstrates the 14 serrations.

The serrations of the 2010 two dollar coin are identical to the 2012 two dollar coin and are slightly narrower when compared to the 16 serration type.

16 Serrations

The bottom of the image on the left counts out 16 serrations normally used since 1996 and discontinued after 2011.
It appears the old style of serrations are slightly wider than the new style. 

1996 Rotated Die - 25% Counter Clockwise

Most of the time when I hear of "rotated bears" what is really being mentioned is a coin that has had the core rotated after the coining process.

This example is a genuine Rotated Die Variety. The entire reverse is rotated, not just the core. *Estimated value $25.00*

Look at Altered Two Dollar Coins


1996 Rotated Die - 90% Clockwise


A very nice item, keep your eyes open for these diving bears! *Estimated value $100.00*
More information on Rotated Die Varieties

1996 Large Die Cracks - Obverse and Reverse


Die cracks are another result of the pounding wear of a die.
This is a very nice example and shows clearly shows the effects of both Dies that cracked. *Estimated value $35.00*
More information on Die Cracks

"Extra" Mountain Varieties on Two Dollar coins

A coin that has Clashed Die "marks" shows the result of damage that occurs when the obverse and reverse dies slam together with no planchet in the collar.

The most vulnerable areas to clash marks are the highest areas on the face of the die, and these are the fields- the area that is lowest on the struck coin. The "mark" occurs where the design elements of the opposite die contact fields on the affected die, leaving its impression.

Canadian dies are slightly convex and clash marks from an opposing dies design will always appear strongest in the fields closest to the center of the affected dies. The opposite is true on dies that are slightly concave, such as some issues of Canadian coins (prior to 1937) and currently by many foreign mints around the world. On these types the clash marks will always appear strongest in the fields closest to the edge of the die. On dies that are totally flat, neither concave nor convex, the clash marks appear uniform across the fields.

Dies that clash are routinely polished to remove this damage and make the die usable. Often the polishing will leave a "shelf" around design elements on the die. When these Dies strike coins, they may appear to have elements with extensions and doubling. Concave dies, convex dies and flat dies all take polishing a little differently from each other. The fields of a convex die are not flat - they are curved outward. When these dies are polished it tends to flatten the fields. The base of design elements, numbers and letters in these areas will sometimes appear as doubling and/or added and/or extended design elements on the struck coin.

Often it is hard to tell if it is polish doubling or Die Deterioration doubling - which is a fatigue in the areas where fields meet the base of design elements. These areas receive a large amount of friction as the metal flows during the strike. The carbon in the dies steel dissipates and results in the collapse of those areas over a period of time, depending on the quality of the steel used to form the dies. Usually both appear hand in hand as evidence of the dies late state in its life. A coin described as die deterioration doubling may include polish doubling as they can be very similar in appearance and sometimes impossible to distinguish how the effect occurred.

In the case of the "Extra Mountain" Two dollar varieties die clash type, the clash marks appear in the fields closest to the center of the coin, on both the obverse and reverse.
On the reverse this area happens to be right where the clash marks appear, leaving the impression of the Queens crown from the obverse die.
On the obverse of the coin, the fields are closest to the center of the coin, in front of the face of the Queen, where the bears behind from the Reverse Die is clearly visible. -Not Illustrated

The die deterioration type may be a later die state of the clashed die type. The damage here may be the result of polishing out the clash marks.
On the piece I examined it appeared the reverse die was well worn while the Obverse Die appeared "fresh." Perhaps the original obverse die in this case could not be salvage and was replaced with a new die. This type is also referred to as "Extra line" or "Extra Snowdrift" Two Dollar Varieties by some. *Estimated value $25.00*

More information on Die Clash Varieties

More information on Die Deterioration Doubling Varieties

Die Chip - "Horned" Polar Bear

This coin shows a very nice "Chipped Die"- These are small chipped off portions of the die, usually where the field meets an element. May appear as raised "blobs" or "fillings" adjoining design elements of a coin.


Some collectors call this coin a "Horned Bear" and claim it looks more like a Rhinoceros than a Polar Bear!

*Estimated value $25.00*


1996 Chipped Die on Queen's Forehead


As dies are used they will become afflicted with different forms of deterioration.
On the image above there appears to be a "blob" of metal on the forehead of the Queen,
due to a small portion of the Die that has broken off in that area.. *Estimated value $15.00*

More information on Chipped Die Varieties


Tool Damage

Here is a nice group of three different dates, exhibiting the same type of damage in the same area.

In my opinion, this damage is the result of the Dies striking the feeding sprocket (feed fingers).
The dies receive a dent and pass it on the coins in the form of a "bulge."
*Estimated value $50.00*

More information on Tool Damaged Die Varieties

Please send any information regarding Two Dollar Error coins to Patrick

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