Straight Clip Error

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The penny shown on this page is a good illustration of the clipped planchet error showing a straight clip. Clips are normally curved because the blank was punched from an area overlapping the hole left by a previous punching. Occasionally a blank will be punched from an area overlapping the end or edge of the metal strip and the coin which emerges from this mishap will show a straight clip.

1963 Perth penny with a "straight clip" error

The specimen shown above illustrates the normal features of a genuine clipped planchet error. There is a strong "Blakesley Effect" on both sides of the coin in the area of the rim opposite to the clip. The clip itself is flanked by "shoulders" where the metal has not flowed up to the high points of the rim. These features are difficult for a forger to duplicate.

There are some numismatists who believe that straight clips only occur at the end of the metal strip. In considering this hypothesis it is important to remember that the ends of the metal strips are typically cut with mechanical shears as they leave the rolling mill.

Edge view of the clipped area

The upper illustration above shows an edge-on view of the clip. Note the strongly layered texture which is the result of repeated compression of the metal strip in the rolling mill as it was reduced to the required thickness. That this is visible precludes any possibility of the clip region having been sheared or sawn in any post-milling operation. The blank for this coin was stamped from a region which was not subject to any such action and therefore not from the end of the strip. The only remaining explanation is that it was stamped from an area overlapping the edge.

By way of contrast, the lower image shows part of the clip region from a curved clip coin, a 1940 penny. It was subject to shear in the blanking press itself. Note that it shows no hint of the layering visible in the upper image.

Just to show that issues are not always clearly defined, a third edge-on view is shown below. This one is of a 1962 threepence straight clip error coin. Its clip region resembles that on the curved clip penny rather than the straight clip one. It is quite possible that this is an end clip but it is also possible that the repeatedly-compressed ingot of quad metal did not develop the layered texture of the bronze coin.

Edge view of a straight clip on a threepence

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Most recent revision: 29th June 2003
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