Shattered Die

Definition: A “shattered die” features numerous intersecting die cracks.  Along with the profusion of die cracks, a shattered die can also incorporate other forms of brittle fracture such as die breaks and retained die breaks.

A shattered die often indicates a terminal die state, i.e., a die just short of catastrophic failure.  A series of coins struck by a shattered die can often be arranged in a progression of increasing severity.


An extensive set of bi-level die cracks can be seen above in a 1913 Chinese 100 cash coin.  The obverse face shows at least seven bi-level die cracks and a few smaller conventional die cracks. 


The shattered die seen above is the George Bush Medal of Merit. Image is courtesy of Ken Potter.