Collectible Die Clashes

Die clashing is frequently seen on Franklin half dollars. The Mint was clearly self-conscious of this at the time, struggling to file or polish them away. Clashing can appear in a number of locations, due to variations in die position, die alignment, and striking pressure; but only some are desirable to collectors. While certain coins will show just one or two clash marks, the strongest clashes can leave nearly a complete outline of Franklin’s bust on the reverse, and an imprint of the eagle’s wing over Franklin’s mouth, creating the famous and very popular “Bugs Bunny” varieties. Many of these actually do resemble the classic cartoon character, or even a vampire, and it is easy to see why these are the most popular clashes.

For attribution in the FVI catalog, it is important to learn the jargon for all parts of the design that can show clash marks. Also, some of the other obverse clashes have become collectible in and of themselves.

Bugs Bunny clashes

around Franklin’s mouth, created by the wing feathers of the eagle.


Clashed obverse dies can develop:

Goiter Die Clashes

A Goiter Clash under Franklin’s chin is an area of raised metal along the edge of Franklin’s neck, and sometimes a sharp spike jutting out of his neck toward the date. Do not confuse with “Goiter Die Breaks,” which are in another section. These Goiter Die Clashes are highly collectible by themselves, though many of them are found in conjunction with more popular Bugs Bunny clashes, and are thus overshadowed. Sometimes the Goiter Clash is completely away from the neck and shows as a horn-shaped clash in the field between the neck and date.

Letter Clashes

Sometimes known as M Clashes, some letters of E PLURIBUS UNUM can imprint in the field behind Franklin’s head. While often seen in combination with known Bugs Bunny dies, the FVI does identify a few of these that are known and collected in and of themselves.

Spiked Nose

The right edge of the Liberty Bell could sometimes make a heavy crease or spike through the bridge of Franklin’s nose. These are not typically collected in and of themselves, as they are usually accompanied by other clash features that are more popular, but again, there are exceptions.

Collar Clash

A collar clash is a distinct angular clash at the base of the neck comes from the gap between the bell and hanger. It looks like a shirt collar.