Fred Michaelson writes:
I read something recently about early silver dollars with silver plugs in them to adjust the weight. I think that the one Stacks Bowers sold in January for over ten million dollars was one of them. I'm wondering if anyone can answer my question: Since the plug is the same alloy as the planchet, how can the weight be different with the plug in it?
Well, in the early days of the mint overweight planchets were typically filed down to get them to the proper value. Plugs were added to bring the value up, such as with the silver center cent. Was a silver plug also a way to bring up the value of an underweight planchet? I guess you could cut out a plug and replace it with a thicker plug. If the plugged planchet ends up being overweight, then it could be filed down. That would explain why a single coin has both a silver plug and file marks. Is that correct, readers?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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