What are RPM Coins?

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Written By Natasha Jones
I'm Natasha Jones, an avid collector of coins, stamps, and paper money.My passion drives me to seek unique finds, from antique shops to international exchanges.I enjoy connecting with fellow collectors through forums and meet-ups, sharing discoveries and insights.

What are RPM coins? Are you familiar with it? If not, don’t fret! Grand Collector is here to share my working knowledge on these coins!

In this article, we’ll look at RPM coins, how are they made, and if they are a valuable investment to add to your collection! What are we waiting for? Let’s dive right in!

What are RPM Coins? (Repunched Mint Marks)


When we use a letter punch to punch the mintmark into the working die, it can sometimes leave two or more offset impressions.

This creates what we call a repunched mintmark variety. Almost always, the impressions overlap.

Now, people, let me tell you that a completely distinct secondary mintmark is quite a rare find.

I would say that the secondary mintmark is typically thinner and smaller than the regular mintmark. This is because the apex of the raised letter on the letter punch is narrower than the base.

So, what happens is that the raised letter on the letter punches tapers in a vertical cross-section. Any of these mishaps can cause repunched mintmarks:

  1. The letter punch wasn’t positioned correctly over the initial attempt.
  2. A letter punch that rebounds and lands softly upon bouncing.
  3. A letter punch that is not held in a vertical position. This can cause it to skip, which can leave a secondary impression.
  4. An attempt was made to correct a punch mark initially placed in the wrong position.
  5. The mintmark is not properly positioned due to incomplete abrasion, and therefore a properly positioned mintmark is punched in afterward.

The era of RPMs came to an end in 1989. This was due to the U.S. Mint’s decision to start placing the mint mark on the master die instead of punching it into the working die.

The extra mint mark’s position is indicated using cardinal directions such as north, northeast, east, south, southwest, and so on.

The secondary mint mark is typically the fainter of the two mint marks and is believed to be the one that was punched in first.

The secondary mintmark can be rotated as well, rather than being offset.

So what happens is that when you have two mintmarks, they’ll be at the same relative center. However, the secondary mintmark will be rotated clockwise or counterclockwise with the primary mintmark.

And you can also tilt the secondary mintmark. So what happens is that when you hit the working die at an angle, only a part of the punch breaks its surface.

You will see the primary mintmark in full, the second-punched one. You can combine offset, rotated, and tilted positions into a single secondary mintmark.

What Differs Repunched Mint Mark Coins from Other Coins?

It’s easy to get a little confused about RPM coins. It can be a lot to take in all at once.

But the fact is, if you want to collect repunched mint mark coins, you need to know these things:

  • What are repunched mint mark coins? They are coins with an extra letter, or number punched into their design after the Mint made them. They’re very rare and extremely valuable!
  • Where do they appear on a coin? On one side of a coin, there will be an eagle or other image representing America, as well as official words that indicate its value and where it was made (i.e., Philadelphia). On the other side is usually an image of something related to liberty, such as Lady Liberty herself or perhaps another bird, like an eagle flying in front of sun rays coming down onto the earth, showing freedom from oppression. There could be words here, too – sometimes about how much money it represents since each denomination has its value based on face value amount vs. weight/size relative size (eagles vs. quarters vs. dimes).
  • How do I tell if I have one? You’ll need particular “coin detectors” equipment that can detect these types of defects without damaging them too much, so they still look good when displayed around your home.”

Are Repunched Mint Mark Coins Valuable?


The value of a coin depends on its rarity, condition, and mintage. RPM coins are not rare and were never considered valuable.

The mint mark tells you which Mint produced the coin but did not add or decrease its value.

RPM coins are often worth less than their face value because they are not rare or valuable.

The price of a coin depends on supply and demand. If there is plenty of demand for a coin, it will cost more than other similar coins with lower demand, while if there is a limited supply, the price will be higher because fewer people can afford them.

How to Tell if You Have a Repunched Mint Mark Coin?

If you have a coin with a repunched mint mark, it can be identified by examining the coin and looking for certain features.

The first thing to do is look where the mint mark is on your coin. If it is in its expected place, then there’s no need to worry about anything else—it’s probably not a repunched mint mark.

However, if this isn’t the case, proceed to step two: look at whether or not there are any doubled dates or letters on your coin.

If there aren’t any doubled dates or letters, then this could mean that someone has altered one side of your coin without altering the other side, making it easier to spot them when comparing each side against the other.

If you’ve found an altered date/lettering combination but know nothing else about what kind of alteration took place, move on to step three: check if there’s anything unusual about how clear everything looks from underneath your magnifying glass!

For example, repunched mint marks are almost always more visible than usual because they’re made up entirely out of metal instead of just being painted over the top.

However, sometimes these marks can be too faint even though they’re visible under magnification–this means that something wasn’t done well enough during production so some areas may have been missed altogether!

Before you go…

We hope this article has helped you to understand more about repunched mint marks and how they affect the value of your coins.

Check out my next article: “What are the Different Types of Coin Errors?

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