Jeff G. writes: Can you tell me about 1898 American silver dollar, with eagle on back upside down compared to the ladies head that is on the flip side.
All U.S. coins are struck with “coin” orientation, that is the coin has to be flipped from top to bottom for the other side to be upright. Many world coins and many medals are struck with “medallic” orientation, that is, the coin has to be flipped from side to side in order for the opposite side to be upright. Many people have suddenly noticed this because they are really looking at the new quarters and so believe that the opposite side is upside down. Check any other U.S. coins and you will see the orientation is the same.
Full rotated reverse modern coins at one time were thought to be impossible because of the method by which the dies fit into the coin press. Apparently this was disproved with the discovery of the rotated State quarter reverses. It is unclear whether this is due to the type of presses being used or because of workman error. More than a half-million coins are struck from a die pair, making these kinds of errors less than rare.
Don’t confuse rotated reverses with the normal orientation of United States coins. Most rotated reverses will not be exactly 90 degrees off but varying amount from as little as 5 degrees to 45 degrees.