What is PMD?
It stands for Post Mint Damage, and refers to any damage a coin has suffered after leaving the mint.
The 1943 Jefferson nickel has a common form of PMD — Post Mint Damage — a hole that wasn’t there when the coin left the U.S. Mint.
Common examples of damaged coins (those with PMD) are any U.S. coins with:
…that were not there when the coin left the U.S. Mint.
Post Mint Damage (PMD) and Post Strike Damage (PSD) are often mistaken for errors on U.S. coins.
I’m going to help you tell the difference.
Error Coins vs. Damaged Coins
A lot of people think that circles, lines, or grooves on a coin make the coin rare and valuable. However, these are not coin errors.
Coins experience so much wear and tear throughout their lives, and many end up taking quite a beating in the process — resulting in PMD.
Sometimes, signs of coin damage look unusual to an unassuming coin collector, who mistakes PMD (or PSD) as a Mint error.
Being able to tell Post Strike Damage apart from a strike error takes years of experience. But here are a few ways to determine if your coin has U.S. Mint errors or if it has Post Mint Damage:
If the “error” cuts into the coin (it goes into the surface rather than being raised), then it’s probably Post Mint Damage.
If the coin has a raised blob of metal next to or near a groove or cut, that’s probably Post Strike Damage, too.
If it’s a two-headed coin (with the face of a penny on one side and a dime on the other side), that’s an altered coin made for magicians — which is considered Post Strike Damage.
If there is doubling on the coin… it’s tricky. In most cases, doubling is not caused by the coin being a doubled die, but rather damage from the strike itself.
So, if you see doubling all over the coin (and definitely if it appears on both sides), then it’s not a doubled die but machine doubling instead.