This pressed penny prototype reverse or backstamp guide features examples of Disneyland Neverland "backstamps", "reverses" or "mules".
These are "prototype" reverses that were never offered to the public. Most examples are early experimental art and design. To the side of this article is a DL0251 Main Street USA elongated coin, the world's first Disney elongated coin to offer a backstamp. However, the example shown is not at all like the backstamp that was ultimately offered to Disneyland elongated coin collectors. And it was pressed on a steel cent, instead of the nickel coin that was ultimately the denomination offered publicly. Possibly, before its release, the machine was scheduled as a penny press? All conjecture, but, fun to wonder what place the prototype elongated coins and prototype backstamps have in the history and development of the first pressed pennies and backstamps at any Disney park.
Please do not view this guide as complete. Prototype coins are few and far between, often not discovered by collectors until long after their creation. If you have one not listed, please contact us. We'd love to credit your find and add its image to this guide.
DISNEYLAND no ®
REVERSE (inverted) in a "dot matrix" style of print; repeated four times. Steel cent variation of DL0251 shown.
Image courtesy of the N. Wooten Collection.
In keeping with the Disney tradition of providing a better quality souvenir, in 2004, Disneyland introduced the DL0251 back stamped nickel. With this introduction, Disneyland became the first Disney Park to ever offer two sided elongated coins, also known as "Mules". This coin appears to be evidence of early experiments with varied "back dies", "back shafts" or "backstamp" engravings with its DL0251DNR reverse.
NOTE: You may have noticed that because backstamp "dies" and coin dies are different in many ways, they are treated differently here at ParkPennies. Guides confirm that unlike coin dies, backstamp “dies” often share a single design / artwork "type" pressed onto the reverse of many different elongated coins. When these backstamp "dies" are compared to others of the same design "type", often there are slight differences as each is etched or engraved individually. To mix things up even more, it is possible for a set of three nearly identical backstamp "dies" engraved on a back shaft and paired with particular coin dies, to be accidentally or intentionally rotated when the penny press mechanism is serviced or repaired. And even more permutations are introduced if a replacement back shaft is installed with facsimiles of the original backstamp engravings. Lastly, backstamp engravings are also prone to change in appearance over time as they wear, "sink" etc., which can add variations to the same back stamp engravings over time. As you can see, these backstamp characteristics could make for a lot of “different” backstamps of the same design "type".
Therefore, our guide attributions give small design variations or changes less weight when observed in backstamp "dies" vs. obverse coin dies. A good example would be the many 50th Anniversary backstamps. There are as many individual backstamp "dies" or engravings as there are coins in the 50th set, each with slight variances in placement, depth, and texture. Yet all share the same artwork / design, i.e. without intentional differences in design, and are considered one “generic type” for the purposes of listing in this guide.