The 1942 Lincoln cents are no stranger to nice doubled die varieties. In my files I have records for five different 1942 Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent dies that can be described as being anywhere from “very significant” to “major.” Thanks to Robert J. Piazza, I have been able to add five different 1942 Lincoln, Doubled Die Reverse cents to my files that are every bit as nice as the obverse varieties.
Due to space limitations, only four of them will be featured in this column, but I promise that the fifth will be shared in the next installment. All four of the featured doubled die reverse varieties have something in common. They are all Class IV (Offset Hub Doubling) doubled die varieties. Doubled dies of this class have the unique characteristic that all of the doubling is spread in the same direction.
On the first of these from Mr. Piazza, a strong spread to the northwest shows on the ON of ONE and the CEN of CENT. While the affected area is small, the doubling itself is quite strong. I now have this one listed in my files as 1942 1¢ WDDR-017.
1942 1¢ WDDR-018 shows a strong spread to the east-southeast on the ON of ONE, the CEN of CENT, the ED of UNITED, the STA of STATES, and the MER of AMERICA.
A strong spread to the south-southeast shows on the CE in CENT, the TED in UNITED, both of the T’s in STATES, and the ER and second A in AMERICA on the variety that I now have listed as 1942 1¢ WDDR-019. The piece examined was not a high-grade coin. A higher grade coin may show additional points of doubling.
Probably the least spectacular of the four varieties being presented here would be the one I now have listed as 1942 1¢ WDDR-020. A close spread to the north shows on the CEN of CENT with the strongest doubling evident on the underside of the diagonal bar of the N. Once again a higher grade coin may show additional points of doubling.
Start checking your 1942 Lincoln cents very carefully. You never know what you will find.
John Wexler is a renowned numismatic researcher and author on error coins and die varieties.