I am a regular visitor to several online discussion groups dealing
with minting errors and die varieties. One of the most active is
Lincoln Cent Resource (www.lincolncentresource.net/forums/index.php),
which has upward of 75 posts a day.
A regular contributor to that site is Joe Koelling, an
enthusiastic collector of both errors and varieties and a dedicated
roll-hunter. Koelling has discovered a prodigious number of new die
varieties. In just the past year he has found nine new Lincoln,
Doubled Die cents that manifest as one or more “extra columns” that
lurk in the bays between the normal columns of the Lincoln Memorial on
the 1959 to 2008 cents. In addition, he’s identified two new die pairs
among 1988 Lincoln cents with a “transitional” 1989 reverse and five
new die pairs among 1988-D cents with “transitional” 1989 reverse.
Finally, he is credited with the discovery of a major doubled die
reverse on a 1991-D Lincoln cent (cataloged variously as FS-#801, CDDR-001/WDDR-001).
Koelling likes to educate and entertain his fellow group members
by occasionally posting photos of complex minting errors. One of those
errors is shown here. This 1999 Lincoln cent was labeled by ANACS as a
“MULTI STK FLDOVR BROCK” (translation: multi-struck, foldover,
brockage). It was given a grade of Mint State 64. Koelling sent the
error to me for a closer look after I expressed reservations about the
“foldover” component of the diagnosis as well as the grade.
The coin is an unusual triple strike. The first strike is an
enormous uncentered broadstrike with a full, first-strike brockage of
the obverse design on the reverse face. The coin that generated the
brockage was itself an error, with an indent at 12:00. This left a
featureless bulge on the reverse of Joe’s coin, replacing part of the
incuse in god we trust. The sequence of the two off-center strikes
cannot be determined, as they do not overlap. The off-center strike
located at the upper left has a 50 percent indent on the reverse face.
The off-center strike located on the right is the site of the alleged “foldover.”
I assume that by using the term “foldover,” ANACS meant that this
was a foldover strike (the word is used in no other context). I asked
ANACS customer service for clarification of their use of the term but
received no response.
When I first saw a photo of Koelling’s coin, I knew that the
“foldover” was just post-strike damage. Personal inspection simply
confirmed my assessment. The off-center strike on the right was bent
over during ejection or after the coin had left the striking chamber.
If this was a genuine “foldover” error, it could only be an
asymmetrical (paraxial) foldover strike, like the one shown in the
July 18 “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column. But if fails on four criteria:
(1) There should be an edge strike at the pole opposite the
foldover flap. None exists.
(2) The flap should be bonded to the main part of the coin or at
least tightly pressed against it. Instead, there is a considerable gap
between the flap and the rest of the coin.
(3) The design should cross the edge of the flap in uninterrupted
fashion. Instead, the design stops abruptly at the flap’s edge.
(4) Finally, a foldover strike will show a die-struck obverse
design on one face and a die-struck reverse design on the opposite
face. Either that or the die-struck design on one face will be opposed
by a uniface strike on the opposite face. Instead, the obverse design
of the off-center strike simply continues around the bend.
A true foldover strike is shown here for comparison.
Since the “foldover” on the 1999 Lincoln cent is simply
post-strike damage, the assigned grade of MS-64 is unrealistic.
I have seen several other damaged coins that have been
encapsulated as “foldovers” by ANACS. Shown here is another example.
It started out as a terrific error — a multiply struck cent that
emerged from the middle of a pile-up of other cents. The obverse face
has a brockage of the reverse design and the reverse face a grossly
expanded raised reverse design. It would have been roughly disc-shaped
upon emerging from the striking chamber. Unfortunately, it was
subsequently crumpled in Mint machinery or equipment in a
coin-wrapping facility. Its grade of MS-64 can be disregarded.
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