New obverse doubled die variety identified on a 1999-S Pennsylvania State quarter thanks to ANACS

Varieties Notebook column from the July 21, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 07/02/14
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Thanks to the folks at ANACS, the strongest known obverse doubled die has been identified for the U.S. Mint’s State quarter dollar program. The variety was spotted on the obverse of a Proof 1999-S Pennsylvania copper-nickel clad quarter dollar.

A strong Class IV spread shows on the letters of LIBERTY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, QUARTER DOLLAR, and slightly on the letters of IN GOD WE TRUST and the S Mint mark. Class IV doubled dies are noted for having all of the doubling spread in the same direction, in this case to the east-southeast.

Apparently the hub was also tilted (a Class VIII doubled die) during the hubbing process, resulting in the strongest spread being on the left side of the obverse and the spread decreasing as you move from left to right across the obverse. The quickest pick up point for the doubling is the word LIBERTY.

Upon spotting the variety, ANACS sent the coin to James Wiles, the 20th century die variety attributer for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America, to see if it was a known variety.

Wiles contacted other die variety specialists to see if anyone had it listed and all confirmed it was a new variety.

I indicated to Wiles a desire to see the coin so that I could add it to my files and share it in this column, and the request was forwarded to ANACS. A short time later the coin arrived in the mail, and I now have the variety listed as 1999-S 25¢ Pr PA WDDO-001.

The fact that it is an exceptionally strong doubled die is one thing, but now you get to throw in the rarity factor. The average life of a Proof quarter dollar working die is just 1,500 coins. That means that it is unlikely that more than 1,500 examples on this variety exist.  Good luck finding one!

Topping things off for this month is a 2007-P Wyoming quarter dollar with a doubled die reverse that shows doubling of the saddle horn that is typical for this design. It was submitted by Coin World reader William Dorvall and is listed as 2007-P 25¢ WY WDDR-074.

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