Third segment of cover feature published in its entirety in the Feb. 1, 2016, Monthly issue of Coin World:
The Winged Liberty Head dime series is known for its easily recognizable 1942/1 overdate variety from the Philadelphia Mint and the less distinctive Denver Mint strike, the 1942/1-D.
In The Complete Guide to Mercury Dimes, author David W. Lange writes the 1942/1 coin is the most sought after coin in the Winged Liberty Head dime series, more so than the 1916-D, and is also the target of counterfeiters.
Not only is the 1942/1 dime an overdate, it is also a doubled die obverse, created during the die production process, according to Lange.
In 1942, the U.S. Mint sunk working dies from a working hub using two impressions, with a delay between impressions to heat or anneal the die, to soften it to accept the second impression.
Should the second impression be slightly misaligned from the first, a doubled die would occur, Lange explained.
In the case of the 1942/1 and 1942/1-D dimes, according to Lange, hubs of two different dates were used for the successive impressions of the die.
As early as September 1941, dies were being prepared in the die shop at the Philadelphia Mint for 1942-dated production, while 1941-dated dies were still needed to strike calendar-year 1941 output.
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On at least two occasions, a working hub dated 1941 was used for a die’s first impression and one dated 1942 for the second impression.