William T. Gibbs

Bill’s Corner

William T. Gibbs

William was appointed the managing editor effective May 1, 2015. He joined the Coin World editorial staff in 1976 as an assistant editor for "Collectors' Clearinghouse" and later became a senior staff writer before being appointed news editor. As managing editor, he manages the day-to-day editorial operations for Coin World, both print and online, and leads the editorial staff. He also serves as chief copy editor for all Coin World publications, including for all books published by Coin World since 1985. He has been project editor of mulitple editions of the Coin World Almanac. Bill began collecting coins at the age of 10 and soon discovered Coin World. As a teen interested in numismatics and journalism, he identified a writing position on the staff of Coin World as a dream job, which was realized shortly after he graduated from Bowling Green State University with a major in journalism. He collects store cards and medals depicting Adm. George Dewey of Spanish-American War fame.

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‘Rocking Around the Clock’ making cents (big ‘whoops’ moment)

Sixty years ago this month, teens were rocking to Bill Haley and His Comets singing “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock” and Pat Boone’s “Ain’t That a Shame.” Dad and Mom were listening to Mitch Miller’s “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” In movie houses and at the drive-ins, moviegoers were watching William Holden woo Jennifer Jones in Love is a Many-Splendored Thing while in The Man From Laramie, Jimmy Stewart faced down a gunrunner selling rifles to the Apaches.

In Nevada, at Yucca Flats, the U.S. military was continuing to study the damage done to “Survival Town” by a series of 14 atomic bomb blasts conducted during the previous spring.

In the Northeast, residents were still cleaning up from Hurricane Diane, whose torrential rains in August had flooded vast swaths of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and New England, killing more than 180 people. 

And 60 years ago, in the late summer or early fall of 1955, employees of the Philadelphia Mint made a series of blunders whose results still excite collectors six decades later. 

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In the die shop of the Philadelphia Mint, an employee installing a partially hubbed obverse die failed to check the alignment with the hub. 

The die sailed through the inspection process, somehow, and was installed in a press on the coining floor of the Mint. The facility was operating a 12-hour shift seven days a week to meet the huge demand for cents. A new 1-cent cigarette tax had just been enacted in Pennsylvania to pay for the damage from Diane.

At the Mint, an employee checking the latest batch of cents finally noticed something was amiss with some of the coins, from one press, after about 40,000 had been struck. Approximately 24,000 of the cents from that production run were already mixed in with other cents. After some consideration, the Mint decided to ship the error cents that were mixed with the others, since the need for cents was so acute, but melt the rest. Not long after, collectors began to notice the odd-looking cents, many found tucked in cigarette packs.

Happy birthday to the 1955 Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent! 

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