US Coins

Doubled Die cent found in roll sells for nearly $20K

1969-S Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent was discovered in September by Kentucky collector Terry Muth while searching rolls of circulated cents.

Original images courtesy of GreatCollections

A 1969-S Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent that Kentucky collector Terry Muth found Sept. 22 while searching through rolls of circulated cents sold Nov. 2 at auction for $19,800.

The price realized on the auction site includes a 10 percent buyer’s fee added to the final closing price.

Graded About Uncirculated 55 by Professional Coin Grading Service, the coin is identified as one of fewer than three dozen examples of the 1969-S Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent.

Muth says he discovered the coin after searching through nearly 12,000 Lincoln cents he obtained in 50-coin rolls from his local bank in Louisville.

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Muth’s interest in coins was sparked three years ago while researching some foreign coins given to his wife, Cathy, by her uncle.

The research led him to begin collecting Lincoln cents and Indian Head cents, cherrypicking for any anomalies he could find.

The 1969-S Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent is an example of rotated hub doubling, the result of a misalignment between hub and die during hubbing operations.

The doubling on this variety is among the strongest known for the Lincoln cent series.

Muth said he never expected to find a 1969-S Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent, but know what he had once he saw it under magnification.

Persistence required

“You can’t find them if you don’t look,” Muth said.

Muth says he obtains boxes of rolled circulated coins from his local bank several time a year.

On his latest trip, Muth said he secured six boxes of circulated Lincoln cents. Each box contained 2,500 coins — 50 rolls of 50 coins each, with each roll in paper wrappers from the armored transport company Loomis.

Muth said he had meticulously searched through the coins, roll by roll, coin by coin, and was down to the final 12 rolls of his fifth box when he hit paydirt.

Staring back at him was what he suspected was a 1969-S Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cent.

Muth said he first looked at the date. It was doubled. So were IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY. The S Mint mark is not, since it would have been hand punched into the die after it had been created.

Muth said he shipped the coin to PCGS for two-day grading service and after receiving it back, promptly consigned it to Ian Russell’s site for a 10-day sale.

Muth said he has found other varieties and minor errors of marginal value, but nothing like the 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse cent.

“You’re always looking for a good one, and I found a good one,” Muth said. 

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