US Coins

Lincoln cent struck on Roosevelt dime among growing type of error

At Stack’s Bowers’ June 27, 2014, Baltimore auction this double-denomination 1996 Lincoln cent overstruck on a Roosevelt dime, graded MS-66, sold for $558.13.

Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the July 21 issue.

Many collectors love striking and planchet error coins because each one is unique and they are dramatic examples of what happens when things go wrong in coin production. These are pieces whose errors are the result of problems occurring during the striking phase.

Error coins are graded on the same scale as “normal” U.S. coins, and their pricing structure is based on quality, rarity, and demand, as is the case with all collectibles. 

Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ auctions associated with the Baltimore Expo, held at the Baltimore Convention Center June 26 to 29, carried many of the rarities normally associated with a major auction. It also had a few spectacular error coins. 

Here is one of three that caught my eye:

The coin: 1996 Lincoln cent, overstruck on a struck Roosevelt dime, MS-66

The price: $558.13

The story: Lincoln cents that are overstruck on Roosevelt dimes have appeared on the market with increasing frequency in the past decade. These errors are part of the larger error category of double denominations. 

“This type of error is a two step process,” the cataloger writes in describing how this error occurs. “First off a 1996 Roosevelt dime is normally produced, [but] while travelling back to the counting and weighing area, [the] struck coin becomes trapped in the seam or gate of the tote bin and remains behind when the bin is otherwise emptied. New cent planchets are then poured into the bin and the struck dime becomes dislodged and is struck along with the other Lincoln cents. The dime-cent coin is then distributed normally.”

This 1996 Lincoln cent overstruck on a Roosevelt dime is graded Mint State 66 by Professional Coin Grading Service. In terms of value, these are often more expensive when two clear dates are shown. On this one, all four digits of the date as well as the Philadelphia “P” Mint mark from the Roosevelt dime can be seen. 

Another example also graded MS-66 by PCGS brought $763.75 in the same sale. 

In contrast, a 1996 Lincoln cent struck on a dime planchet, a mere wrong planchet error rather than a double-denomination error, brought substantially less when it sold for $258.50 at the same auction.

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