US Coins

What makes this 1971 doubled die cent so special?

Varieties Notebook column from Sept. 19, 2016, weekly issue of Coin World:

To start us off this month, reader Sheila Ruley submitted a 1971 Lincoln cent with an obverse doubled die that is near and dear to my heart.

Bold doubling shows as a very strong spread toward the rim on the letters of LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST. A strong spread to the north shows on the date. 

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I list the variety as 1971 1¢ WDDO-001 while the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America lists it as 1-O-II. The Coppercoins website tags the variety as 1971P-1DO-001 and it is illustrated in The Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties, which identifies it as FS-01-1971-101 (031).

So, apart from strong doubling and widespread documentation, what is so special about this variety? An example of this variety was my very first doubled die find back in 1971. I had no knowledge of doubled dies back then, but I quickly learned, and when the 1972 Lincoln cent doubled dies were discovered the following year I was hooked. That 1971 Lincoln cent doubled die changed my path in the hobby.

Dr. Daniel Griffin shared his find of a 1946-D/D Lincoln cent with a nice repunched Mint mark variety. It is classified as a D/D South and turned out to be a new listing for my files where it is now in the books as 1946-D 1¢ WRPM-031.

A 2016-P Cumberland Gap National Historical Park quarter dollar with a doubled die reverse was submitted by Michael Fraser. Doubling shows along the upper left side of the frontiersman’s right arm just below the fringe on the coat. It is now in my files as 2016-P 25¢ KY WDDR-004.

Sandy Peters submitted a 2013-P Mount Rushmore National Memorial quarter dollar that shows doubling about midway down on the front of Thomas Jefferson’s nose. It is now listed in my files as 2013-P 25¢ SD WDDR-019.

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