US Coins

Editor's Baltimore pick: Twice the fun Franklin half

Striking errors rarely come more dramatic than this double struck 1959-D Franklin half dollar. Major double strikes like this are rare on large-denomination silver coins and this one was described as Double Struck, Second Strike 55% Off-Center by Professional Coin Grading Service, who graded it About Uncirculated 58.

counterfeit 1834 Classic Head centInside Coin World: Nearly all U.S. coins series are threatened by counterfeiters: Modern counterfeiting risks from China, a counterfeit note from the 1840s newly rediscovered, and a look at Flying Eagle cents, all in the April 8 issue of “Coin World.”

Stack’s Bowers Galleries, in its auction catalog for the recent Baltimore Expo auctions, explained the circumstances behind its creation, writing, “This coin was first struck properly, but then failed to fully eject from the press and received a second strike 55% off center to just before 6 o’clock. The result is that the lower obverse exhibits a second portrait, albeit only the top, while on the upper reverse the bottom of a second Liberty Bell is also plainly evident.” 

The Denver Mint mark is bold, plenty of details are visible on both sides, and there is ample of Mint luster and an overall attractive sandy-silver coloration.

It sold for $15,600, the substantial price confirming its status as a significant 20th century U.S. error coin. 

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