US Coins

Market Analysis: 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse cent excites

One of the 1969-S Lincoln, Doubled Die Obverse cents in the Heritage Forida United Numismatists convention auction in Orlando is distinctive, with a large fingerprint on the obverse.

The MS-62 red and brown grade is understandable, but it has the overall appearance of a coin that spent an ever so brief time in circulation before being plucked out by a sharp-eyed collector. Some contact marks and tiny carbon flicks are seen. Heritage commented on its “fire-orange surfaces tempered by a faint high-point overlay of reddish-tan patina.” It sold for $26,400. 

Jeff Garrett and Scott Schechter rate the issue as #1 in the first edition of their book 100 Greatest Modern U.S. Coins (it slipped to #2 in later editions) and examples in all grades are rare. The obverse doubling is strong, with separation especially seen on LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST. 

For collectors with a larger budget, the Platinum Night session offered a second example, graded Mint State 63 red by Professional Coin Grading Service and possessing a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker, that sold for $40,800. 

Survivors with full Mint red color are especially rare. PCGS has graded just three red examples finer, with two graded MS-64 red and a sole MS-66 red that is the finest known. 

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