US Coins

Two-headed 2000-P Jefferson 5-cent coin error

A potentially unique two-headed 2000-P Jefferson 5-cent coin sold for $20,520 at Heritage’s 2018 CSNS auction in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Collectors of 5-cent coins generally fall in two camps. Some want a single example of each design for a type set, while others dive right in and specialize in the denomination. The denomination has relatively few design types: The Shield 5-cent piece from 1866 to 1883 was followed by the Liberty Head type from 1883 to 1912 (or 1913, depending on your view of the rare 1913 “V-nickel”). The Indian Head 5-cent piece (the “Buffalo nickel”) ran from 1913 until 1938 when it was replaced by the Jefferson 5-cent piece, which continues today, with some design changes.

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Here is one of several cool “nickels” that sold at Heritage’s April 25 to 29 auctions at the Central States Numismatic Society’s annual convention in Schaumburg, Illinois, which realized $20,950,441.

The Lot:

Two-headed 2000-P Jefferson 5-cent coin, error, Mint State 65

The Price:


The Story:

Two-headed coins are most often found in the realm of magicians, and examples are almost always the result of someone sandwiching two half-coins to create a piece with two obverses. Heritage offered a 2000-P Jefferson 5-cent piece that was actually struck with two obverse dies. Professional Coin Grading Service gave the two-headed coin a Mint State 65 grade, since it had no wear, but both sides are weakly struck because the two dies were improperly spaced. Heritage wrote, “The surfaces are brilliant, luminous, and satiny,” concluding that this piece is “the only Mint-made two-headed coin known to us among regular production coinage.”

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Heritage pointed to a two-headed Washington quarter dollar that it sold in 2006 for nearly $42,000 as a potential comparable, although the firm suggested at that sale that it may have been an experimental piece, rather than a Mint error. The potentially unique 5-cent piece sold for $20,520 at Heritage’s April 26 Platinum Night auction.


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