While searching through rolls of cents obtained at his local bank, collector Richard J. Ziegler of Quincy, Massachusetts discovered what may be one of the most exciting Lincoln cent die varieties to emerge in recent times.
While searching through rolls of cents obtained at his local bank, collector Richard J. Ziegler of Quincy, Massachusetts discovered what may be one of the most exciting Lincoln cent die varieties to emerge in recent times. In fact, Charles Daughtrey, owner of the website www.coppercoins.com, numismatic author and noted expert on Lincoln cents suggests that this may be one of the best Lincoln cent die varieties to be discovered during the past twenty years! I strongly agree!
It was a combination of events that led to the discovery of this coin being made public. Bobby Minnich and Susan Thornton owners of the Coin Community website found at http://www.coincommunity.com host an internet coin forum. Their website and forum have been in existence since February 1, 2005. The Coin Community discussion board is a friendly place where many facets of the numismatic hobby are routinely discussed. Members of the forum are invited to post photographs of their coins and in the interest of education, ask questions about them. One of the discussion boards and the one that happens to be my favorite is the “U.S.(United States) Variety and Error Coin Forum”. The coin seen here, first came to my attention on Sept 11, 2007 when a post by Mr.Ziegler (Ziggy9) was added to the U.S. Variety and Error section. The initial pictures of the coin in question that appeared in the post were done on a flatbed scanner. It was for that reason that the details were not clear enough to identify anything particularly special about the coin. It was later that same day when higher resolution pictures were taken and posted that the importance of this discovery became known. As soon as I saw the first picture, I had a feeling that this was an undiscovered and unlisted die variety. In fact, a major contributor by way of his answering many questions that appear on the Coin Community forums, Charles Daughtrey confirmed this. His comment; “At present, this 1982 DDR (Doubled Die Reverse) is UNIQUE! Only this piece has ever been reported in any way. I have checked all references and it simply doesn’t exist in print or on the web. That’s about to change!” Based upon the photo seen here, again I fully agree!
A coin collector during his childhood, Richard Ziegler states that he hadn’t looked at his coins in many years. It was while taking an inventory of a rather large collection of coins given by his mother-in-law to his three children, that his interest in numismatics as a hobby was rekindled. In pursuing his hobby Richard began to include searching through ten to twenty rolls of cents each week. It was in July of this year while Richard was sitting in his den looking through his recently acquired rolls with his 10X jewelers loupe that he made this startling discovery. As he describes the event, “It was the wide spread of the doubling as seen on the E of UNITED that first caught my attention”. Examining the rest of the coin other extreme doubling was readily apparent. The motto, E PLURIBUS UNUM exhibits remarkable doubling to the East and slightly South of the primary lettering. This lucky roll searcher and coin collector from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had discovered a most amazing example of a 1982 Doubled Die Reverse Lincoln cent! How this die variety remained unknown for 25 years is a mystery to me!
In 1982, the United States Mint was in the process of changing the metallic composition of the cent. Along the way, the Mint also changed master dies which resulted in the production of Large Date as well as Small Date varieties of Lincoln cents. The four varieties struck on copper planchets, weighing 3.11 grams and composed of 95% copper and 5% zinc are the 1982 (Philadelphia Mint) Large Date, 1982 Small Date, 1982D (Denver Mint) Large Date, and the 1982S (San Francisco Mint)Proof version.
Also struck were four varieties on Copper-Plated Zinc planchets with a core composed of 99.2% zinc and 0.8% copper which was then plated with pure copper. Included are the 1982 Large Date, 1982 Small Date, 1982D Large Date and 1982D Small Date. Weighing in at approximately 2.5 grams which is the correct weight for a Copper-Plated Zinc composition cent, this 1982 Doubled Die Reverse cent was struck at the Philadelphia Mint on a Copper-Plated Zinc planchet. The approximate grade of this cent is AU-58 RB and it is an early-mid die state (EMDS) example.
This coin exhibits what is known as “Offset Hub Doubling”. Also described as a Class IV Doubled Die, While class IV doubling is scarce as a type, this has no reflection on the scarcity of this variety but I feel that this die variety is likely to be quite scarce. For a Class IV Doubled Die to occur, an impression is made by a hub into a die. The die is then removed from the hubbing press, is annealed and then returned to the press. If at this point the centers of the hub and the die are offset from one another, a subsequent impression into the die will be off-center. This off-centered (offset) alignment between the hub and the die will result in the creation of a die where all the doubling will be in one direction. Thus the term “Offset Hub Doubling”. Coins struck by that die will also exhibit doubling with a spread that is in one direction. The well known 1983 Doubled Die Reverse, Lincoln cent (Die#1) is a classic example of a Class IV Doubled Die.
One of the first people to see the pictures of this discovery coin other than Mr. Ziegler, Charles Daughtrey and this author was noted numismatist, Dr. James Wiles. As the Attributer of 20th Century United States Die Varieties for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America (CONECA), Dr. Wiles attributed this coin as being the first known of this die variety. In an email to Mr. Daughtrey, J.T. Stanton, Bob Piazza (Attributer with Charles Daughtrey at coppercoins.com), Richard Ziegler and myself, Dr. Wiles comments, “Very nice!!! I have listed it in the CONECA files as DDR-001, 1-R-IV, stage B, EMDS as per your (Charles Daughtrey’s) observations. Thanks for taking the initiative and letting us know about such an important discovery”. As Dr. Wiles explained this numerical system to me, DDR-001 is the first Doubled Die Reverse for a 1982 dated Philadelphia struck cent. 1-R-IV translates into Die#1, Reverse, Class IV Doubled Die. Stage B indicates the second stage in the die life sequence (A, B, C) with Stage B used to describe a Mid Die State coin. EMDS is a little more specific and describes an Early Mid Die State strike.
Strong doubling is also very easy to see on the R of AMERICA.
Additionally, well known attributers Bill Crawford, John Wexler, J.T. Stanton and Ken Potter have also looked at the images of this coin and proclaimed it to be the discovery coin of a new, Lincoln cent, doubled die variety.
There are several systems in use to label and identify Lincoln cent die varieties so Mr. Daughtrey has cross referenced the attribution numbers as follows:
1982P-1DR-001 (Charles Daughtrey, coppercoins.com)
1982P DDR-001 (1-R-IV) (CONECA, Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America)
FS 1982-01-801 (J.T. Stanton, “Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties”)
1982P WDDR-001 (John Wexler, NCADD, The National Collectors Association of Die Doubling)
1982P CDDR-001 (Bill Crawford)
1982P VCR#7/DDR#1 (Ken Potter)
Congratulations and Thanks go to Richard Zeigler from the entire numismatic community for his Fantastic discovery of this 1982 Doubled Die Reverse Lincoln cent! Thanks also, to all the above mentioned individuals for the speed at which they responded to emails and phone calls. Thanks go especially to Mr. Charles Daughtrey for his photographs and hard work with respect to the research involved in declaring this coin a New Discovery! This writer truly enjoyed the close cooperation between all the parties involved as this was a picture of numismatics at its best!