Processed 117 BU Lincoln Cent Rolls. Here’s what we found.
I called a 3rd party source since I knew they had a collection of Lincoln Cent rolls they were looking to sell. After a brief call I found out they had (17) rolls of 1957-D, (50) rolls of 1960-D and (50) rolls of 1961-D Brilliant Uncirculated Lincoln Cents. We haggled a brief moment for a price and it was a tad over $400 USD , shipped USPS priority mail.
I paid and waited a few days. I received an email saying the Lincolns were on the way by USPS priority mail. When the package arrived, I opened the 40 pound package to find out the 1957-D and 1960-D were in old school rubber/plastic style tubes. These tubes over time constrict around the rim of the coins and some of them can be a challenge to remove from the tubes.
No problem. Two years ago, I had purchased a 100 roll bag from a fellow dealer and in there were over 60 of those rubber/plastic tubes. What I did was get a 15 pound portable vise and a medium size pair of Vise Grips. The vice is used to hold the tube, but not too tightly. The Vise Grips help in the removal of the tube cap. Once the cap is removed, I take the tube out of the portable vise. Then comes the tricky part. If you hold the opened tube at a 45 degree angle and lightly tap it on the flat part of the vise on the back, the coins will loosen up enough to eventually come out. Sure some rolls are just plain stubborn. But in the end, all of the coins are out. In some instances, the bottom coin or a few of them would not fall out of the tube. I’d hold the tube upside down on the flat part of the vise. I’d give it a pretty hefty hit with the vise grips at the bottom of the roll, enough to see spider cracks. This typically worked, slightly jarring the coin(s) enough to where tapping eventually moved them down and out of the tube.
The First of many types of 1957-D Doubled Die Obverses
I started with the 1957-D Lincoln Cent Rolls. Most of the cents I looked over quickly and mainly just the obverse. I went to VarietyVista so I could take a look at what types of Lincoln Cent re-punched mint marks (RPM’s) and what type of doubled dies (DDO/DDR) could be in the rolls. I started to prcoess the 57-D Lincoln Cents and eventually had to stop and do two rolls over. I think I found a “LIBERTY” doubled die.
An important thing to remember is, although this may look like machine doubling, it is not. Machine doubling ( aka strike doubling) will take away parts of the letters and devices on the coin. Doubled Dies typically will leave a cookie cutter style lines and may also make the area slightly bigger. In classic doubled die fashion, you should be able to see notching on some parts of where the doubling is on a doubled die coin.
So, in a nut shell, take a look at this handy dandy chart !
Photos of the first Doubled Die
I use a lot of lighting when I am using microscopes, so it is relatively easy to spot something like this. On the other hand, lighting is THE number one issue when taking photos of coins. Every coin can be different in respect to the amount of lighting and angle it needs to get a half decent photo.
I quickly looked towards the date. I thought since there was a possibility that LIBERTY was doubled, that the date may show a hint of doubling as well.
The photo above, the “19” show some slight notching. Without taking a lot of time to get the lighting just right. The YELLOW arrows show some mild notching.
The blue arrows signify two die markers that were common in every one of the six or so doubled dies I found for this group. The top blue arrow shows a circular die chip just above the one. The lower blue arrow shows a die scratch that runs from just below the doubled die notching on the “1” to the curl of the “9”. Look at the photo below for a better look at the die scratch.
I can clearly see the notching on the “19” under the microscope. I spun the coin upside down and took a photo. It is evident on the “1” but much easier to see on the “9”. The “57” is pretty minor and difficult to get a nice photograph without magnifying it way too big.
Moving onto ‘IN GOD WE TRUST”, I looked over IGWT pretty good and the only evidence of doubling is here.
One Doubled Die Obverse done
Once I was done with the 1957-D Lincoln Cent rolls, I decided to separate the doubled dies into different tubes. When I separate any type of varieties, I always look for some sort of die marker that is common on each coin. By doing this, it makes sorting A LOT easier.
How die states work on a coin
For the markers on the die, its best to try to find a marker or two that is on the same side the variety is on. At any given moment, they may replace the other die which may throw your attribution off. As a last resort, sure, use the other side of the coin if you need to. On this coin, if you look at the “19” photo above and find the blue arrows, you can see a circular die chip and a die scratch that were evident on each of the coins I grouped together in its own tube. Now, these die markers can fade over time. That means another marker may take the place of these two. If I find the same doubled die with different markers, it means the Die State changed. There are different stages or states a life of a die goes through. Typically they are Early die state, Medium die state, Late die state and Very late die state. Die markers for every coin made can change and some times, the same die state can look a little off in respect for markers – striking coins is not an exact science.
Two other 1957-D doubled dies that I attributed
Now that you have a general Idea of how I attributed and sorted out the first group of 1957-D doubled dies, here are the photos of the second and third Doubled Dies I have done so far.
For the second 1957-D Doubled Die Obverse (DDO) above, the only thing evident was LIBERTY and “19” of the date. The uneven lines on the “19” are stronger than they appear in this photo with the temporary lighting.
Third 1957-D Lincoln Cent DDO
The third 1957-D Doubled Die Obverse is the one that shows the most doubling so far. I do have others to attribute, but these three give you a glimpse on how I personally process and attribute all of my varieties and errors.