The following is a list of the most popular Lincoln cent varieties that could
be considered controversial.
#1. The 1959 D Mule
This 1959 D cent has a wheat cent reverse as opposed to a Memorial
reverse. It is a unique example, and its existence is truly mysterious. The
coin was discovered by a California collector in 1986. The collector
submitted the cent to Secret Service Forensic Division, and in their opinion
the coin was genuine. The coin was then examined by numismatists
representing the major coin grading companies who were of the opinion
the coin should receive a "No Decision" grade because its authenticity
could not be guaranteed. The coin was sent to the Secret Service for a
second time, and once again their opinion was that the cent was genuine.
A 200-power optical scanning electron micrograph showed that the coin
was not a composition of two coins, an altered date, or a tooled coin.
In 1993, the coin was sent to PCGS. PCGS was of the opinion that the
cent was produced by fabricated dies made using spark erosion. Spark
erosion is a very complicated form of creating counterfeit dies from existing
coins. PCGS would not certify the coin. Several experts have since
examined the coin with various opinions regarding its authenticity.
In 2002, the current owners of the cent threatened anyone who made
disparaging comments about the coins authenticity with legal action.
The coin was intended for sale on Sept. 23, 2002 by Ira & Larry Goldberg
Coins & Collectibles. The coin was pulled after convicted forger and
murderer Mark Hofmann claims responsibility for forging of the 1959 D
mule. Hofmann claimed to have made the coin using an electroplating
process. The coin was re-examined by Secret Service who found no merit
to the forger's claims. Eventually the coin sold for $45,000.
On May 31st 2010 in Los Angeles the coin sold for $31,050 by Ira & Larry
Goldberg Coins & Collectibles.
#2. The 1911 D/S OMM
The 1911 D/S OMM is another controversial die variety. CONECA lists the
Lincoln Cent as RPM-5. In the CONECA master listings, they state
"Mistakenly called an OMM by some" in their description of the coin.
Many experts including, Charles Daughtrey and John W. Bordner, believe
that this variety is in fact an OMM.
#3. The 1956 D/D/S OMM
One of many controversial OMM's. Listed by CONECA as RPM-12. Parts
of what look to be an S mintmark can be seen Northeast of the primary
mintmark. Later die states show a clearer S mintmark. The variety also
displays a repunched D mintmark. The coin is listed as WOMM-001 by
John Wexler. This variety is also listed by ANACS.
#4. The 1956 D/S WDMM-001
Discovered in the late 90's, this variety is considered very tough to find. WDMM stands
for Wexler Dual Mint Mark. This variety was widely accepted by experts until recently
when CONECA delisted it. The following is directly from the CONECA Master Listings:
"This OMM has been delisted from the CONECA files.
A recent re-evaluation of this variety using high magnification photos and computer
generated overlays of an EDS specimen revealed that at best this variety was the upper
loop of an inverted S punch. While it is possible, it does not appear to be probable. I
think to posit a partial inverted S punch as the best explanation of the anomaly
stretches the bounds of credulity. In addition, the evidence from the anomaly itself
leans against it, so it has been pulled from the CONECA Master Listing of RPMs.
The upper line is easily seen as the intersection of two die scratches. It addition to not
being strong enough to be from a punch, it is not in the right position for the size of S
punch available, therefore its significance must be summarily dismissed.
The character of the remaining two lines is not what is expected. I would expect to see
a smooth and rounded image from a punch. What is seen is rough and angled.
The middle line has a dot to the east, which is out of context for an S punch.
The middle line is stronger than the lower suggesting that the punch was level. If it was
level, then the upper line should be as strong as the lower and it obviously is not.
If the punch was not level then I would expect the lower to be stronger than the middle
and this does not appear to be the case."
ANACS does certify this variety. However, they do not list it as an OMM any longer. They
will just list it as 1956 D FS-511 which is the Cherrypicker's designation.
#5. The 1959 D "Misplaced D In 2nd 9 of Date" WRPM-003
Another possible Lincoln Cent variety not listed by CONECA. It appears
that the bar of a D mintmark can be seen in the second 9 of the date.
Some experts believe this to be a simple die break. John Wexler lists this
variety as WRPM-003. The variety is also certified by ANACS. It is listed
by Charles Daughtrey as 1959D-1MM-021, but his website listing implies
that he is undecided about it status.
#6. The 1997 Doubled Die Obverse 1 "Doubled Ear"
Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton state in the Cherrypicker's Guide, "...this is the
most controversial of all Lincoln Cent Varieties. ... we do not believe it is a
doubled die at all. Rather, we believe it is nothing more than a well placed
die chip." Ken Potter states, "The cause is most likely due to a tilted die
blank seating itself into proper position during the hubbing process".
Potter also states that doubling is evident on the obverse in 15 places.
The coin is listed by CONECA as 1-O-IV. Since Potter's investigation this
variety has been more widely accepted.
#7. The 1952 D/S OMM 1
Experts disagree as to whether the southwest mintmark is the remains of a
S or a D. CONECA recognizes this variety. Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton
authors of the Cherrypicker's Guide to Rare Die Varieties explain that they
are not 100% sure that this is an OMM. John Wexler and Kevin Flynn in
their 2009 book, The Authoritative Reference on Lincoln Cents 2nd
Edition, believe this variety to be an RPM rather than OMM
#8 The 1980 D/S OMM
The 1980 D/S omm 1 was debunked in 2006. Die Variety News had an
article proving that what looked like an S was actually die gouges in the
field. The article was Vol. No 2. July/Aug 2006 written by Billy Crawford.
Also, ANACS no longer certifies this variety.
#9 The 1992 DDO 1 (1-O-VIII) "eyelid"
This variety was thought to be a doubled eyelid. Most experts believe it to
be nothing more than a die gouge. This variety can be seen on
Coppercoins.com, but it is listed for educational purposes only. It is still
currently listed in the CONECA master listings.
#10 The 1956 D DDO 1 "5 over 5" 1-O-VII
This variety shows what appears to be a rotated 5 under the primary 5. It
was originally believed that this was an example of a repunched date.
However, it has been discovered that the mint has been engraving dates
into master dies since the Lincoln Cent series began. On the CONECA
error-variety forum, James Wiles stated, "I have removed the 56-D
DDO-001 from the CONECA files and most of the MDO listings as well, as
a result of this 'discovery.'" Many experts now believe this to be a damaged
#11. The 1951 D/S OMM 1 and 1951 D/S OMM 2
John Wexler and Kevin Flynn in their 2009 book, The Authoritative
Reference on Lincoln Cents 2nd Edition, believe this variety to be an RPM
rather than OMM. CONECA and many other experts still believe these to
Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg
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