James Bucki is a nationally-recognized coin collector and also numismatic expert and also author, share his understanding and dedicated training in coin grading, minting errors, and also collection techniques. He has over 40 year of numismatic and also writing experience, consisting of a monthly magazine shaft for the American Numismatic Association." data-inline-tooltip="true">James Bucki

James Bucki is a nationally-recognized coin collector and numismatic expert and author, share his understanding and committed training in coin grading, minting errors, and also collection techniques. He has over 40 year of numismatic and writing experience, including a monthly magazine shaft for the American Numismatic Association.

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The 1955 doubled dice Lincoln penny is among the most well-known errorcoins produced by the United claims Mint. The copy on the obverse is dramatic and also can be checked out without the usage of magnification. The is many prevalent ~ above the date, the motto "LIBERTY" and "IN GOD we TRUST." The reverse of the coin was appropriately made and also does no exhibit any doubling.

If friend think you might have found one of these coins, look in ~ it very carefully. Remember, this is no a "double-struck" coin. An alert that the raised detail of the coin is doubled. Once a coin is double struck, the 2nd strike will flatten the detail from the an initial strike.

how Did the Happen?

In 1955 a die device at the United claims Mint facility in Philadelphia make amistake while production a working coin die for the Lincoln cent. Toachieve a high-quality die, several impressions into the coin die have to be made using a coin hub. In in between impressions, the working die is softened with a heating and also cooling process before the next impression is made.

When the craftsman at the United claims Mint to be aligning the coin hub top top the coin die to receive the last impression, the hub and the dice were not appropriately aligned (slightly rotated). This manufacturing mistake caused the lettering and also the date being doubled. Because of the high relief that Lincoln's portrait, the was not affected.

Production starts

The die setters at the mint did not notification that the obverse die was improperly made. The mint employees invited the defective coin die right into a coining press and also used it to create Lincoln cents. Conventional quality regulate procedures in ~ the mint required spot inspection of coins gift ejected native the coining push to ensure they meet the high quality standards before being released to the shipping department.

It is believed that this coins were created on an overnight change where supervision to be lacking and also quality standards were not effectively followed. Many coin presses run consistently without straight human supervision. Therefore, the press ongoing to manufacture error coins at the rate of nearly 200 coins every minute.

1955 Doubled dice Lincoln cents Released right into Circulation

By the moment the doubled dice error to be noticed by mint employees, numerous thousand that the coins were already mixed through properly created 1955 Lincoln pennies. According to Walter Breen, Sidney C. Engle in the coining room estimated that in between 20,000 and 24,000 doubled die obverse Lincoln cents were currently mixed into a batch of virtually 10 million cents. He decided that it would not be economically feasible come melt the whole batch the 10 million coins because a reasonably small number of them contained a mint error.

In the following months, 1955 doubled dice Lincoln pennies begin to revolve up in circulation. Lock were mainly found roughly the Boston area, west Massachusetts and also parts the upstate new York. A bulk of them were found in cigarette packs together change. In the mid-1950s vending makers were no equipped come give change as they are today. A pack of cigarettes sold for twenty-three cents and the vending machine only accepted quarters. Come return readjust to the customer, 2 Lincoln pennies were slipped inside the cellophane packaging the the cigarette load to offer as the adjust to the customer.

Surviving instances

Since the 1955 doubled die Lincoln coin was found in the exact same year of its production, coin collectors found countless examples and preserved prior to they circulated. Ameil Druila and W. S. Meadows released the very first article in the Numismatic Scrapbook magazine in January 1956. This set off a collecting frenzy for civilization to find added examples in circulation.

From the initial estimate the 20,000 come 24,000 coins released right into circulation, experts think that plenty of of them got lost in circulation and only 10,000 come 15,000 coins survive today. The is periodically reported that someone finds a 1955 doubled die Lincoln penny while browsing a roll of wheat pennies. 

value of a 1955 Doubled die Lincoln penny

The Lincoln penny is among the most popular series of United states coins come collect. As result of the popularity of this coin through coin collectors, demand is an extremely high. As formerly stated, the it is provided is extremely low compared to the number of collectors who would prefer to very own one. Therefore, this coin is an important in every grades.

The complying with table list thebuy price(what you can expect to salary to a dealer to acquisition the coin) andsell value(what you deserve to expect a dealer to pay you if you market the coin). The an initial set the columns perform the to buy price and the sell value because that an averagecirculatedcoin. The next two columns perform the to buy price and also the offer value because that an averageuncirculated coin. These space approximateretail pricesandwholesale values. The actual sell you receive from a details coin dealer will certainly vary depending on the really grade of the coin and also severalotherfactors that recognize its worth.

The ideal known instances have to be graded MS-65 Red by PCGS (19 coins) and also MS-66 Red by NGC (1 coin). Recent auction results present that a PCGS MS-65 Red instance sold for $37,600 in January 2016 at a heritage auction. One NGC MS-66 Red example sold for over $50,000 in an respectable 2006 auction held by superior Galleries. I am sure this coin would market for fine over $80,000 if readily available at auction today.


Since this error coin was found shortly after it was released intocirculation, many coins were saved prior to they became extremely worn. The most usual grade lock you will encounter is incredibly fine (XF-40). This specimens are usually brown in color and have a reasonably nice surface preservation. Over the critical 10 years, the price has increased from around $950 in 2007 to around $1,150 in 2019. This is an approximate 2% annual increase in price. An median uncirculated instance (MS-63) had actually an median retail price of $2,750 in 2007 and $3,000 in 2019. This is an average yearly increase in the price the 1.1% annually.

Beware the Counterfeit's

Finally, because of the popularity and extremely high price the this coin it has commanded the fist of counterfeiters. There are many deceiving dice struck counterfeits on the market. These die struck counterfeit coins are extremely an overwhelming to detect together counterfeits. Therefore, authentication native a third-party grading company such as PCGS or NGC is strongly recommended. Additionally, there room some 1955 doubled dice pennies that have actually microscopic doubling the is just visible with magnification. These are recognized as "Poor guy Doubled Dies" and carry very little additional worth over the non-doubled die coin.

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The Bottom line

Although this is one of the most renowned doubled dice coins to collect, ns recommend that beginning collectors job-related on assembling a collection of Lincoln Wheat pennies in order to familiarize yourself v the coin collection before purchase the 1955 doubled dice Lincoln cent. If you carry out decide to acquisition one coin, it is finest to acquisition a certified specimen native third-party grading service. Offered the current value of this coin, it will be money fine spent.