Just when you’d think that everything that was major for a coin over 20 years old had been found, up pops a beautiful 1988 doubled-die cent that almost rivals that of the 1984 cent. The doubling on the 1988 is very strong on the earlobe.
Christopher Beck of Fla., originally reported the variety to error-variety coin
specialist Billy Crawford of South Carolina in May. Crawford then purchased the coin and eventually sent it to me for my own examination and an opportunity to photograph it.
The doubling of the earlobe on this new variety is very similar in strength to that evident on the famous 1984 doubled-ear cent that has been listed in A Guide Book of United States Coins nearly since it was first discovered.
However, there are significant differences. The hub doubling on the 1984 cent is the result of an Offset limited pressure hubbing that allowed the doubling to be more extensive, affecting not only the earlobe, but also Lincoln’s beard, bow tie, vest and other areas. The 1988 is most probably the result of a Tilted Hub doubled die with doubling restricted to just the earlobe. Nonetheless, even on the 1984 doubled die, few owners pay any attention to the doubling beyond the earlobe.
As such, the 1988, in my opinion should be considered to be a major variety. Bill Fivaz and I have slated it for inclusion in the next edition of the Cherrypickers’ Guide To Rare Die Varieties as FS-101. I am now editor of this popular reference while Fivaz is co-author with J.T. Stanton.
Ken Potter is the official attributer and lister of world doubled dies for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America and for the National Collector’s Association of Die Doubling. He privately lists U.S. doubled dies and other collectible variety types on both U.S. and world coins in the Variety Coin Register. For more information on either of these clubs, or to learn how to get a variety listed in the Variety Coin Register, send a self-addressed, stamped business size envelope and 61 cents to Ken Potter, P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076 0232. Contact Ken via email to: Kpotter256@aol.com, or visit his Educational Image Gallery located at: www.koinpro.com.