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First Jefferson error reported

On Aug. 16, the day the new Thomas Jefferson Presidential dollars were released to the public, Chuck Chichinski of Bellefontaine, Ohio, went to his bank and obtained two rolls of the coins.  Having read a report on the www.coins.about.com Web site that a doubled die reverse existed on the Adams dollar, he quickly went to work to see if any of the new Jeffersons he had obtained had a similar affliction. By the third or fourth coin in his first roll, he discovered that he had found his first Jefferson dollar doubled die reverse!

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Single-squeeze doubled-dies can drive even the experts crazy. Here the added elements on a 2007-P Jefferson dollar might appear to be something left by a clashed die. It is difficult to orient the eye to the portion of the design that is doubled. This is due to the angle of the hubbing impression. Efforts are being made to improve the photographs of the error.

He called me to report his find on the same day and mailed two of the coins the next day for an attribution. I found that it was not only a doubled die that was similar to the Adams doubled die reverse that Chichinski had seen on the Internet on researcher Billy Crawford?s Web site but that it was almost identical to an earlier find that was reported by John Wexler recently. The only difference was that this one was even more prominent than any of the earlier listings.

Both the Washington and Jefferson reverses displayed arrowhead shaped hub doubling (and some traces of hub doubling to the west on the Jefferson dollar) that appear to have their origins in the folds of drapery bunched up on Liberty?s right arm directly below the doubling.

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The doubled portions appear on this area of the Jefferson dollar reverse.

The area of doubling on all the Presidential dollar doubled die reverse varieties reported thus far (which is at least three for the Washington dollar and one for the Adams dollar) represents the virtual dead center of the coin?s design. This is an important key to their attribution because specialists believe they are the result of tilted hubs that were seated into proper position during hubbing.

In 1997 when the first doubled die cent was discovered that was produced from dies presumed to be made via the single-squeeze hubbing process, (showing on the coin as a doubled earlobe along with over a dozen other areas of doubling in Lincoln?s hair), I first proposed that a tilted hub seated into position by the force of the single impression of the hub was the most probable cause.  Since that time most specialists have come to agree that this is the most probable explanation for most (if not the vast majority) of significant single-squeeze produced doubled dies.

Tilted Hub Doubling restricted to such a small area of design within the center region of the die might also be possible due the hub being backed off after the initial kiss of the hub into a tilted die blank and then the die being reset into the hubbing press properly and hubbed again. However, with the Presidential doubled dies, we are so far into the single-squeeze hubbing era that researchers feel the doubling would have most likely occurred when a tilted hub/die seated into proper position within the single-squeeze of the hub. As the name implies, the single-squeeze hubbing procedure, impresses a complete design into a die with just one pass of the hub.

It should be understood that the face of a die blank (referred to as a ?die block? in Mint jargon) is machined with a slightly conical configuration to aid in the flow of metal during hubbing. This would indicate that the initial kiss of a hub into a die blank would be restricted to this centralized area before continuing on to fill out the rest of the design. During this process the tip of a tilted die blank would be positioned slightly off location away from the center of the hub into a different area of design than intended and thus the misplaced area of doubling on the affected die. 
 
Chichinski?s find has been listed in the Variety Coin Register for date, denomination and design type as VCR#1/DDR#001.

Now that a pattern has been established, collectors should expect this to be an area of doubling that might repeat itself on other of the Presidential dollars as we move along into the series. As we also saw with the 2005-PDS Minnesota state quarter doubled dies, which received a great deal of attention in Numismatic News last year, this affliction might also spillover onto dies from the other mints and even on the obverse of the coins.  Collectors should avoid tunnel vision and make sure they search other areas of the coin besides the details in the center of the coins as other areas might also be affected such as we saw on the 2005-P Oregon quarters where the strongest hub doubling was found on the trees over to the right side of the coin.

Contact Ken Potter by e?mail at Kpotter256@aol.com, or visit his mage gallery located at www.koinpro.com

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