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Hot Lips found on 1964 dime

Numismatic News reader Michael Dustin has reported the first 1964 Philadelphia Roosevelt dime with a Doubled Die Obverse that I have been able to photograph. The doubling is very similar to the 1964 Denver Mint and 1953-S and 1955-S dimes that I reported upon last year. They have become affectionately referred to as “Hot Lips” due to the strong doubling on the lips. There is also doubling of the forehead on all issues reported.

Another doubled-die dime has been found, this one a 1964 from Philadelphia.

Another doubled-die dime has been found, this one a 1964 from Philadelphia.

Mark Joyner of Pennsylvania found the 1964-D Roosevelt “Hot Lips” dime lips reported upon in the Jan. 6, 2015, issue of NN. This resulted in other readers finding the aforementioned dates. The 1964 was elusive in that the owner who originally reported finding several in mint sets declined sending in an example.

Hub doubling during the era in which this coin was struck, was possible due to a phenomenon known as work hardening. This caused the metal of the face of a die to become too hard and too brittle to allow a complete image to be sunk into the die in one impression without causing it to crack or shatter. As a result, several impressions or hubbings were required to produce a die when using this process. Between each hubbing the die was removed from the press and annealed (heat softened) thus allowing for another impression without shattering the die.

Doubling around the lips is very strong and to a lesser extent along the forehead of Roosevelt.

Doubling around the lips is very strong and to a lesser extent along the forehead of Roosevelt.

If for some reason a partially finished die was reinstalled into a press for strengthening and the hub and die was improperly indexed, resulting in a misalignment of images, or if the hubs varied in design from the one(s) used for earlier impressions – hub doubling also resulted. In this case John Wexler has attributed it as “Design Hub Doubled Die.”

I have noticed that the lettering on the left rim (LIBE of LIBERTY) is flat on this and other issues suggesting to me that a tilted hub may have been involved during one or both impressions of the hub.

Interested in error coins? Check out Ken Potter and Dr. Brian Allen's latest edition of Strike It Rich with Pocket Change.

Interested in error coins? Check out Ken Potter and Dr. Brian Allen’s latest edition of Strike It Rich with Pocket Change.

It should be noted that CONECA’s 20th/21st century die variety attributer, Dr. James Wiles is at odds with the doubled die assessment suggesting the doubling is the result of clashed dies. However overlays that I created ruled this out and there are no other specialists that I know of who agree with Wiles at this time.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express.
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