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A 2000 Lincoln cent

A 2000 Lincoln cent ?Extra Beard? variety has been confirmed by coin error and variety specialists.

Numismatic News reader James P. McCarthy of Wisconsin reported a 2000 cent that exhibits portions of an extra beard offset to the northwest and about 40 degrees rotated from its point of origin in the beard.

McCarthy originally reported the find to Numismatic News editor Dave Harper in an e-mail Jan. 1:

?I recently came across what could be a very interesting Lincoln variety ? I don?t know how rare this is or whether it?s seen on the majority of minted coins. The coin is currently at CONECA to find out what it is and for attribution. The coin is called ?Extra Beard? and as you can see, there?s a very interesting addition to Lincoln?s beard (under ear). Also, there?s something going on with LIBERTY below the letters (trails??) ? at any rate, I would like to know what this is and what caused it and wondering if you or your staff would be interested in doing a story on it. It would be nice to see it brought to your readership?s attention and see if anyone has any idea what this is and to see just how many are out there? I do have a coin in hand, so this isn?t a fake ? this is the real deal. With the increasing interest in Lincoln coinage and the anniversary of the Lincoln penny coming up, coupled with the new penny in 2009, this type of information/article would fit nicely into your publication.?

Harper forwarded the question to me and I eventually took a look at the variety, attributed it and photographed it. I determined that it displayed portions of details from Lincoln?s beard below the primary beard. With some overlays created in Adobe Photoshop, I was eventually able to positively identify the area within the beard from where the doubled elements originated.

It is a hub doubled die of the sort that is restricted to the center regions of the design. Specialists generally refer to these recent centrally located doubled dies as tilted hub doubled dies. These usually just result in a form of offset in design in one compass direction or another; however, this one also has a great deal of rotation involved, so it is in fact more than just the result of a tilt hub/die. It is more appropriately referred to as a ?tilted hub with a rotational pivot,? meaning that it is a hybrid class or what I refer to as Class V (Pivoted Hub Doubled Die) + Class VIII (Tilted Hub Doubled Die).

In 1997 when the first doubled die cent was discovered that was produced from dies presumed to be made via the U.S. Mint?s single-squeeze hubbing process, 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.

It should be understood that the face of a die blank 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 titled 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 affected dies.

In this case because the hub/die match up was also rotated by about 40 degrees counterclockwise, the hub-to-die assembly in the hubbing press may have been far sloppier than what is typical for the conditions that create other titled hub doubled dies.

The newfound variety contains the widest rotation of doubling found on any Lincoln cent doubled die discovered thus far.

A marker for the coin is the long trail-like extensions flowing down diagonally from the lower left corners of the letters of LIBERTY northeast to southwest. This aberration has been seen in conjunction with a number of other recent doubled dies and appears related to the hubbing process.
I have listed this new doubled die for this date and denomination in the Variety Coin Register as VCR#3/DDO#1. Variety coin specialist John Wexler has seen another example of this variety and listed it in his files as WDDO-001. James Wiles, attributer of modern doubled dies for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America, examined yet another example recently and listed it as DDO-001, 1-O-VIII.

Ken Potter is the official attributer of world doubled dies for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America and for the National Collectors Association of Die Doubling. He also privately lists other collectible variety types on both U.S. and world coins in the Variety Coin Register.

More information on either of the clubs or how to get a coin listed in the Variety Coin Register may be obtained by sending a long self addressed envelope with 58 cents postage to P.O. Box 760232, Lathrup Village, MI 48076 or by contacting him via e-mail at

An educational image gallery may be viewed on his Web site at