Chris Seelke of New York recently opened a 2015-S silver proof set that he ordered about two months ago only to find very unusual doubling on the Louisiana Kisatchie quarter. The doubling is what I refer to as “Displaced Design-Strike Doubling” and is quite rare. Prior to this I have only seen it on two 1992-P Jefferson nickels and on a 1994 Lincoln cent.
This proof coin was first struck twice normally as all proof quarters are and then “struck” again via die bounce with high points of the die smashing into the coin.
Generally, we associate Strike Doubling with the destruction of an image, (via flattening), but in this case it has actually formed a new partial image of the incuse letters LO of LOUISIANA. The lettering about the rim for the America The Beautiful series is incuse (sunken) and thus raised on the die. This lettering being raised on the die allows that area of the die to sink images into the coin. I have seen hundreds of examples of Strike Doubling on this series that look every bit to be doubled dies. The effect is very deceptive to collectors who are unaware of the effects from raised images on a die. However, this one takes it to an all new level.
Strike Doubling is one of the most common forms of doubling found on coins and is generally accepted to be a form of damage (to the coin) that occurs a split second after the strike. It is what others may refer to as “Machine Doubling,” “Mechanical Doubling,” “Shelf Doubling,” “Chatter” or a host of other terms used to describe the same or related effects. While the terms may vary among specialists, most agree that it is a very minor variation that occurs during the manufacturing process, that it is not a die variety and is too common to quote any extra value on.
The formation of an image independent of the original as exhibited on this coin gives researchers reason to re-examine the long-held rule of thumb that Strike Doubling adds no extra value to a coin. In a past article on this subject that I wrote in 2002, involving a 1992-P Jefferson nickel where an extra set of designer’s initials appeared, some specialists felt “Displaced Design-Strike Doubling” is so unique that it should carry a value of about $25 or more. (Note: while there are technical differences between formation of doubling on 1992-P nickels and the 2015-S proof Kisatchie quarter, the effects are basically the same.)
Seelke found the coin while examining it prior to taking the set to his father who obtains one proof set and one mint set annually.
What do you think? Readers are asked to contact Ken Potter at his email below. In the event more of these are found, Numismatic News would like to attempt to evaluate just how common or rare it is.
Ken Potter is co-author of “Strike It Rich With Pocket Change” and has penned many feature articles for “Numismatic News” and for “World Coin News.” He is also a member of the board for the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on CONECA, or to comment on this article. An educational image gallery may be viewed on his website at www.koinpro.com.
Images of Kisatchie quarter courtesy of Dr. James Wiles/VarietyVista.com. 1992-P Jefferson nickel submitted by Michael Westcott.