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Put 1914-D cent in its rightful place

It seems like the 1914-D is a very different coin to place correctly in its right place as an important Lincoln cent.

It seems like the 1914-D is a very different coin to place correctly in its right place as an important Lincoln cent. I still have grave doubts that we have the 1914-D where it ought to be in terms of price and importance.


Back in the 1950s, if a Lincoln cent was not from San Francisco it was hard for it to get much attention. The 1955 doubled die obverse might have been an exception and there were certainly a few other exceptions like the 1914-D, but with the 1909-S VDB, 1909-S and 1931-S all being from San Francisco as well as the semi-key San Francisco dates from 1910-1915, Lincolns from other facilities just did not seem to have a chance.

It is logical to suggest that it was not saved in any numbers and that is almost certainly the case. It should have struck someone that with a mintage of 1,193,000, the date should have been saved, but it seems that notion entered very few minds at the time of issue.

In his book “American Coin Treasures and Hoards” Q. David Bowers recounts a story of a couple uncirculated rolls that surfaced in the 1970s. He examined some of the coins alleged to be from the rolls which he described as “spotted red and brown.” A story of 700 uncirculated specimens has also been brought up by Walter Breen.

As the 1914-S is also very tough in top grades, it might have simply been a time when people if they were saving anything were saving the new Buffalo nickel or other issues.

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Whatever the real reason we have seen the 1914-D grow in price and respect over the years. What is interesting is that the price of the 1914-D in top grades which was once close to the 1914-S has really taken off in recent times leaving the 1914-S far behind.

It is interesting as back in 1998 in MS-65 the 1914-D was priced at $3,900 while the 1914-S was at $3,800. A couple years later they were both $10,000. Then suddenly the 1914-D began to pull away, rising to $15,500 while the 1914-S actually dropped to $9,500. The 1914-S now can be had for $3,250 while the 1914-D now realizes $9,500.

This is made all the more interesting when you realize that the 1914-S is actually seen less often at grading services than the 1914-D in MS-65. That is a real surprise and so are the numbers with PCGS showing 116 examples of the 1914-D in MS-65 but only 61 examples of the 1914-S. At NGC, in MS-65 the 1914-D has been graded 77 times while the 1914-S is at 39.

Under the circumstances I am once again doubting we have it right. There is no problem with the $190 G-4 price of the 1914-D and if anything that seems slightly low. The MS-60 price of $2,000 is high for a Lincoln cent but probably fair as well.

The 1914-D has the reputation for being rare in MS-65 and with that may come some additional demand. The demand there might be lessened if they examined the grading services totals. Whatever the eventual outcome we are going to sooner or later get the 1914-D in its right place and at its right price although I am a little uncertain just when that day will arrive.

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