One never knows what they will find in circulation.
When a woman came across an odd-looking Eisenhower dollar that seemingly showed two obverses, she set it aside as a curiosity, not really knowing what it was. Years later, her daughter brought the coin to the attention of Sarah Miller, Director of Numismatics at Heritage Auctions’ New York office, who immediately recognized it as something special and fascinating.
(Shown below) The coin is a clad Eisenhower dollar struck to celebrate the United States’ Bicentennial in 1976. However, instead of showing the Bicentennial Liberty Bell and moon reverse design, it bears two obverses – one in relief as normal, the other an incuse mirror image of the first.
It is a mint error known as a brockage. Normally, a coin is struck between two dies, imparting an obverse and a reverse design in relief. But right before this coin was struck, another newly-made Eisenhower dollar failed to eject from the coining press, so that when the planchet for this coin was fed in, it became pressed between the obverse die and the obverse of the jammed coin. The result was that this coin’s obverse was struck normally by that die, while the reverse, instead of receiving an impression from the reverse die, was impressed by the obverse of the jammed coin. Therefore, it imparted an incuse mirror image of that obverse design on the reverse.
When Heritage Senior Numismatist Mark Borckardt first saw this coin, he called it “amazingly cool,” a sentiment shared by every professional numismatist who saw it later. Brockage errors are rare on any coin, and full brockages such as this one are in the minority. Heritage Chief Cataloger Mark Van Winkle said that the Eisenhower dollar is a rare type to locate with a brockage, and that this coin is the first that the auction company has ever seen.
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation certified the coin in MS-62, and it is slated to appear in Heritage’s February 2020 February Long Beach Coin Expo Premier Session, where no doubt numerous error coin specialists have their chance to bid on this unlikely but amazing modern mint error.