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VDB initials quietly return in 1918

Why were the initials VDB resumed on the obverse of the Lincoln cent in 1918?

The initials were restored following the replacement of Secretary of the Treasury Franklin MacVeagh with William McAdoo in 1913 and the passing of U.S. Mint coin designer Charles E. Barber in 1917. Barber reportedly resented Brenner’s design having been used by the Mint. McAdoo was a progressive. It is likely it is more than a coincidence the Illinois Centennial half dollar of 1918 happens to depict Lincoln on the obverse.

Can you explain how a double rim and depressed image appears on my 2017 dime?

I can’t be certain without seeing the coin, but from your description the coin planchet may have been struck with too much pressure. It is also possible the planchet was not seated properly in the coinage press when it was struck.


This coin weighs 2.6 grams, rather light for a normal penny. The date is larger than the normal 1933 and it is much closer to the rim. My first thought is it was a fake. However I also ask why would anyone, even the Chinese, make a coin that wasn’t very rare?

A Lincoln cent should weigh 3.1 grams when first struck, perhaps a little less once the coin has circulated. There are no major varieties of the 1933-D cent, although the mintmark was new and larger than that used on previous cents. I will print the photo here for reader comment. I would suggest you send it to a third-party certification service for comment if you need a more definitive judgment.

I don’t know how a striking press works. I have a Morgan dollar with the denticles flat for about a half inch on the top and bottom of both sides. The ridge outside of the denticles appear to be normal. I would like to ask if this could be a striking error. Numismatic Guaranty Corporation shows the same coin graded Mint State 63 Prooflike but makes no mention of the flatness.

I wouldn’t rule out the coin being damaged outside the mint, either. For this reason, I suggest sending the coin to a certification service to clarify what you have.

What is a piefort coin and has the United States ever made such a piece?

Piefort or piedfort coin patterns appeared in France during the 12th century. The term indicates the piece is double thickness. It is understood the unusual thickness of these coins was meant to differentiate them from circulation strikes. Piedforts eventually evolved into special strikes given at special presentations or to be sold to collectors. There may be piedforts among the many U.S. pattern coins, but none have ever been made for circulation or as commemoratives.

I have seen quarters overstruck with parody themes that include George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and each of the Clinton’s (Bill and Hillary). Has such an overstrike been made representing Donald Trump?

There likely is such a ‘coin’ made using a quarter as the host planchet. However it is the gold-plated fantasy that resembles our half dollar that appears to be popular at the moment.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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