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55 and seeing Doubled on Lincoln's Birthday

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Post your Lincoln cents!


Today is Lincoln's birthday and I just picked up a great 1955 Doubled Die for my collection. This particular example is graded MS 63 RB by NGC.


It's estimated about 24,000 of these error coins made it out of the mint (40,000 were produced, but 16,000 were destroyed once the error was discovered). The error coins were found in circulating change by the end of the year, initially in upstate New York and Boston.


A number of those '55 doubled die cents were found in cigarette packs. Cigarette vending machines sold packs at 23 cents a piece in the mid-50s, but the machines only accepted quarters. Rather than lose sales by raising prices, some cigarette manufacturers included two cents inside each pack as change for your quarter. This could help explain why so many of the '55 doubled die cents have turned brown compared to the certified census data of the other surrounding years.


The '55 doubled die is probably the most popular Lincoln cent error. The doubling is easy to see without a loupe or macro photography. Enough examples exist (over 5,000 certified examples) that prices are relatively affordable. And being able to cherrypick this error from pocket change, at least in the 50s and 60s and 70s, gave even modest collectors a chance to own one.


The 1955 doubled die cent has made numerous appearances in popular media and texts. The coin is featured in the 100 Greatest US Coins book by Whitman Publishing (third edition), was a minor plot point in Weird Al Yankovic's 1989 film UHF, and more recently, was a major symbol in Stephen King's A Good Marriage short story and film.


Below I included a close up of the error on the date (not that it's needed), and a vintage Lucky Strike cigarette ad along with the exterior photograph of a Boston-area shop from the 1950s. I think they add a little flavor to the presentation.


Feel free to post some of your Lincolns in celebration of his birthday today.




See more journals by Alan Lastufka

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Alan---That was an interesting post----I truly enjoyed reading it.


Congrats on picking up an nice MS 1955 DDO! You won't ever be sorry about that purchase IMHO.


Hunters Gold---I really admire your example, as well.

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great post and very informative. A story I didn't know about this coin. I don't have a 55 DDO yet but here is a photo of my next best while I still own it.


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