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HomeUS Coins1958 Doubled Die Remains One of the Most Elusive Lincoln Cent Varieties

1958 Doubled Die Remains One of the Most Elusive Lincoln Cent Varieties

1958 Doubled Die Remains One of the Most Elusive Lincoln Cent Varieties

By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for PCGS ……
The Lincoln cent is one of the most popular United States series, and over its century-plus run that began in 1909 it has spawned a multitude of exciting varieties.

Among the rarest breed of these are doubled dies, and many collectors know the most popular pieces by heart, including the 1955, the 1969-S, the 1972, the 1983, and the 1995 doubled dies. Of course, there are dozens of others attributed in the series, yet most of those remain relatively obscure except to the most enthusiastic series specialists.

And then there’s one Lincoln cent doubled die variety that is so rare, so elusive that few ever really even attempt to collect it. That variety is none other than the 1958 Doubled Die Lincoln cent.

The 1958 FS-101 (Class I) Doubled Die Lincoln cent yields only three known specimens. It’s incredible to think that this variety has existed for more than six decades, belonging to one of the most widely collected series, and has offered the world just three specimens. Not only is this a testament to the true and extreme rarity of this piece, but it also serves as a reminder that the Lincoln cent series offers real challenges to even the most tenacious and financially well-heeled of collectors.

From the pure standpoint of the coin being a doubled die, this 1958 variety is quite impressive.

The hub doubling is strikingly visible to the naked eye in the obverse inscriptions IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY, with doubling also evident upon closer inspection in the date. The most sought-after doubled dies are those that don’t require magnification to clearly notice, and the 1958 doubled die showcases doubling that can be spotted from a proverbial mile away. And, again, this hearkens back to an earlier point – how have only three of these coins been discovered in more than 60 years? Yes, fewer collectors are aware of this coin’s existence than they are, say, of the 1955 or 1969-S doubled dies. But with doubling as prominent as that seen on this 1958 variety, it’s difficult to believe that even an unassuming collector could not pick this piece out from a crowd.

And while three may be a crowd, three is but a tiny number in the context of numismatic mintage figures. While the 1958 doubled die is not as widely known as some of its more prevalent – and numerous – doubled die counterparts, there are surely enough collectors who want this piece for their collections and are willing to pay a pretty penny for the opportunity to acquire an example of this ultra-rarity that now sells in the six figures.

There are a tiny number of collectors who have had the great fortune of happening upon this coin for the mere price of face value. The 1958 doubled die was first discovered by Philadelphia collector Charles Ludovico, who was looking through a $50 face bag of 1958 Lincoln cents around 1960. That specimen was submitted to the United States Mint, where officials confirmed the coin as genuine.

The coin later appeared in an early 1980s edition of Errorama and was listed by David Lange in his authoritative 1996 book The Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents, when just one specimen was known. Also, in 1996, the first third-party certified example in an alternative holder and graded MS64RD took $25,025 USD at auction.

In 2000, by which time that same specimen had crossed into a PCGS slab with the same grade of MS64RD, it snagged $57,500.

In the years since, two other pieces have appeared. Still, demand for this coin is so great that the effective tripling of the coin’s population in less than a quarter of a century has not at all suppressed prices. All three known examples reside in PCGS holders, with two grading MS64RD and the single-finest known certified as an MS65RD.

Recent auction records are scant for this elusive coin, though one of the two PCGS MS64RD examples most recently traded hands at a March 2018 Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction for $336,000 – an all-time record for the 1958 Doubled Die Lincoln cent. Suffice it to say, there are few United States coins struck after World War II that regularly sell for six figures, let alone more than $300,000. It’s a rarity that few collectors will ever have the chance of owning, and yet it’s a coin that so many Lincoln cent enthusiasts feel is a necessary addition for completing a comprehensive set inclusive of major varieties.

The PCGS Set Registry® accounts for the 1958 Doubled Die in the “Lincoln Cents with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1909-1958)” set. To date, two sets, one owned by Stewart Blay and the other known as the ESM Collection, have included examples in their PCGS Registry Sets. Blay’s cabinet includes a PCGS MS65RD example while the ESM Collection claims a PCGS MS64RD. Both coins are six-figure rarities of a caliber unlike virtually any other in the Lincoln cent series.

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  1. I have a 1958 also I found in a roll of pennies That’s missing the nine of the 19 it was barely stamped but yet the nine is completely missing any ideas on this thank you.

    • Hi. I have 1958 D BN, but it is DDO and DDR. It is not as obvious but with a lope it’s real doubled. As a matter of fact I have 2.

  2. I have a 1958 Double Die penny with no mint mark it’s not red I’m pretty sure but it’s one heack of a double die

      • I have a 1958 no mint mark red ddo it’s a real beautiful coin, I inherited it from my dad, he told me to make sure I “get involved with people who know coins well, and it’s worth a heckofalot of money…. I unfortunately had my coin collections pilfered and bad guys took what they wanted, guess they didn’t know a penny could be so valuable. I have researched numismatics for the last ten years with dilegence I have every key date in the Lincoln series and nearly all except for one, I have every error Lincoln and then some. I had a coin collection valued in the millions, the 1894 barber dime the 1975 proof no mint mark, the 1794-95-96 liberty every Kennedy every coin basically that a person can have that is worth most money because of the grades being all 65+. This 1958 looks like it could go home with a grade, in my opinion hmmm, I believe it is the very best with doubling on every letter every number, even the face of Lincoln appears with two three sets of eyes,. Without magnifying it it looks like it could be a 69+ but I believe it can take a 67+ 68+. I have the 1972 d over d ddo w rim error “fin” a few of those at least grades of 67+68+69+. The 1960d small over large date d over d grades in the same CATAGORY of grades 67+68+69+ maybe even a 70+ amazing key dates errors that are sought intensely. I want to sell them…. They are coming out, as the coins that have been taken from me have made their way into the world. There were 4 rolls of the ddo 72 not all with rim error and not all ddo for that matter but ya that’s where they came from. Including several I had have sold in Vegas. Though I have pictures and videos of my coins it is hard to prove since they have been removed from cases and other ed has possibly occurred. They were taken late 2019/ early 2020 and again in 2021. Lock up your coins geese it was difficult to process such an enormous amount of money, some people do not understand the true value of coins, I had four carry-on suit cases full, all mint state all key dates all mint errors all very high grades. the 1894 barber the 1975 no mint mark proof dime the 1794 liberty that is only 3 coins..I had thousands of coins. Anyway just wanted to spread my wings a bit and came across this post and thought to add a reply. Thanks for reading…

        • Allanna.. I can feel your loss. With the coins that just disappeared. But..you know I’m sure who u let near your coins. Something similar happened to me only it was my old comic books sold for 10 cents bay back when . I know who took mine. He took then and left. Disappointed T.D Toledo ohio.

  3. Sure would like to get my fingers on 1 of those 1958 Lincoln pennies; cause i was born that year. Im gonna check my collection soon.

  4. My friend has a rather large collection of coins, from every year you can think of. His mother had been collecting coins since he was a child, in 1936. We have 20 or more of the 58 variety, all are double die. Most are in EF or better condition. All the coins have been in a box for the past 30 years. Sitting in his garage, can you believe that!? I’ve inspected every coin, from Lincoln cent to: Nichols, Mercury dimes, quarters, bicentennial, silver dollars / Peace dollars, bicentennial. It’s taken me over a month on a daily basis spending hours on in, looking at all these coins with 7 plus Power Scope. There’s a proximately 30 Buffalo nickels, 30 Mercury dimes, half dollars, all of the silver coins are in pristine condition. The Collection is unbelievable. I’ve learned a lot, these past few months, my friend had no idea that these coins would be so valuable.

  5. I have a 2012 penny that is a double die visible to the eye and even more prominent when Zoomed in. It has multiple errors that happened during mint process. Truly a cool looking coin.

  6. I bought a Lincoln Cent collection at a garage sale and the collection contained several gem/mint wheat cents. After studying the mint coins, I realized that one was a 1958 double-die example with “Liberty” clearly struck twice. Unfortunately, I absently used the coin at a Mini-Mart store so it is back in circulation in the state of Utah. The slushee I bought with the change, however, was delicious.

  7. I have a 1958 d with the d almost touching the 9 but what I’m concerned about I’ve heard no one talk about a DDR in the E pluribus unum is very strong doubling staring with the E the P L U is very hard to see maybe from grease but the rest is easy to see just wondering has any body else found one like it or does it need to be sent off and I believe the date on the front could be a DDO. Any body got any thing on this.

  8. I have a 1958 Lincoln penny DDO..DDR.. absolutely stunning getting ready to send it off to PCGS for Grade and Authentication… would like to share pics of this beauty

  9. -i have a 1958 ddo and a 1941d ddo and 1955 ddo and a 1924 ddo and a 1901 penny and 1957d ddo and a 1968s ddo penne and its a 100% shore aand i have other dimes nickle and quarters that are double die

  10. With all there people having all these 1958 ddo’s,i find it jawdropping that have only been 3 examples since 1960.Or am i being skeptical?


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