GreatCollections is a currently auctioning off one of the most sought after modern U.S. Mint errors: a high-grade 1969-S Lincoln Cent Doubled Die Obverse. This coin, once part of the famous Red Copper Collection, was given a green sticker by CAC and is fully lustrous with virtually no distracting marks. Graded MS 66 RD by PCGS, collectors should note that this is the highest-graded example and a truly valuable piece. Bidding on this lot ends Sunday, January 22, 2023, 7:02 PM Pacific Time (10:02 pm Eastern).
At the time of publication, the highest of 72 bids stands at $107.500 USD, with 46 days remaining for additional bidding.
An extremely rare coin, the 1969-S was included as #2 in Scott Schechter and Jeff Garrett’s 100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins and has quite the interesting backstory. First discovered in 1970 by Cecil Moorhouse and Bill Hudson, the type was immediately denounced as a forgery and seized by the U.S. Secret Service as a counterfeit good. This was due to the earlier 1969 bust of Roy Gray and Morton Goodman’s counterfeiting operations. The Feds returned the coins once they were determined to be legitimate.
According to the PCGS Price Guide, the United States Mint struck at most 100 authentic examples of the 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse cent. As of 2022, 92 grading events have occurred, combined between PCGS and NGC. This is a dramatic jump from a just decade ago, when there were roughly 40 certified examples. However, both figures are bound to represent numerous resubmissions due specifically to the fact that even a slightly higher grade can bring an increase of many thousands of dollars to the coin’s value. One reason for the type’s extremely high valuation is the fact that the doubling is quite dramatic and can easily be seen with the naked eye.
Graded MS 66 RD, this particular coin is quite strong for the grade. It boasts an attractive warm, medium red orange coloration which highlights the devices. With a very minimal quantity of minor bag marks, and basically no wear, this coin is truly a sight to behold.
This spectacular example is part of “The Red Copper Collection of Lincoln Cents”, a collection compiled by numismatist Stewart Blay over 20 years of painstaking searching and ultimately buying only the finest examples. So fine was this collection, that John Albanese, President of CAC, remarked, “It is likely we will not see another Lincoln Cent collection of this caliber in the future”.
Currently, the dual auction record for this type stands at $126,500 and $126,000 for two MS 64 examples (set in a 2008 Heritage and a 2018 Stack’s Bowers sale, respectively). However, with a much higher grade, 46 days left till hammer, and a current bid of over $107,000, it is possible that this particular coin will become the new record holder.
Designer Victor David Brenner’s portrait of the beloved former president Abraham Lincoln depicts the president from the shoulder up. Lincoln is dressed in a period suit and is wearing a bow tie. Brenner’s initials “V.D.B.” appear in Lincoln’s shoulder truncation. At the top of the design, wrapping around the rim is the motto “IN GOD WE TRUST”. “LIBERTY” appears behind Lincoln’s neck, on the left side of the coin. On this DDO type, these obverse legends are rather dramatically doubled. The date 1969 appears slightly lower, in front of Lincoln’s portrait, on the coin’s right side. The “S” mint mark is located directly below the date.
The reverse is anchored by an elevation view of the iconic Washington, D.C. memorial dedicated to the president. The relatively high detail of the Lincoln Memorial design is sharp enough to reveal a tiny visage of Lincoln sitting in his chair, replicating the 19-foot-tall statue visitors will encounter inside the actual monument, which was dedicated in 1922.
Below the Lincoln Memorial is the coin’s denomination, ONE CENT, and along the top center of the rim is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM is inscribed in two lines under the legend and above the Lincoln Memorial design. Designer Frank Gasparro’s initials FG are seen at the bottom right of the Lincoln Memorial just above a shrub.
The edge of the 1969-S Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln cent is smooth or plain.
Bidding ends on Sunday, January 22, 2023, 7:02 PM Pacific Time (PT).
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