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You are looking at a 1914-D Lincoln cent. Can you guess the grade?
But first. Last week, we took a look at an 1856 gold dollar with an “upright 5” from the Deadwood Collection. If you guessed MS62, you are correct.
Today, let’s look at the 1914-D. Just over one million of these were struck, compared to four million at the San Francisco Mint and 75 million from Philadelphia. Not hoarded like the 1909-S or 1909-S VDB, a substantial number of uncirculated pieces, perhaps numbering 700 or more, were dispersed in the 1950s.
Only buy a 1914-D Lincoln cent if it has been certified as altered dates and counterfeits exist.
Six obverse dies and seven reverse dies were reportedly used to strike the 1914-D, and the total output of the date was released into circulation using the normal channels. The popularity of penny boards during the Great Depression led to a surge in Lincoln cent collecting amongst the public and it didn’t take long for folks to realize that the 1914-D was a scarce date. Most VF or below coins that survive to this day were likely pulled out of circulation after years of use to fill holes in Lincoln cent sets.
The late numismatist David Lange wrote that the 1914-D is generally better struck than other D-mint cents of the period, which is certainly true for this piece. Q. David Bowers has remarked that most examples have some copper spotting – which is true for this piece as well, as you can see on the reverse of this example.
Nevertheless, for a 109-year-old coin, the fact that this example survives with any red color is a sign that it was taken care of. So what is the grade of this piece? And how much do you think it’s worth?
Leave your answers in the comments.
CoinWeek editor Charles Morgan narrates.
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Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker’s 100 Greatest Modern World Coins has gotten five-star reviews on Amazon and Lou Golino and David T. Alexander both gave the book their highest recommendations. To secure a copy before they sell out, go to our supply site at supplies.coinweek.com.