By Mike Byers for Mint Error News ……
Although there are U.S. coins that are two-headed (struck by two obverse dies), two-tailed (struck by two reverse dies) and muled (struck by two different denominations), this is a unique mated two-headed Lincoln cent pair struck by two U.S. cent obverse dies.
The United States Mint in San Francisco struck coins for Panama in 1973. In this mated pair, coin #1 is a 1973 Panama Tenth Balboa die struck both sides by the Panama dies on a U.S. clad dime planchet. In 1974, also at the San Francisco Mint, two obverse Lincoln Cent dies, both dated 1974-S, were paired together and installed in the same press. If a copper cent planchet had been struck by this die pair, a two-headed Lincoln cent would have been produced. To date, none have been discovered. This 1973 Tenth Balboa was placed in the collar of the press containing the two obverse dies for the 1974-S Lincoln Cent, on top of a copper cent planchet already seated in the collar. These were then subsequently struck together (mated).
Both “S” mint marks are different, proving that two obverse dies were simultaneously in the press together! NGC has authenticated and certified each cent as a 1974-S 1C since two different Lincoln cent obverse dies were used to create this mated pair.
The reverse of the Tenth Balboa (coin #1) was struck by the obverse Lincoln cent upper die (hammer die). The obverse of the Tenth Balboa design brockaged the obverse of coin #2 (copper planchet) since they were struck together. Therefore, coin #1 is a 1974-S obverse Lincoln cent overstruck on a 1973 (dual date) Panama Tenth Balboa coin.
Coin #2 is the second mint error of this mated pair, struck by the second Lincoln cent obverse die in the same press at the same time. The obverse shows the brockage of the Panama design from coin #1 and the reverse shows the design from the obverse die of the second 1974-S Lincoln cent, not the memorial building had it been a reverse Cent die!
As previously mentioned, there are a variety of U.S. coins known that were struck by either two obverse dies, two reverse dies or two muled dies of different denominations.
Other known U.S. two-headed, two-tailed and muled coins:
• A unique 1859 Indian Cent struck by two obverse dies
• A unique 1858 Indian Cent obverse die muled with a 1858 Flying Eagle Cent pattern obverse die
• A unique Jefferson Nickel struck by two obverse dies
• (2) known Roosevelt Dimes struck by two reverse dies
• A unique 1993-D Lincoln Cent obverse die muled to a Roosevelt Dime reverse die in copper
• A unique 1995-P Dime reverse die mated to a Lincoln Cent obverse die in clad
• (3) known Washington Quarters struck by two reverse dies; one of these is indented
• (19) known Sacagawea Dollars with reverse die muled with State Quarter obverse die in manganese, with one selling for $192,000 in a Stack’s Bowers auction certified by NGC
• And now this unique Lincoln Cent mated pair struck from two obverse cent dies in the same press
Also previously mentioned, there are no known two-headed or two-tailed Lincoln cents other than this unique discovery mated pair struck by two obverse Lincoln cent dies. It is also the only known mated pair of two-headed, two-tailed, or muled dies on any U.S. coin of any denomination! This off-metal mated pair that is dual dated from two different countries and struck by two Lincoln cent obverse dies in the same press is amazing. It stands alone in a class by itself in terms of rarity and fascination and combines an incredible and seemingly impossible set of circumstances creating this world-class mint error.
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