PCGS Coin of the Week: 1972 Doubled Die Lincoln Penny

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The Lincoln penny series is perhaps the most widely collected coin in all of numismatics with the exception of the 50 State Quarters. One reason the Lincoln cent is so popular is that it’s easily recognizable, affordable, and has been issued since 1909 – lending to hundreds of issues when counting date-and-mintmark combinations. Then there are the varieties — there are many when it comes to Lincoln cents. One of the most beloved of all Lincoln pennies is the 1972 doubled die, a major variety that shows a drastic doubling of the date and inscriptions on the obverse. It’s one of the few Lincoln penny doubled die varieties that can be readily identified with the naked eye.

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There are at least 10 known types of 1972 doubled die, though the one that’s the “biggie” – the piece that so many Lincoln cent enthusiasts want – is the Class I 1972 doubled die. Most examples fetch anywhere from $250 to $400, depending on the condition. Lincoln pennies that grade in the gem range and possess full red color are especially scarce. Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) has certified very few grading above MS66RD, with those in the MS67 proving especially rare. To date, fewer than 10 have graded MS67+ or better. When a particularly beautiful MS67+RD example crossed the block at Stack’s Bowers Galleries in August 2021, it commanded an incredible $6,900.

*Images are courtesy of Heritage Auctions, www.HA.com.

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