Bids on 'undiscovered' 1916 Double Die coin reach $79,000



2015-06-26 12:00:44

Bids on 'undiscovered' 1916 Double Die coin reach $79,000

For two decades, the '1916/1916' Buffalo coin went unnoticed - today, its value is huge and growing

Heritage Auction Galleries is auctioning the Brenda John Collection on June 3-6, featuring extraordinary Lincoln cents and Buffalo nickels among a wealth of coins which are certainly among the most popular for collectors.

Among the Buffalo nickels in John's collection is the dramatic 1916 Doubled Die Obverse, graded an astounding MS64 by NGC.

 Take a closer look, the coin's double- die error can be seen in the number "16", and the American Indian's duplicated chin and neck

"Doubled die" is the numismatic term used to refer to doubling in the design elements of a coin -evident whenthe coin's legends, dates or other design aspects appear twice in an overlapping fashion.

As the name suggests, the 1916 is notable for the doubling of the design upon its surface - here unusually strong as seen in the huge spread between the two "1916" dates, which gives the allusion that you're seeing double.

Remarkably, despite the obvious, and relatively extreme, bungling of the coin's die, the 1916 Doubled Die Obverse was missed by numismatists upon its initial release, and remained unspotted for two decades - mainly because numismatists weren't sure what they were looking at.

Take a closer look at the coin's surface, and it becomes evident that this isn't a mere overdate (where one date was punched over the other) or a repunched date (where one date is punched in twice, out of sync).

 The now-famous 1916 Doubled Die Obverse, graded MS64

It wasn't until collectors increased their knowledge, thanks to the famous 1955 Double Die Obverse cent, that earlier coins like the 1916 Doubled Die Obverse, by then nicknamed the "1916/1916" were re-examined and their importance subsequently recognised.

By this time, however, an unknown quantity of 1916 Doubled Die Obverse examples had been lost forever from circulation, and the surfaces on others too worn to be identifiable.

Consequently, among today's numismatists,one surviving in MS64 condition is a rare, precious and valuable artefact - as will likely be proven at Heritage's sale.

Current bids on this example currently stand at $79,000, with the coin's value set to grow even more with nine whole days (at the time of writing) of online bidding left.

Other highlights in Heritage's June sale include a similarly important and extremely rare 1918/7-D nickel graded MS65 by NGC (on which we reported here); and a popular off-metal error, a 1944-D cent struck on a steel planchet from 1943 graded AU55 by NGC.

Heritage's auction will be held in conjunction with its 2010 June Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction.

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