Description and Analysis

Lincoln Cents, Wheat Reverse
1948 S 1C MS

Description & Analysis

1948-S cents typically display poor details from worn and/or overly polished dies. The example illustrated is thus exceptional. The relatively high certified population in MS 67 RD may be explained by the dazzling luster that results from worn dies and the tendency of such surfaces to resist or simply hide contact marks.

The San Francisco Mint during this period kept dies in the press until they were severely eroded and their fields furrowed. Then the dies were heavily repolished, making them prooflike for a brief time but also leaving them without the shallow features of the design and with distorted peripheral lettering.

Nearly the entire mintage of 1948-S cents was effected from January through June, this being the only denomination coined at the SFM during those months, with the exception of the annual run of Booker T. Washington Halves. An additional production of cents came in December, when 135,000 more were produced to meet the usual holiday shopping rush.

Only minor varieties are known for this issue, including several repunched mintmarks that are difficult to discern.