Description and Analysis

Lincoln Cents, Wheat Reverse

Description & Analysis

This is by far the most dramatic doubled-die variety in United States coinage and certainly the most highly sought. It is believed to have occurred during the fall, when a severe shortage of cents drove the Philadelphia Mint to extreme measures that included working 12-hour days. An estimated 24,000 examples were coined, but this figure is merely a reconstruction that can never be proved.

Examples are quite scarce in Mint State, and fully red gems are very rare. The overall poor quality of 1955(P) cents in general certainly contributed to the lack of high grade survivors. Also a factor was the coin hobby's slow reaction to the desirability of this variety, which sold for a very modest premium until about 1960, when it finally took off in a big way.